Algoma From The Air: Fly-in Bass Fishing

A true outpost experience

Updated: By Fish'n Canada

This Fish’n Canada episode was by far Pete’s most anticipated, “I can’t wait for it” trip of the year. No, it wasn’t about humongous, heavy current white sturgeon, it wasn’t about giant fly-in pike and lake trout, it wasn’t a shot at a late fall massive Striper, and it wasn’t a crack at a 1000-pound tuna.

Believe it or not, it was about a tiny little Bass Lake that’s kinda hard to get to. Since largemouth and smallmouth bass are Pete’s absolute favourite fish to target… this was the perfect trip for him!

The Location


Joining Pete were Steve Niedzwiecki, Dean Taylor (drone pilot), and Vova Babushkin (camera op).

This team was in for a bit of a different experience as compared to all of this season’s previous trips. The Hastie Lake cabin is “self-sustaining” if you will. A true outpost experience where we bring in all of our food and cook for ourselves. Pete knew Steve could handle it. He figured Dean would adapt well since he has a similar cabin not too far from where we were, but this is his first season with us and his first season in Canada. We had full faith (since the mosquitoes would probably be non-existent) that he’d survive.

Hastie is a fly-in with a surprisingly brief flight. You literally take off from Lake Lauzon Aviation, fly over a few hilltops and drop into Hastie Lake. Easy Peasy!

The Lake

Hastie Lake is small in size. It has largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as lake trout and whitefish. Its maximum depth is around 80 feet. We were 100% after the bass…either species as we aren’t picky and love both.

Exploring Hastie Lake

When we finally got on the water, we commenced with a bit of a charting session. Dean in one boat and Pete and Steve on another. The boys figured if they ran two GPS units with map drawing capabilities, they could get a great idea of mid-lake hotspots that would have probably been missed by previous guests. Garmin’s “Quickdraw” feature is perfect if you are fishing an uncharted lake.

Turns out they did find some isolated areas BUT, they weren’t stacked with fish like I thought they would be. However, adjacent to these areas were LOTS of fish. smallmouth bass in loose schools… perfect!

The Fishing

This shoot was all over the place in terms of baits and presentations and we would expect nothing less since largemouth and smallmouth were involved. Of these two, I’d say smallies are more predictable. largemouth can be so finicky at times!

Pete and Steve flew in with a plane load of hard baits as well as plastics.

Some of the main players for this trip were the Yo-Zuri Pencil Popper in both the small and the large size. The large one (bone colour) actually caught the biggest fish of the trip. Around a 4-pound smallmouth. It hit during a rainstorm so we didn’t have the main camera running, however, Steve did get the footage on a phone…What a save!


The rain fish wound up being the biggest of the trip… go figure.

Steve threw around a Yo-Zuri 3DR-X FLAT CRANK small-sized crankbait that he simply called his “coffin bill”. The reason is the bill is actually somewhat shaped like an old-school Dracula coffin.


The 3DR-X Flat Crank with a coffin-shaped bill. Steve thinks it’s even more powerful than Dracula!

Moving on from the hard baits, we also used a plethora of other bass lures. Steve always had a soft stick bait tied on, that’s a no-brainer on any bass lake. Pete threw a chatterbait for a few casts here and there and he most definitely threw a jig and chunk. This is still one of his all-time favourite baits to use, especially for largemouth.


One of the coolest things we encountered on this trip (there’s always a story) was that Pete had a tiny largemouth on at boat side. All of a sudden, a big smallmouth came in chasing the largie. The smallie literally proceeded to bite the Largie’s tail. It didn’t attempt to eat the entire fish (which it easily could have since it was probably a 4-pounder vs. a quarter-pounder at best), it just kept nipping at and hanging on to the tail… STRANGE but so cool!


Another interesting note was while fishing on one of my previous trips’ “big bass” areas, Pete spotted a small school of big fish on the LiveScope. Pete dunked down a drop shot rig and instantly hooked up. As Steve was reeling in to get prepped with the net, he too hooked up. Within seconds we knew these weren’t smallies as neither of them jumped. Ended up being a pair of incidental Lakers. You never know what you’ll get in these diverse Algoma lakes!

The 3rd experience in the awesome department is with the ever-advancing electronics in the fishing world, we inevitably encounter new discoveries over and over. In this case, we had an old area of the lake that always produced good fish but we could never tell exactly why. Well, with the aid of LiveScope, we pretty much nailed it. A fallen, sunken tree in 30-plus feet of water… WOW!


This trip didn’t disappoint at all. No, the boys didn’t catch the complete “hawgs” that they were after, however, they caught so many fish (including a couple of lake trout) that there’s no way they could have kept count.

“Actually,” says Pete “that’s a great premise for a return visit to Hastie Lake, counting each and every bass”.

Somebody’s gonna be busy!”


About Fish'n Canada

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