The co-hosts of TV’s Fish’n CanadaShow, Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman say this combination of bald rock, bluff wall and weedy bay in Hastie Lake, a unique northern Ontario fly-in water, is their top spot. Indeed, the Algoma region lake has produced some of the biggest largemouth bass the duo say they’ve ever put on camera.
“The spot is on the longest-running section of shoreline on the lake,” Viola explains, noting that the key reference point is the big, bald rock on the point. “To the left of the rock is a bluff wall and to the right is a bay. It’s not a big bay by most lake standards, but it’s the biggest by far in the area.” It also features lush eelgrass, lily pads and a variety of other weeds growing on the bottom, providing perfect cover for largemouths. Another important detail is that the water drops off quickly along the shoreline, giving the bass a great place to ambush ciscoes.
Viola originally unlocked the bay’s big-bass secret while casting a Rebel Pop-R topwater (below), and it remains his favourite presentation to this day. “One time, I was catching both species of bass around the point,” he says. “Then I fired the Pop-R about 10 feet off the rock, gave it one pop, and a huge largemouth sucked it down like it was a dragonfly. It was game-on from that point. I can go back to that exact spot and get bit every time. It’s crazy.”
Some years later, Bowman expanded on his co-host’s pattern. “I was fishing along the bluff wall, working towards Ang’s bay,” Bowman says. “I was casting a five-inch Senko and working it excruciatingly slowly.” When he reached the big rock—dubbed “Old Baldy”—Bowman felt a bass suck in the Senko, so he set hard and landed a gorgeous largemouth.
“Based on our experiences since then, I’m certain the bass constantly swim out of the bay to the big rock at the point, then cruise along the bluff and return using the same route,” Bowman says. “The point, however, is the quintessential gathering spot between these two highly diverse pieces of structure and cover.”