How We Caught ‘Em – Hastie Lake Smallmouth & Largemouth

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Presented by Xplore

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

Steve and I 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, we 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 being 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!

This trip was also my first shot at throwing a Hardcore Bullet Crank 7+, a big 2 oz deep diving crankbait rated to go 20-27 feet deep! 

What a beast this beauty is!

You certainly aren’t gonna be throwing this bait with a medium-action spinning rod. I used a specialty crankbait/chatterbait baitcast rod that handled it well. That, along with a 6:1 gear ratio reel and 14-17 pound fluorocarbon line got er done!

If I were to recommend a generic rod action for this it would be a baitcast, 7’3” – 7’6” medium heavy with a full parabolic curve (bend throughout the rod, not just the tip or the tip-half) and if at all possible, a glass/graphite composite. You may well already own a reel that will work. The rod is the big deal here. Not only will it work great for larger crankbaits, but this rod will also work for chatterbaits (vibrating jigs), some soft swimbaits, and even big baits for Pike fishing.

The Hardcore Bullet 7+ in Sexy Shad colour… sexy is right!

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. I threw a chatterbait for a few casts here and there and I most definitely threw a jig and chunk. This is still one of my all-time favourite baits to use, especially for Largemouth. 

I used to be a 7’6” Flipping Stick baitcasting kind of guy with 20lb fluorocarbon line. Lately though I’ve gone with a shorter 7’2” medium-ish action rod with 50lb braided line. Huge difference in rod actions but I’ve got to tell you, this new soft-action rod coupled with stiff line is a fun way to catch em’. That extra flex also helps when low-to-the-water pitches or even skips are needed. I still use a Flippin’ Stick by the way, but I’ve added in the softer rod to my jig fishing arsenal.

I stuck mostly with a green/pumpkin jig and trailer or a black jig with a blue trailer. It’s almost always those colour options for me. I’ve never had a time when one of those wouldn’t work when the fish are eating jigs.

A flipping jig like this Punisher along with a trailer like this Big Bite Baits is a great all-season bass catcher

The beauty of a trip into a lake with both bass species is the jig will most definitely work on either and or. It was designed as a Largemouth lure but Smallies love it as well.

Work it slowly along the bottom, hop it back or even swim it fast. Almost anything goes.

Want more info from our Hastie Lake trip? Check out our podcast!

Pete Bowman

Pete, one of the most revered and popular anglers in the nation, has a tremendous love for the game… the fishing game. Pete’s vast knowledge of angling and ability to articulate it to audiences worldwide has endeared him to his fans who still see Pete as just “ONE OF THE BOYS”. Pete is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought-after speaker. In 2012 another of Pete’s ultimate fishing career highlights occurred when he was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame, something he never thought would happen. A Canadian fishing icon.

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