Adapting to Conditions – Episode 421

Pete Bowman flies into one of Fish’n Canada’s favourite Bass lakes in Ontario and encounters a surprise problem. Not to worry, though. He relocates his fishing area and tests out a new scent process that he and Angelo have been working on for months—and it pays off big time!

This show was very much a treat for Pete because he got to fish for two of his absolute favourite fish species: Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. Adding to that, he’s fishing on one of his absolute favourite Bass lakes in the country, Hastie Lake in the Algoma Region of Ontario. The beauty of this lake is it’s only around a six-hour drive from Toronto. That, and you are guaranteed to get the lake all to yourself.


“This is what I would call the ultimate fly-in experience,” says Pete. “Especially if you are not fond of airplanes.”


“Because you load up your fishing gear in a very accessible area and then shoot over the hill on one of the shortest flights you’ll ever have into a fishing camp… seven minutes to Bass’n bliss! Once unloaded and settled in, you’re ready to fish!”

Since Fish’n Canada has shot on Hastie Lake before, Pete already knew where he wanted to start. “I really want to hit a big Largemouth bite in the shallow mung, and hope for some smallies as a backup.”


Something else that’s pretty much a given on Hastie is the topwater bite. Our previous trips were either early in the Bass season or October. They both produced lots of big fish. So topwater it is.

Pete scoured the shallows with a Pop R and the confidence of a madman. “But I couldn’t come up with a bite. I knew right off the bat that something was wrong. I even tried the deep water with a topwater, a surefire way to pick up a big Smallmouth Bass and maybe even a bonus largie. But nothing! Now I know from past experiences that this lake has tons of Cisco in it. If my hunch is right, the Bass could be stuffed.”


Hastie decided to add a bit more salt to Pete’s topwater wound: frog eggs everywhere!

“I’m not talking small patches here and there, I’m talking about almost every single piece of Bassy looking shallow water cover. Honestly, this stuff is gross. Trust me, I tried fishing it but I couldn’t get bit no matter what I was using.”

With his tail between his legs, Pete headed back to the cottage on Hastie—he had a rather unusual idea!

“Luckily, I brought about twenty bags of Senkos in with me,” said Pete. “If any bait will work in crazy unforeseen conditions, a Senko will get the job done. Especially with this new trick Ang and I have been working on…

“I grab a bunch of Senkos in my favourite colours, and I’m going to marinate them in minnow extract. I grind up the bait to make my marinade, pour the concoction into a marinating container, seal it, attach my Foodsaver unit to it, flip the switch and in about eight minutes I have the most potent Senkos ever to hit the water.”

Look out girls, ’cause Bowrod is about to lay a whoopin’ on ya!


It didn’t take Pete long to connect with his Super Senkos. First, it was a three-pound Largemouth. And right after, a beautiful four-pound Smallmouth Bass taken off of a nest in mid-August!

“Now we are on track,” said Pete. “I’ve got the fish biting but I’ve run out of shallow water clear of frog spawn. Next stop: the deep stuff. As I started fishing the deeper water, it was immediately clear—no frog scum. Now, I just need a fish to show me they’re here!”


It didn’t take long for Pete to connect in his clean-water deep-water area of Hastie Lake. This spot has been good to the boys in the past. Both Pete and Angelo have shot some great fish sequences here on various types of presentations. Angelo first made this area famous using topwater baits and Pete followed up with jigs. This time, however, Pete threw the painstakingly slow finesse Senko rig on drop shots and whacky jig heads. We say slow because of the drop rate of these baits in relation to 20+ feet of water.

“You’ve really got to be on your game,” says Pete. “Patience and good hands are what this type of fishing is all about.”

As you will see in this show, Pete’s luck totally changed. He took a couple of bad situations, assessed them, and came up with a solution. That happens a lot in fishing as long as you keep your mind open!