Army Base Bass – Episode 419

Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman have been invited to fish on a very private lake in the Land Force Central Area Training Centre, a military base located on Ontario’s Georgian Bay. On the boat with them is a very special guest all the way from Newfoundland who they deem to be one of Canada’s funniest men: Jimmy Flynn.


On this Fish’n Canada episode, we fish in one of the most unique locations that we’ve ever been to—and it’s only two hours from Toronto. We gained access to the Land Force Central Area Training Centre near Meaford, Ontario, a military base that just happens to have an awesome smallie lake in its interior which can only be accessed by those with an exclusive membership. The lake is called Mountain Lake.

This is definitely a one-of-a-kind fishing destination. It’s a place where Pete and Ang get to share a day with a group of heroes that protect our nation and—just as important—see firsthand the transformation of young Canadians into outstanding, respectful, hard-working adults.

Fishing on the Meaford Base isn’t entirely dedicated to military personnel; there is room for the public through a local rod and gun club. Don’t bet the farm on gaining entrance, though. It’s very limited.


In the 1990s it was found that Mountain Lake was actually being overfished, but it could be rehabilitated without a stocking program. The immediate solution was the introduction of slot limits. Now, this lake is not hurting any more! The club members say that a bad day is ten fish and a good one is twenty-plus—per person!

Angelo says, “I cannot remember a more memorable and hilarious day on the water than this one. To me, catching a ton of smallies was simply a bonus in comparison to great companionship and an exclusive onboard stand-up performance by one of the funniest men alive. Does it get any better than that?”

The Smallmouth of Mountain Lake are no different than those of any other small lake in Canada. They can be aggressive one day and finicky the next. Fortunately for Angelo, Pete and Jimmy, the fish were on the bite and the usual presentations were working well.


Topwater was an obvious choice because the fish ended up being very aggressive. The usual and trusty Pop R was first choice. Dropshotting was deadly on Mountain Lake as well. The bait of choice, however, was a Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm on 6-8 pound line with a small #4 or 6 Gammy drop shot hook. This combo is so deadly that Ang and Pete had Jimmy smashing fish at the back of the boat. Darker colours worked really well.

For a bit bulkier presentation, throughout the day the guys would occasionally switch to an X Zone Slammer, also on a drop shot rig, which proved extremely effective.