I recently saw a great photo on Instagram of John Alves fishing as Spider-Man. I knew I needed to get the story about catching fish in costume. Turns out John is an excellent multi-species Ontario angler. We talk to him specifically about his smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing.
Is fishing Halloween an annual tradition? How was fishing as spider man?
Not really a Halloween tradition but it just might be now…LOL. My kids and wife got me the costume for Halloween. Let me tell you it was AMAZING! First of all My Spider Senses were tingling all morning and both my friends couldn’t stop laughing. Not to mention it was so hilarious, watching people’s reactions on and off the water!
Actually I decided to wear the Spider-Man costume that day for a laugh but more to surprise my very good friends Danny Camera’s, aka @dan_the_fish, kids aged 5 and 7 who love Spider Man.
At the end of the day having a good laugh when I’m fishing with great friends is just as important as catching fish.
How long have you been fishing even without a custom?
I started fishing at a very young age. I’m 46 now years old so I say I’ve been at it for 35 years. Born and raised in Toronto most of our family picnics would take place at the Toronto Islands just about every weekend in the summertime.
I would say one of my earliest memories would have been catching panfish at the Centerville pond with my dad.
These are very special memories because theses are some of the best times I spent growing up with my late Dad.
You are definitely a successful mutli-species angler. How does fishing for other species help you be a better bass angler?
Well Thank You very much for the compliment. Although I’m not as successful as I want to be all the time, I always try my best regardless what the water or weather conditions are. Even when I have a bad day I still learn something every fishing trip.
I think trout fishing has made me a better bass angler, definitely when it comes to reading the water in a river or understanding the current. There are times bass in a river will be located in the same high percentage areas where trout hold. I guess learning how to deal with spooking fish and using super light tackle has also helped me become a better smallmouth bass angler especially when a finesse presentation is used in clear water.
Largemouth or smallmouth, which is your favorite and why?
I enjoy them both but I’m going say that I prefer to target smallmouth.
First off I love it that they are such a curios creature and the fact they are not boat shy at all! Now what I mean is that many times when you’re fighting a smallmouth chances are really good that more than one will follow to the boat taking full advantage of any regurgitated food or even try to steal the bait from the hooked fish.
Another thing I really love about smallmouth is the crazy hard fight, the acrobatic performance they display when hooked. I also find smallmouth are more consistently found in schools more than largemouth bass.
I find largemouth bass to be more of a solitary or territorial creature. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying largemouth won’t school up because they do especially in the fall not to mention I’ve seen KVD, Bob Izumi and Tim Horton do it many times on television…LOL!
What are your favorite smallmouth bass waters to fish?
My top 3 smallmouth bass lakes are Lake Huron – Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe and Lake Erie.
My favourite smallmouth bass Lake is Lake Simcoe. I love this Lake because it’s a short drive from home and the smallies are FAT! The key is locating them. I first start with a fast bait like a jerkbait, spinnerbait or even a topwater popper in open water structure like shoals, humps, and any isolated piece of structure.
What is your favorite bait on these waters?
There are lots of gobies and crawfish in these lakes so I really find a tube is my one of most productive baits. Its the closest bait that mimic the smallmouth bass diet.
What is your favorite largemouth bass waters to fish?
I would say that my favourite body of water for largemouth is Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay.
In 2002 my good friend Mark Kulik aka @kulikfitness won our first 2 Day Bass Tournament together at the Parry Sound Open and NEOBA event. This body is BIG with a lot of beautiful looking water loaded with small quiet back bays, lay downs, stumps and lilly pads.
The key is to locating largemouth is a is to use frog baits near the pads and structure. Once I find them or get a blow up, I’ll start slowing down my presentation and start working the area really slow with Berkeley Power Worms, weedless tubes, or flipping jig.
What is your association with Angling Outfitters?
My affiliation with Angling Outfitters located in Woodstock, Ontario is that I’m a Pro Staff/Sales/Tech Support.
Angling Outfitters is your one stop shop for all your tackle needs. The staff are very knowledgeable, super friendly and very helpful. They will even price match the big box stores. Last but not least they offer some of the best technical support around for your Lowrance Electronics & even offer free seminars on how to use your unit effectively and to its full potential. Honestly if you’re looking for a great shop that stocks just about everything you need to land any freshwater species, this is the place to shop.
Thank you John. Will be following your bass and other species catches on Instagram @aka_johnnyangler.