BASS pro Dean Silvester claimed the ultimate honour in Australian bass fishing with victory in the Smak Lures BASS Pro Grand Final on Cania Dam, 14/15th September.
Grabbing the lead in session two and never surrendering the number one spot, Silvester eclipsed a talented field of anglers including event runner-up Steve Kanowski, Matt Johnson in 3rd, and three-time Grand Final winner Matthew Mott in 4th.
Victory for Silvester was a blade and plastic affair, with the GF champion catching his Session One fish snapping blades in a small gutter located in a shallow bay at the back of the lake. A 12-minute run from the event start line, the gutter featured the occasional large tree and a smattering of small flooded bushes on the bottom.
“The fish held next to the big trees, on the bottom and on the edge of drop-off,” explained Silvester.
Making short casts, Silvester sunk his Ecogear ZX40 blade to the bottom then gave the lure a short, sharp snap on slack line.
“I found it was important to make sure there was a belly in the line before I snapped the lure,” Silvester explained. “If there wasn’t, the lure would dart too far and the fish wouldn’t eat it.”
More often then not it was when Silvester went to snap the lure again that a fish would be on it. The approach delivered Silvester his limit in an hour and a 3.12kg bag for the session.
Heading straight back to his gutter in Session Two, Silvester picked up where he left off, with his snapping blade technique producing his limit in no time at all. With managing his fish at the forefront of his mind, Silvester changed location – a move that he hoped would preserve his fish for the third and final session.
Heading back down the lake, Silvester found suspended fish in deeper water and began throwing an Ecogear 3” Power Shad rigged on a 3/8oz TT jighead. This approach delivered three upgrades for the session, and had him sitting in 1st place heading into the final day.
Far from rested after a sleepless night littered with thoughts of what lay ahead, Silvester once again returned to his gutter, hopeful that it would deliver the goods for one final day.
“I was worried that I’d caught all that the place had to offer,” he said. “I even had thoughts of starting the session somewhere else. In the end I just went back to the gutter to see what it had left.”
His decision to return was a correct one, with Silvester catching his first fish on his second cast and his second fish three casts later.
This time it wasn’t a snapped blade that did the damage, but rather a roll and paused Power Shad that tempted the suspended bass. Forty minutes and a few bass later the bite shut down and the gutter had given up all that it was going to give up for the tournament.
“Rather than just beating my head against the wall and hoping that I could scratch out a couple more fish, I moved and went looking for active fish,” explained Silvester.
Targeting schooled fish in deeper water in a gutter similar to his first one, Silvester caught a few more fish but didn’t add much extra to his bag. However, in the end he had more than enough (2.37kg) to maintain his number one position and claim the Grand Final win.
“To fish AFC and win the Somerset BASS Pro this year was more than I could ever have hoped for,” he said. “To top it all off by winning the Grand Final as well is hard to comprehend and something that I’m incredibly proud of. If I never win anything again I can die a happy man!”
Steve ‘Killer’ Kanowski once again lived up to his bridesmaid tag and fell short of claiming one of the few bass titles he hasn’t won, the Smak Lures BASS Pro Grand Final crown.
Fishing a trio of locations to catch his fish, Kanowski focused on flooded bushes in 8-14ft of water near the timbered area not far from the event start line.
“The standout bushes were the ones that were adjacent to drop-offs and deep water,” he explained.
The lure and technique that did the majority of the damage, catching all bar one of his fish, was a 1/4oz Evergreen Little Max blade fished vertically and worked with short, aggressive hops. The biggest fish in his limit for the tournament didn’t fall to the Little Max but instead ate a plum/chartreuse coloured 3” paddle-tail soft plastic.
Kanowski’s double lure approach had him sitting in first after Session One, second after Session Two, and ultimately second at the end of the tournament.
“Sure – I would have loved to have won the event, but at the end of the day Dean caught the bigger fish and I just didn’t get the bites I needed to come out on top,” concluded a resigned Kanowski.
Hervey Bay student and bass young gun Dane Radosevic secured victory in the non-boater division at the Smak Lures BASS Pro Grand Final with a 210g win.
Fishing with Trevor Stead on Day One and Barry Reynolds on Day Two, Radosevic fished a combination of Nexgen and Evergreen blades. Day One involved fishing vertical timber and working his blades with a series of single and double hops. The approach was spot-on, with Radosevic catching his limit within the first hour of Session One. Session Two, however, proved a lot more difficult with Radosevic one catching one fish for the session.
“I just couldn’t get the second fish I needed to complete my limit,” explained Dane.
Leading by a meagre 10g heading into the third and final session, Radosevic needed – and was praying for – a repeat of Session One to be confident of securing the win. Fishing the upper reaches of the dam Radosevic once again used his two blade combo, but after getting blown away by five fish he was beginning to wonder whether it was going to all fall apart on him.
“I just couldn’t land a fish,” he said, “so I upped by leader size and that’s when it all turned around.”
The move was just what he needed to get his tournament back on track, and he finished the session with a 2.51kg limit. Claiming the event win over a strong finishing Terry Allwood, Radosevic in the end secured an easy victory.
Rod: Dobyns Champion Extreme 702 spin
Reel: Quantum EXO 25 spin
Line: 10lb Sunline Rock fish
Leader: 6lb Sunline Shooter FC
Lure: Ecogear ZX40 blade (dark night colour #445), 3” Ecogear Power Shad (eel colour) rigged on hand-painted 3/8oz TT jighead
The key was snapping the blade up off the bottom on slack line. If you didn’t do this the lure wouldn’t dart correctly and the bass wouldn’t eat it.
TOP 10 BOATERS
|1||Dean SILVESTER||6/6||8.36||Nomad Adventure Trip (RRP $6250)|
|2||Stephen KANOWSKI||6/6||8.27||MotorGuide electric motor (RRP $1200)|
|3||Matt JOHNSON||5/6||7.02||Engel fridge/freezer (RRP $1200)|
|4||Matthew MOTT||5/6||6.91||Jackall Pack|
|5||John BRIDER||6/6||6.7||Imakatsu Pack|
|6||David REYNOLDS||6/6||6.58||Spotters Pack|
|7||Mark LENNOX||5/6||6.41||Smak Lures Pack|
|8||Gavin DUNNE||5/6||6.35||Duffdollars Voucher|
For full result listings see www.bream.com.au
TOP 10 NON-BOATERS
|1||Dane RADOSEVIC||5/6||6.78||MotorGuide electric motor (RRP $1200)|
|2||Terry ALLWOOD||6/6||6.56||Engel fridge/freezer (RRP$1200)|
|3||Michael THOMPSON||6/6||5.4||Duffrod (RRP$500)|
|4||John KOCH||5/6||5.24||Toray Pack|
|5||Joshua EVANS||5/6||5.02||Pontoon 21 Prize Pack|
|6||Tom SLATER||5||5/6||Tonic Prize Pack|
|7||Duane MACEY||4/6||4.84||Bassman Prize Pack|
|8||Glenn WOJTASIK||5/6||4.68||Duffdollars Voucher|
For full result listings see www.bream.com.au