Killer in a Spin for BASS Pro Win
  |  First Published: August 2014

Steve ‘Killer’ Kanowski returned to the winner’s podium at round two of the 2014 Toray BASS Pro Series with the 50 year old tournament veteran claiming victory in the Yamaha presented Boondooma event.

Grabbing the lead in session two Kanowski held the lead as he stormed to his 3rd BASS Pro win to book a berth in the Lake Wivenhoe Grand Final in September.

Victory for Kanowski was a tail spinner affair with for the former AFC angler cracking the pattern during the Friday prefish courtesy of a Nories In The Bait tail spinner.

Fishing the start of the Stuart Arm Kanowski fished a small flat (50x50m) 15-20’ deep that had the breakline into the creek bed not far away. An inconspicuous location, it was an area that fired when Killer stumbled across it in the prefish.

“There were plenty of fish on the sounder, and they bit quite actively, so I just kept changing lures to see which lure worked the best on them,” said Kanowski.

With the tail spinner identified as the go-to lure, Killer tied one on first up in session one, an approach that delivered him his first fish by 9am, and a second hook up, albeit a fish that he lost, not long after.

Session two was when things really turned on with the Kanowski catching a dozen fish for the session, including multiple upgrades, and weighing in the heaviest limit for the tournament.

“They bit their heads off in the afternoon including a good number of big fish,” said Kanowksi.

The Nories tail spinner once again reined supreme, with Killer fishing the hot bait with a long and slow lift and drop technique. The majority of bites would come at the very top of the lift, while the occasional fish would come as he lifted the lure after a drop, or when he went to burn the lure back in at the end of the retrieve.

“It was important to not over work the lure during the retrieve. Slow and steady was definitely the name of the game of the lure when it came to the tail spinner,” said Kanowski.

Session three would prove the hardest for the tournament with Kanowski only managing to eke out three small undersize fish.

“I worked my butt off on Sunday morning, varying retrieves, adjusting my boat position, and trying to finesse them in to biting but to avail,” said Killer.

In the end Kanowski’s failure to weigh a fish in the final session didn’t affect the outcome, with Killer holding on to the lead he had leading into the final session to claim the event winner.

A veteran of the BASS Pro tour Kanowski’s win is his first since his Lake Monduran victory in 2007, and an injection of form heading into the 3rd and final event of the year, the Toray BASS Pro Grand Final at Lake Wivenhoe in September.

Young Rips Deep for Second

For event runner-up David Young is was his best result to date on the BASS Pro tour at Lake Boondooma with the 30year old IT Consultant fishing the start of the start of the timber in the Stuart River arm of the lake to catch his fish.

Fishing a small area that he inadvertently found during the Friday prefish Young’s hot spot featured a tree, adjacent flat, and slope into the creek bed.

“While there were trees right along the edge of the creek bed there was one tree that the fish would gravitate towards and hang on in numbers,” said Young.

While Young could always find the fish on and around the tree with his sounder getting them to bite would prove difficult.

“They didn’t bite until 2pm during the prefish and the tournament very much played out the same way,” said Young.

This trend saw Young catch no fish in the first session, but in session two (Saturday afternoon) things really started to heat up, with close to 20 fish hitting the deck of his boat. While he initially caught fish out from the tree he soon found the best approach to use involved nudging the boat up tight against the tree and working his lure directly below the boat to the fish that were sitting on the bottom.

Young’s lure and technique involved an Ecogear ZX40 blade worked with a short and sharp rip and drop retrieve.

“Keeping the movement of the lure sharp, hard and erratic was the key to get them to bite. If you used a traditional methodical lift and drop they didn’t it eat it with any great gusto,” said Young.

Heading into the final session with close to a 1kg deficit to make up on leader Steve Kanowski, Young knew that he had plenty of work to do, but if he could just scrape together a couple of fish to get level with Killer that he might be in with a shot.

Young’s thinking was spot on, and he started the session out well picking up a small fish early. Finding and catching his second proved a lot harder, with Young changing locations and lures in a valiant attempt to pull together just one more small fish. It was to avail though with Young weighing in only one fish for the session to finish second in the tournament.

His best result to date on the tour Young is buoyed by his podium finish, the spot in the Grand Final, and the welcome cheque heading into the BASS Megabucks and GF at the end of the year.

Holmes Hops to Win

Ray Holmes claimed top honours in the non-boater division with the 26 year old Toowoomba basser compiling a 3/6, 4.38kg limit to comfortably secure the win by over a kilo over his nearest rival Terry Allwood.

Fishing with Dave Young on day one, Holmes fished a deep water blade approach, throwing a 3/8oz, matt pink coloured Evergreen Little Max and an Ecogear ZX40 in colour 414 to catch his fish.

Catching one fish in session one and a full limit in session two, Holmes used a slow wind and hop retrieve to catch his fish, with the key to the presentation being to keep the lure vertical below the boat rather than fished away from the boat and worked with a more horizontal approach to the retrieve.

The approach saw Holmes upgrade 2-3 times during the second session and head into the final day with an almost in surmountable lead.

Not content to coast to the finish line Holmes fishing hard with his boater Steve Babbage on day two, with the pair rotating through different locations and lures in an attempt to catch fish. Catching only yellowbelly for the session Holmes returned to the scales empty handed, but walked away from the presentation as the Boondooma non-boater champion.

Attention for anglers now turns to the Toray BASS Pro Grand Final (September 20/21st) at Lake Wivenhoe in September, an event that will determine the GF champions for 2014 and also the BASS Pro Anglers of the Year for the year. To see the full list of Grand Final qualifiers visit www.abt.org.au. – ABT

Austackle Big Bass

Steve Kanowski secured the Austackle Big Bass at Boodooma with the event winner claiming the $500 cheque courtesy of the 2.01kg bass that he caught in the second session on an ayu coloured 12gram Nories In the Bait tail spinner.

Winning Ways

While Kanowski identified the Nories In the Bait tail spinner as the go-to fish catcher he modified the lure by downsized the rear willow blade to make it more finesse and ultimately more appealing to the bass.

Winning Tackle

Rod- Pflueger 6’10”, 1-3kg rod

Reel- Pflueger Supreme

Line- 4lb Fireline

Leader- 8lb flurocarbon

Lure- Nories In the Bait (12gram, ayu colour)


Boater Results

PlaceAnglerFishWeight (kg)Payout
1Stephen KANOWSKI3/64.08$2500 + $500
2David YOUNG3/63.89$1,500
3Simon BARKHUIZEN4/63.69$1,100
4Trevor STEAD5/63.34$900
5Kristoffer HICKSON4/63.13$700
6Matt JOHNSON3/62.92$600
7Barry REYNOLDS3/62.47$500
8Gary MCCABE2/62.09$450
9Steven OTTO3/62.07
10Mark LENNOX2/62.01

Non-Boater Results

PlaceAnglerFishWeight (kg)Payout
1Ray HOLMES3/64.3813 Fishing reel, 13 Fishing rod, OSP pack
2Terry ALLWOOD4/63.813 Fishing rod, Shimano reel, Toray pack
3Ben SCOTMAN4/62.58Spotters pack, Imakatsu pack
4Cody HAYES3/62.48Tonic pack, OSP pack
5Ben BIGGS3/62.41Damiki pack, OSP pack
6Liam FITZPATRICK2/62.12Toray Prize Pack
7Stephen MCLEAN2/61.94OSP pack
8Alan MCNAMARA3/61.54OSP pack
9Peter MORGAN2/61.41OSP pack
10Brett HYDE2/61.1OSP pack
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