Fishing News

Yamaha Pro Takahiro Omori Wins First 2018 Bassmaster® Elite Tournament on Lake Martin

Posted 2/12/2018

Alexander City, Ala. – Feb. 12, 2018 – Yamaha Pro Takahiro Omori took home the first-place trophy after the first Bassmaster® Elite tournament of 2018 on Sunday, Feb. 11.  The veteran pro finished the tournament with 14 pounds on the final day of competition to capture the win on Lake Martin with a four-day total of 59 pounds 8 ounces.
The win marks Omori’s seventh career victory with B.A.S.S.® and his second B.A.S.S.® win in three years in the state of Alabama, after a triumph on Wheeler Lake in 2016.
“This time of year, I like to fish shallow — especially during the prespawn,” said Omori, who surpassed $2 million in B.A.S.S. ® career earnings with the $100,000 win. “Usually when we schedule a tournament for early February, it’s in Florida and the fish have already spawned. But schedule-wise, coming to this lake this time of year is very good for me.”
Omori didn’t exactly have a wealth of options for putting together good limits during the four-day event. During a mostly subpar practice, he identified one small area up the lake on Tuesday where current was flowing behind a small island.
“I caught two keepers and maybe one non-keeper in back-to-back casts there in practice,” Omori said. “I never had anything big, so I didn’t really know what I had there.
“I was taking a chance because if I had gone up that far and then not caught anything, I would have been in trouble.”
The water on the outside of the island was so shallow that Omori had to trim up his outboard and churn mud off the bottom just to reach the right spot.
“I think not many people go up that far,” he said. “So, the fish are less pressured. There was also some current coming through there, which really helped.”
Omori estimates he caught 50 keepers off the spot during the course of the tournament. But on Sunday, he only managed four and was forced to go looking elsewhere to fill out his limit.
Fortunately, one of his four fish from the area Sunday weighed over 4 pounds — his second biggest bass of the week — and his cushion over the rest of the field was enough to lift him to victory, even without a stellar final day.
In addition to the $100,000 he won for his first place finish, Omori was also awarded $1,000 for the leading the Toyota® Bassmaster® Angler of the Year points race at the end of the event.
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