Ranger pro Takahiro Omori wins first Bassmaster Elite event of 2018 season
FLIPPIN, Ark. (February 14, 2018) - Ranger Pro Takahiro Omori won the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Alabama's Lake Martin on February 11 with a four-day total of 59 pounds, 8 ounces. The longtime Ranger pro adds another victory for a total of seven B.A.S.S. wins and leads the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.
With an unproductive practice, Omori hung his hopes on one small location up the lake. He concentrated on a shallow-water spot behind a small island that had flowing current.
"This time of year, I like to fish shallow," said Omori. "Especially during the prespawn. 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 targeted his fish with squarebill crankbaits and had great success on the first three days. He finished the first day in second place with 18 pounds, 2 ounces, nearly two pounds behind leader Cliff Price. Day two proved the small location productive again with Omori weighing a bag of 14 pounds, 9 ounces, which gave him the lead going into day three.
Omori returned to his tiny spot on day three and boated 12 pounds, 13 ounces. Some anglers get a sense that a tournament is magically theirs for the taking. Omori knew it was his day when he hauled in a bass with two crankbaits in its mouth. One crankbait hung at the end of his line with the other being one he broke off the previous day.
"It was like magic," said Omori. "Maybe that's a sign that everything is going right."
After putting four keepers in the livewell on the final day, Omori felt he had fished out his magical spot and searched elsewhere for his final fish. At the end of the day, the angler weighed a 14-pound limit for an overall weight of 59 pounds, 8 ounces. Omori took home the $100,000 prize along with a great story to boot.
Five of the 12 anglers fishing the final day were Ranger pros and took four out of the top-five spots on the leaderboard. Rookie angler Roy Hawk finished second with 52 pounds, 8 ounces. Jared Linter weighed 50 pounds, 10 ounces for fourth place while Luke Clausen rounded out the top five with 50 pounds, 7 ounces.