August 3, 2004 - Vol. 5 No. 21
CONGRATULATIONS TAKAHIRO AND TEAM YAMAMOTO
They say to fish in the Classic makes a dramatic, lasting
impact on one's life. In 2004, seven Yamamoto members
enjoyed this experience many of us dream of, to fish the
Classic. Congratulations to Ben Matsubu (1st Classic),
Bernie Schultz (7th Classic), Brett Hite (2nd Classic), Lee
Bailey Jr (2nd Classic), Art Ferguson III (4th Classic), and
John Murray (3rd Classic in row). John made the final cut
and finished tenth. Congratulations, Ben, Bernie, Brett,
Lee, Art and John. We are all proud of you.
Yet most of all, congratulations to Takahiro Omori who won it!
Tak's career story is similar to that of many American pros
who struggle to pursue their dream: "I was just a teenager
when I met Gary Yamamoto in Japan. From that moment, I knew
what I wanted... to be a bass fisherman in the United
States. Eight years later, at age 21, I had saved enough to
make it to America to pursue my dream."
"My first BASS tournament on Sam Rayburn in March 1992, I
was low on money, lonely, and sleeping in my beat-up station
wagon. I spoke little English. I only knew one person who
lived in the United States; thankfully, I found him. Gary
Yamamoto shared his room, let me pre-fish with him, and gave
me the encouragement I needed. From that moment on, I have
been living my personal dream in the United States. Winning
the Classic is the best day of my life."
On day one of the Classic, Tak landed what would be the
heaviest bag (16-02) to be weighed at the 2004 Classic,
putting Tak into first on day one. But day two would turn
out to be an emotional rollercoaster ride for Takahiro. On
day 2 he broke off not one but two five pound bass,
finishing with only a smaller limit (9-08) for day two. Dean
Rojas, fishing the same water as Tak pulled into first
place, ten ounces ahead of Tak. With the stigma of losing
two good fish hanging over his head, Tak wondered if he had
lost any chance to win the Classic. On day three, the two
big bass broken off the day before were haunting him. "I was
thinking no one can overcome misfortune like that, not in
the Classic. With only 45 minutes left to go, I wasn't in
contention, but I didn't give up," says Takahiro. At that
moment, Tak made a move that would win him the Classic,
boating three good bass on crankbaits with only minutes
This was Tak's third Classic appearance and his 142nd BASS
tournament since March 1992. Takahiro has finished in the
BASS money 57 times with four wins (including the Classic),
four seconds and twenty top tens. Tak's BASS career winnings
Tak has fished 56 FLW tournaments including 4 FLW
Championships since 1995 with one win and four top ten
finishes. Tak's career winnings on FLW are $289,293, taking
Tak close to the million dollar ($973,918) mark in combined
BASS and FLW winnings.
The new BASS world champion, Takahiro, must now block out
the whirlwind and world-acclaim of winning BASS in order to
focus on Lake Logan Martin, Birmingham, Alabama for the FLW
world championship on August 11-14.
Joining Takahiro competing in the FLW Championship are
fellow Yamamoto pros Lee Bailey, Jr, and Tom Mann, Jr.
Go Tak! Go Lee! Go Tom! Go Team Yamamoto! Bring the FLW
world championship home!
BASSMASTER CLASSIC SLIDESHOW
Pictures from this year's Classic (taken by Team Yamamoto's
Ron Colby) are on the Yamamoto website (www.baits.com). Just
click on the "Photo Gallery" button, look for "2004 BASS
Classic" slideshow, and enjoy.
ROLAND MARTIN RECEIVES BASS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Team Yamamoto's Roland Martin received the BASS Outstanding
Achievement Award at this year's Classic.
I'll tell you what," Martin said, pointing to the cheering
crowd, "I owe it to you and you and you."
The Florida pro has been making bass history for over 35
years, and continues to wow fans and fellow pros to this day.
"I have never met a man that was a credit to the BASS shield
more than Roland Martin," said Ray Scott. "He was a life
member of BASS right out of the box. Roland is very
dedicated to the sport and to BASS."
TAKAHIRO OMORI PREPARED TO UNIFY BASS FISHING WORLD TITLES
Takahiro Omori is prepared to become the first angler to win
the Bassmaster Classic and FLW Tour Championship in the same
year, an accomplishment in sports that is akin to unifying
the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles or winning the Triple
Crown. Some say the odds are against Omori, but then again,
many things (hopefully including word titles for Tak) come
easier after the first one.
For full story, visit:
TAKAHIRO, THE EARLY YEARS
For more about Takahiro, his early years and how he climbed
to the top of the bass fishing world, please enjoy the July,
2001 story written by Rob Newell:
THAT'S OMORI ~ By Rob Newell