10 Things You May Not Know About T.O.

Inside BASS

Here are 10 things fishing fans might not know about 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion Takahiro Omori:

10. When he is at home between tournaments, T.O. likes being a couch potato. “I like to rest at home,” said the Japanese pro who resides in Emory, Texas, on the shores of Lake Fork. “I also like to spend time with my friends.”

9. When he first came to the United States, Omori traveled to tournaments in a small rental car. “I spent 40 days and nights in a rental car,” he recalled. “I only stayed in a motel for two days to save some money.”

8. He owns a full-sized swimming pool, but has never gone swimming in it. The $25,000 pool, which features a 1-inch stripe down the middle of it, is used exclusively for testing and tuning lures. It ranges in depth from 4 to 8 feet.

7. Although Omori’s reading consists almost entirely of fishing magazines, including Bassmaster Magazine, he is a fan of Formula One racing, as well as tennis, golf and baseball.

6. His best personality trait: “I am very honest. If I say it’s good, it’s good. If I say it’s junk, it’s junk.”

5. His worst trait: “Not having enough time to take care of and develop a relationship with a woman.” Because the 36-year-old lives, breathes and sleeps fishing, T.O. says he has no time for a relationship.

4. Omori has attended Rick Clunn’s Advanced Angling & Outdoor Awareness School, which is held on the four-time Bassmaster Classic champion’s Missouri farm. Attendees camp out and learn methods of reawakening their intuitive abilities and get in tune with nature.

3. In 2004, Omori took the unusual step of traveling to Alabama to practice for three days with Clunn in preparation for a Bassmaster Elite 50 tournament on the Alabama River. He turned down his idol’s invitation to fish during the practice period, saying he wanted to watch and learn from Clunn. “That’s one of the things I admire about Takahiro — he doesn’t let his ego get in the way of learning,” Clunn said. “In our sport, anglers are afraid to learn from other anglers, particularly well-known anglers. And I don’t understand that because even Tiger Woods has a coach. As good as he is he still feels he can learn from a coach. Fortunately for Takahiro, that’s not a problem for him. He’s not afraid to learn.”

2. Omori took English courses at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth and today speaks the language fluently.

1. Takahiro’s parents did not want him to come to the U.S. to pursue a career in fishing. His decision caused a rift between them. That was all forgotten when his parents traveled from Tokyo to attend the 2001 Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta in New Orleans, La. “They came here for the Classic and had a great time,” he said. “They got to see me in the Classic.” Sadly, his father passed away soon after returning to Japan and never got to see Omori’s career-defining Classic victory on Lake Wylie.

WIFE’S INTERCEPTION. In the recent CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series Wildcard event, Randy Yarnall struggled to catch just two bass weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces en route to a dismal 45th-place finish. The 50-year-old pro’s practice period proved he was in the right spots to catch big fish as his wife, Deborah, caught a more than eight-pound lunker from the back of his boat during practice.

“It would have weighed 10 pounds if it was spring. It was 20 to 22 inches long,” Yarnall said. “I saw three giants in this canal and I was running the trolling motor to get us out of there, but she still was fishing.”

WRAP RAP. Elite pro Dave Smith’s wrapped boat promotes a cause that is dear to him — MTM Recognition— a company for which Smith serves as CEO. The wrap is highlighted by a giant championship ring, which represents the custom crated jewelry and recognition awards the company produces. The Oklahoma company also creates the beautiful, distinctive trophies that are awarded to Elite Series winners.

DID YOU KNOW? The 2007 BASS Daily Planner is packed with more than 150 fishing tips and techniques. For more information, go to http://www.Bassmaster.com or call 1-877-BASS-USA.

IF I HADN’T BECOME A BASS PRO… Elite Series pro Paul Hirosky would be working as a pharmacist.

THEY SAID IT. “Growing up, a lot of people said, 'That's a cocky son of a gun right there, but I never tried to be cocky, and I never wanted anyone to think I was cocky. I was just that confident. Looking back on it now, though, I can see how people would have thought that. But that's just how I felt.” Three-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam recalled his early days in the sport to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

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BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages and sanctions bass fishing tournaments for every skill level culminating with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208. To join BASS, call 1-800-BASS-USA or visit http://www.Bassmaster.com/.