One Angler Disqualified, Arrested for Contest Fraud at CITGO Bassmaster Central Open on Red River

NATCHITOCHES, La. - The last day of the CITGO Bassmaster Central Open on the Red River is shaping up to be a shootout as two of BASS’ elite pros are vying for a $50,000 payday.

2006 CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas, and Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, are within nearly 2 pounds of each other after Day 2 of the tournament.

Omori, who won the Central Open event in October on Norfork Lake with a similar late surge, leads with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 12 ounces, while Klein – recovering from a cold, sunburn and fatigue – is right behind with 26-10. This would be Omori’s third BASS in 2005.

“Today was good, but I am capable of bigger bags,” said Klein, who weighed in a 15-pound stringer. “Tak’s a good angler and this will be a good shootout tomorrow.” Right behind the leaders is Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, with a total of 24-7.

In a highly unusual turn, angler Paul Tormanen of Lees Summit, Mo., was arrested and charged with contest fraud by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries following his weigh-in. Tormanen was subsequently disqualified from the tournament and – after admitting he violated state law – was banned from all future BASS tournaments for his unsportsmanlike conduct. Conduct in BASS tournaments that reflects unfavorably on sportsmanship or fair competition are grounds for disqualification.

“We appreciate the help of the angler who alerted us to this misconduct so that we could act swiftly,” said BASS tournament manager Jon Stewart. “This type of behavior will never be tolerated in any of our tournaments.”

Additionally, Day 1 leader Billy Graves of Montgomery, La., fell three spots to fourth place with a two-day total of 23-10. Craig Dowling of Many, La., also fell in the standings from second place to eighth. He has a total weight of 20-9.

Chad Brauer of Osage Beach, Miss. shot from 69th place all the way up to ninth. He brought in 13-8 on Friday for a two-day total of 20-7, enough to make today’s cut. “I’m feeling really good about the tournament now,” he said. “I just need to pop another big stringer for tomorrow and I think I’ll be set.”

Jason Bordelon of Louisiana is leading the non-boater side with a two-day total of 18-1.

On Day 3, only the top 50 boaters and non-boaters will return to fish. The top 25 boaters in the CITGO Bassmaster Central Open points standings also advance to the CITGO BAssmaster Central Open Championship, Dec. 1-4, on the Alabama River in Prattville, Ala. That tournament sends its top five boaters to the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 24-26, on Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla.

Joining anglers and fans at the weigh-in was Natchitoches Mayor Wayne McCullen. He congratulated the athletes on their performance and said he hopes their Red River experience will be memorable. “The river is growing by the day and it’s great that people see what a resource it is.”

Location and Field
CITGO Bassmaster Central Open
Red River
Natchitoches, La.
Nov. 10-12, 2005

Grand Ecore Recreation Area
160 Rufus Morgan Road
Natchitoches, La., 71458

Grand Ecore Recreation Area
160 Rufus Morgan Road
Natchitoches, La., 71458

Day 2 Purolator Big Bass
Boater: Takahiro Omori, 6-8, Emory, Texas
Non-Boater: John Hobson, 3-12, Grapeland, Texas

Local sponsors: Local sponsors include the City of Natchitoches.

Bassmaster Open Series sponsors: CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops and Cialis (tadalafil).

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation 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 bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates 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 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit