MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — It takes a skilled angler to win two BASS tournaments in one year. Takahiro Omori put himself in that coveted category with a commanding 4 pound, 10 ounce win over Louisiana's Craig Dowling in the CITGO Bassmaster Central Open at Norfork Lake on Saturday winning more than $50,000 in cash and prizes including a new Triton boat with a Mercury outboard.
"This feels great to win two BASS tournaments in the same year," said the 35-year old Texan, who also won the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Tour stop at Lake Toho in January. "That is very tough to do, so I feel very good about that."
Omori spent all three days fishing the same creek, located just minutes away from the launch location. He concentrated on shallow pockets of water, 5 five feet in depth using a Lucky Craft BDS2 crankbait and a Zoom Baby Brush Hawg. Additionally, Omori was using 20 pound fluorocarbon Sunline coupled with a 7 foot Daiwa spinning rod.
The crankbait enticed the bigger bites, which were rare considering the tough fishing conditions. However, Omori landed a 3-8 bass with the crankbait on the final day which would have been good enough to win the tournament by itself.
Although Omori brought in a solid bag (7-10) on the final day, his closest competition wilted as Brad Hallman, second place after Day 2, failed to weigh in a fish. Hallman slipped all the way back to sixth place.
"The fishing has been real tough," Oklahoma's Hallman said. "I got pretty lucky my first day out here, but yesterday, I had trouble and I felt like my areas were drying up. I figured I better concentrate on new water today, but I just couldn't find that hot stretch."
Taking over second was Louisiana's Dowling. Despite falling short of winning his first BASS tournament, he was pleased with his second-place finish.
"It has been a great week," Hallman said, who threw Yamamoto hula-grubs and cut-tails all week. "I guess my luck finally ran out today, but I couldn't be happier."
Rounding out the top five on the boater side are Louisiana's Jeremy Guidry (21-15), Texan David Wharton (20-5) and Arkansas's Doug Garrett (18-15).
Garrett was the only Arkansas angler to finish in the top five on the boater side. He moved up from his 11th place position after Day 2 with a 7-pound, 2-ounce catch on the final day.
Anglers from the Natural State fared a bit better on the non-boater side as two finished in the top five. Winning a prize package that includes a Triton boat valued at $25,000 is Texan Dwight Dickerson with a three day total of 14 pounds, 8 ounces.
Finishing behind Dickerson are Texan Rusty Harvey (13-1), Arkansas's Bob Snyder (12-10), Arkansas's Jeary Wheeler (11-13) and Mississippi's Dennis Mcdaniel (11-3).
The last of the three Central Open tournaments will take place on the Red River in Natchitoches , La., Nov. 9-11, 2005.
The top 25 boaters and non-boaters in the CITGO Bassmaster Central Open point standings advance to the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship on the Alabama River in Prattville, Ala., Dec. 1-4, 2005. The top five finishers in the Open Championship will move on to the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic Feb. 24-26 on Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla. and compete for a $500,000 top prize.
Location and Field
Mountain Home, Ark.