Megabass USA, the North American arm of Japan's foremost innovator of specialized fishing tackle, announced the composition of Megabass' 2011 pro staff. The highly accomplished team includes Aaron Martens, who will fish the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series, the PAA Series and the FLW Opens; Luke Clausen, who will compete on the FLW Tour as well as in the FLW Opens and the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens; and Randy Blaukat and Shinichi Fukae, who will fish the FLW Tour, the FLW Opens, and the PAA Series.
The four tour-level pros will be actively involved in product development, working closely with Megabass engineers to develop products tailored to the needs of anglers in the United States. "Since tournament lakes in the U.S. are often larger than those in Japan, the input of our U.S. staff is incredibly important in the design process," said Megabass CEO Yuki Ito.
"By testing our products both in the larger, more diverse waters of the U.S. tournament trail and in high-pressure situations throughout Japan, we are able to hone our designs and develop higher-performing tackle. We selected the members of the U.S. pro staff not only because of their incredible talent, but also because they are first and foremost Megabass enthusiasts and truly embody the integrity, drive and warrior spirit that is at the core of our company."
Martens, the 2004 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, has won five B.A.S.S. events and an FLW Tour tournament. Between the two national tours he has accumulated over $2 million in combined winnings, establishing himself as one of the best anglers ever to come out of the western United States.
Blaukat took the year off from professional fishing in 2010 to dedicate himself to building the Megabass brand in the US. He'll return to the FLW Tour in 2011. Blaukat has earned over $1.35 million in combined BASS and FLW winnings in a storied career which has seen him qualify for eight Bassmaster Classics and nine FLW Tour Championships.
Clausen is one of only a handful of anglers to win both the FLW Championship (2004) and the Bassmaster Classic (2006). Making that achievement even more impressive, he took home both trophies before his 30th birthday. The three-time Classic qualifier has fished in six FLW Championships and is rapidly approaching the $2 million mark in career winnings.
Fukae, a native of Japan who now calls Texas home, has over $1 million in total U.S. winnings and was the FLW Tour Angler of the Year in his rookie season of 2004. He has two FLW Tour wins and most recently won the 2010 FLW Eastern Series tournament on Lake Champlain.
"I'm excited to be working with such a dedicated group of top-tier anglers," said Yuskei Murayama, president of Megabass USA. "Although these guys are already extremely accomplished, their passion for the sport fuels an unparalleled drive to improve as anglers every single day. As we push to adapt more of our line to the U.S. market and increase domestic awareness, their expertise will be critical in both product development and efforts to provide a higher level of information for anglers in the U.S."
Additional news and exciting developments from Megabass USA will be forthcoming as 2011 progresses.