THIS CLASSIC WINNER HAD A PLAN
Takahiro Omori was born in Tokyo, but when he was very young, his family moved to the countryside, where his father took him saltwater fishing. It was not until he was 9 that he caught his first bass. Young Tak knew bass originally came from the U.S., along with the techniques and lures to catch them, all very different from the type of fishing he did with his father. Tak fished almost every weekend at a small pond near his house, and although he played many different sports, his passion was always fishing. He entered his first local bass tournament while in high school, and when he was 16, Gary Yamamoto came to Japan to promote his lure company and met with Takahiro, who learned quickly from Gary that tournament fishing was totally different from fun fishing.
Around this same time, Takahiro was introduced to the first Japanese bass fishing magazine called BASSER. He started reading every issue, including coverage of the 1986 Bassmaster Classic. The amount of money and prestige earned by the Classic champ blew his mind, and he was impressed by the boats, the sponsors and jerseys, and the idea of getting paid to go fishing. He competed in tournaments throughout high school and by the time he graduated, Tak knew he wanted to compete in bass fishing for a living. He was not interested in college, which did not make his father very happy. As a result, he did not get any financial help to start his career. He moved out of his parents’ house and lived in a tent on a small island so he could fish every day. He worked odd jobs (hotel bell boy, dishwasher. waiter, construction worker) to support his fishing.
Tak recalls that around that time, Daiwa Corporation invited U.S. pros Rick Clunn and Denny Brauer- to Japan. He followed their tour, studied their methods very closely, and concluded that he needed to go to the U.S. and compete in order to become a real professional bass tournament angler. In 1992, with life savings of $2,000, one tackle box, a few rods and some clothes, Takahiro Omori made his first trip to the U.S. to compete in the Texas B.A.S.S. Invitational. He was 21, spoke no English and didn’t know anyone. His friends called him crazy, but that motivated him more. He started as a co-angler and learned the ropes from the bottom up. Tak struggled without sponsors and he slept inside an old truck most nights. With all the challenges he faced, he knew his only option was to win a tournament. Going back to Japan as a loser was not an option. So he created a 15-year career plan (1991-2005). As the plan unfolded, incredible things began happening. He thought it would take 10 years to make the Classic. As it turned out, it was exactly in 2001 that he qualified for his first Bassmaster Classic.
During those ten years, Tak developed the mental toughness to be able to compete at the highest level. Of course his plan included winning the Classic, something he achieved in 2004 when he caught his biggest fish in the last five minutes of the final day. He credits his goal-oriented mindset and his tournament experiences with making this happen. For Tak, the key to that
victory was his belief in himself. Not surprisingly, his 15-year plan included winning the A.O.Y. by 2005, but he has yet to accomplish that, which still drives his motivation.
Takahiro has come a long way since reading about fishing in the USA in a Japanese fishing magazine. His career earnings are approaching the rare air of $3 Million. He qualified for 12 Classics and won that premier fishing event in 2004 on Lake Wylie along the SC/NC border. He has qualified for two MLF Redcrest Cup events, including leading portions of the 2021 event on Lake Eufaula. He has earned 60 Top 10 wins, 10 of which were wins. Quite a career built on his family’s disappointment and a 15 year plan.