Takahiro Omori Rises to the Lead at The Bassmaster Classic

Takahiro Omori Rises to the Lead at The Bassmaster Classic
Takahiro Omori Rises to the Lead at The Bassmaster Classic

GREENVILLE, SC - The Day 2 launch of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro was much more favorable than the conditions of the first day. Fishing in the changing conditions paid off for Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas who brought an impressive five -fish limit to the scales at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC for a two-day total weight of 31 pounds, 11 ounces. The Elite Series pro from Japan added today's bag that weighed 16 pounds, 11 ounces and claimed the lead going into Sunday’s final round with a two-day total of 31-11.

The 2004 Classic Champion holds a slight lead over Elite Series Pro Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., who has a total of 31-9. 2003 Classic winner Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J. has 31-0; 2014 Classic Champ Randy Howell of Springville, Ala. sits in fourth with 30-11; and in fifth place, hometown Hero Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C. has a total of 29-14. The closeness in weight will make for a very exciting day of fishing competition on Sunday.

Dean Rojas answers question at the Day 2 post weigh-in press conference.
Dean Rojas answers questions at the Day 2 post weigh-in press conference.

With the top five only separated by 2 lbs. between them, Omori can’t afford mistakes, especially with an angler like Rojas trailing him by just 2 ounces heading into the final day. Rojas, the Day 1 leader with 21-2 Friday, managed just 10-7 Saturday, but remained squarely in contention for his first Classic title. In 2004 Omori was in second place and Rojas in first and Omori ended up winning that event.

With a warmer and earlier start the anglers began the day Saturday excited that they may get in on the morning "herring bite" before the jig bite, which did in fact make a difference in the outcome of the day. Mike Iaconelli posted a video to social media before the start of day two, “if I can catch a few before I go deep with that jig I know that will be key." And that knowledge paid off with the Saturday limit of 16-9 that lifted him into third place.

"I’m fishing the backs of drains and pockets where the bluebacks are coming back out," said Iaconelli. "They’ve been back there all night. They come back out, and the bass ambush them. I’m not changing a thing."

Mike Iaconelli
Mike Iaconelli is all positive energy on his entrance to the Day 2 weigh-in. He currently sits in third place.

“I caught two in there on a jerkbait, a deep Shadow Rap,” Iaconelli said. “One was a 2-pounder and one was a 4-pounder. That was a great way to start. Because when I go out deep, my biggest issue is I’m getting very few bites.

“I’m literally hitting 50 or 60 places a day and I know I’m going to get maybe 10 bites. So if you can get out there and already have two, three, or four in your livewell, that’s big.”

Rain is forecast for Sunday, and Iaconelli said that could actually help his early morning pattern. Instead of moving deep at early he may be able to execute his pattern much later in the day.

The Top 25 anglers will launch at 7am Sunday from Green Pond Landing in Anderson, SC. The final day of the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro on Lake Hartwell is shaping up to be anyone’s victory with the world champion trophy and $300,000 first-place prize in reach of many of the third day qualifiers.

Below are the 25 anglers who qualified to fish the third and final day.

  1. Takahiro Omori
  2. Dean Rojas
  3. Michael Iaconelli
  4. Randy Howell
  5. Casey Ashley
  6. Brett Hite
  7. Coby Carden
  8. Paul Mueller
  9. Bobby Lane Jr.
  10. Skeet Reese
  11. David Kilgore
  12. Chris Lane
  13. Jacob Wheeler
  14. Brandon Lester
  15. Mike McClelland
  16. Jared Lintner
  17. Clifford Pirch
  18. Justin Lucas
  19. Jacob Powroznik
  20. Todd Faircloth
  21. Jason Christie
  22. Ott DeFoe
  23. James Niggemeyer
  24. Keith Combs
  25. Mark Davis

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