Well, another week and no winner for the week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Come back next week for another try. For the answer, read below.
Takahiro Omori wasn’t the first native of Japan to win a B.A.S.S. event. That honor went to Norio Tanabe. Nor was Tak the most recent — Morizo Shimizu’s 2006 win came later than Omori’s last one. Nevertheless, Omori’s five wins from the front of the boat are by far the most of any of his countrymen.
The first of those five came in April of 1996, when he outlasted over 300 other pros to claim $35,000 in cash and merchandise as the winner of the Missouri Bassmaster Central Invitational. Omori’s closest follower was former Bassmaster Classic winner Guido Hibdon, who’d been an Ozarks-region force before making a name for himself on the national stage. Hibdon’s son Dion, who’d win a Classic of his own the following year, was also a Lake of the Ozarks expert, and he finished fourth. In between the father and son was third place finisher Mark Tucker, another top local stick. He’d yet to fish a Classic but ultimately participated in eight of them. He also won the 2011 Central Open on Lake Lewisville in Texas. Jim Bitter finished fifth.
To win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following three questions:
- What lure did Omori rely upon for the victory?
- Why was this tournament significant in Tucker’s career with B.A.S.S.?
- What misfortune befell Bitter and prevented him from finishing higher?
Here are the answers:
Omori fished a Yamamoto Hula Grub on 1/8 and 3/8 ounce jigheads to amass his winning catch – black/blue and green-pumpkin on cloudy days and watermelon on sunny days. While it is a well-known product today, at the time it was less common in the tackle boxes of those American anglers living east of the left coast.
“It’s my favorite lure and very popular in Japan,” Omori told Louie Stout of Bassmaster after the win. “When I caught a bass in practice that had a crawfish sticking out of its throat, I knew the Yamamoto grub was a good bait to use because it imitates a crawfish. I didn’t think many other anglers would use it.”
He remains sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits today.
The third-place finish came in the first B.A.S.S. event of Tucker’s career. He’s fished a total of 137 tournaments with B.A.S.S., finishing in the top ten on 17 occasions. He matched the 3rd place finish six years later in a Central Open on the Red River, but did not beat it until he finished 2nd in a 2003 Central Open on the Ouachita River.
Bitter, who is of course best known for mistake that cost him the 1989 Classic victory, would have finished 4th at the Lake of the Ozarks Invitational, but on the final day of competition he inadvertently ran a no-wake zone. “It wasn’t intentional,” he told Stout. “I was looking at my map when I went through there and didn’t see the buoy marking the idle zone. I’m just glad it didn’t cost me the tournament.” While it didn’t cost him first place, the two-pound bass that he caught that day would’ve provided enough weight to pass the younger Hibdon and finish fourth instead of fifth. The difference in prize money was $2,000.