By BassFan Staff

Takahiro Omori hasn't visited Alabama's Lake Martin often since emigrating to the U.S. from his native Japan, but the place has treated him well when he's shown up.

Omori established a lead of nearly 4 pounds at the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series opener by catching a 14-09 stringer on day 2 that pushed his total to 32-11 at the midway point. The 2004 Classic champion is seeking his second win on the circuit in 3 seasons after previously suffering through an 11-year victory drought.

Roy Hawk, a first-year Elite competitor who's long excelled on the deep, clear reservoirs of the West, boxed a day-best 17-01 to climb 26 places to 2nd with 28-12. Luke Clausen, another former Classic winner, leapt from 16th to 3rd with 28-00 after catching 15-04.

Jesse Wiggins retained his No. 4 position as an 11-11 haul gave him a 27-00 total. Jared Lintner completed the top 5 with 26-13 (12-14 on day 2).

Here's how the top 12 stacks up at the midway point, with red numbers in parentheses indicating deficit margins from the leader:

1. Takahiro Omori: 32-11
2. Roy Hawk: 28-12 (3-15)
3. Luke Clausen: 28-00 (4-11)
4. Jesse Wiggins: 27-00 (5-11)
5. Jared Lintner 26-13 (5-14)
6. Adrian Avena: 26-05 (6-06)
7. Andy Montgomery: 26-05 (6-06)
8. Dean Rojas: 25-09 (7-02)
9. Justin Lucas: 25-04 (7-07)
10. Skylar Hamilton: 25-01 (7-10)
11. Mark Menendez: 24-10 (8-01)
12. Alton Jones Jr.: 24-07 (8-04)

It was a tough day for opening-round leader Cliff Prince, who caught just three fish for 4-05 after weighing a tournament-best 19-13 on day 1 and dropped to 14th place. Skeet Reese, David Walker and Cliff Crochet all weighed miniscule limits to fall out of the top 12 and each narrowly made the cut to the top 51.

Adrian Avena, whose 16-05 sack was exceeded only by Hawk's bounty, gained 56 places. Andy Montgomery was also a prime mover, catapulting from 26th to 7th with a 14-09 stringer.

It took 20-12 to make the money cut and the next 16 anglers in the standings were within a pound of that mark. Edwin Evers (61st), Jordan Lee (68th), Brandon Palaniuk (72nd), Kevin VanDam (76th) and Jacob Wheeler (95th) were among those who ended up on the wrong side of it.



B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Omori did most of his best work on day 2 before the sun got high in the sky.

The day-3 weather forecast for the Alexander City, Ala. area calls for a 99-percent chance of rain. The prospect of gloomy skies makes some of the competitors who are pursuing largemouths cautiously optimistic, but worries some spotted bass-chasers who fear that their fish won't be as predictably positioned.

The field will be trimmed to 12 competitors at the conclusion of the day-3 weigh-in, with the winner determined Sunday based on cumulative weight.

Omori Loaded Up Quickly

> Day 2 5, 14-09 (10, 32-11)

Omori did most of his damage during the day's first hour. He then endured a 5-hour stretch without a bite before making one final cull in the afternoon.

"It was kind of similar to yesterday, but I got a lot less bites today," he said. "I wish I knew why that was."

He arrived at his best area at 6:50 a.m. and had a limit in his livewell 20 minutes later. He pulled out later in the morning in an attempt to conserve fish for the weekend and possibly find another productive locale, but he didn't find anything with potential.

He weighed four largemouths and one spot and a 3-pounder was his biggest specimen. He thinks he battled that fish twice losing it the first time, and then catching it about 25 minutes later.

B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Roy Hawk said he's not locked into one bait or a specific cover type.

Despite his solid advantage, he's not the least bit overconfident.

"We're only halfway to the end of the tournament," he said. "The weather's going to change tomorrow and I don't know what that will do. I'll have to wait to find out."

2nd: Hawk Staying Loose

> Day 2: 5, 17-01 (10, 28-12)

Hawk said he hasn't ventured any great distance from the Wind Creek take-off ramp on either day.

"I'm kind of just grinding around," he said. "I'm not traveling very far in general. Today was like my fifth straight practice day I'm finding new stuff and experimenting with different things.

"I'm really just pre-fishing every day and it's working so far, I guess."

He went through about 15 keepers and his bag was topped by a 5-pounder. He also had a 3-pound spot in his bag.

In light of the weather forecast, he's not sure what day 3 will bring.

"It'd be hard to help from what I had today; I just hope it doesn't hurt me. One day we had a big thunderstorm in practice and it made it tough, so I don't know what to think."

3rd: Clausen is Spot-Focused

> Day 2: 5, 15-04 (10, 28-00)

After pursuing largemouths for part of opening day, Clausen concentrated exclusively on spotted bass for day 2.

"I caught more fish and I ended up with more weight, and I got dialed in a little better," he said. "A few other guys are cycling through the same stuff and I'm not sure where I'm going to catch them I didn't catch any today off places that I weighed fish from yesterday.

"I don't mind fishing behind people because it seems like such a timing deal. Occasionally a school will move up on something to feed, but the rest of the time you're hoping to pick off a single."

B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Luke Clausen climbed 13 places to 3rd on day 2.

He caught about 25 keepers, the biggest of which weighed 3-03. They all came from 25 to 50 feet of water.

"It took me until after 10 o'clock to catch my first five the sun helps position those spots so much. If we don't have sun tomorrow I think I can catch some fish, but I'm not sure I can catch a big bag of them."

4th: Quick Flurry Propelled Wiggins

> Day 2: 5, 11-11 (10, 27-00)

Wiggins had a lackluster morning, but his day got a lot better at about 12:30, when he caught a 4-pounder and a 2 1/2 within a span of just a few minutes. Nonetheless, his weight was off by more than 3 1/2 pounds from day 1.

"I still got some big bites, but I didn't catch those 2 1/2-pound spots," he said. "I weighed three itty-bitty babies and that's what hurt me. I need to figure out how to fill my limit with some bigger fish.

"I had three fish forever, and then it was one here and one there for a couple hours. I finally went up cranking and caught those big ones."

He won't have an issue with some rain on day 3.

"I'm not getting many bites, so I hope something changes. I don't think it'll hurt my deal any."

14th: Prince Gambled and Lost

> Day 2: 3, 4-05 (8, 24-02)

Prince swapped ends of the lake after his massive day-1 haul and the move didn't pay off.

"I could've stayed (in the northern portion) and caught 7 pounds for sure, but that wouldn't have felt like I was fishing to win," he said. "I wanted 10-plus, so I thought I had to go down where I went.

"I did have the bites to do that, but I didn't capitalize on them. I screwed up a couple and it cost me big. When it's all said and done, I'll probably live to regret today."

He'll try to turn his fortunes back around on day 3.

"They've been biting pretty good first thing in the morning and then it gets tough, but tomorrow might be a different deal if it's raining. I'll rig up a few different things that I think will work."

Notable

> Day 2 stats 110 anglers, 102 limits (2 more than day 1), 5 fours, 1 three, 1 two, 2 ones.

Weather Forecast

> Sat., Feb. 10 Rain - 68/61
- Wind: From the SSE at 8 mph

> Sun., Feb. 11 Thunderstorms - 68/54
- Wind: From the SSW at 8 mph

Day 2 Standings

1. Takahiro Omori -- Emory, TX -- 10, 32-11 -- 110
Day 1: 5, 18-02 -- Day 2: 5, 14-09

2. Roy Hawk -- Lake Havasu City, AZ -- 10, 28-12 -- 109
Day 1: 5, 11-11 -- Day 2: 5, 17-01

3. Luke Clausen -- Otis Orchards, WA -- 10, 28-00 -- 108
Day 1: 5, 12-12 -- Day 2: 5, 15-04

4. Jesse Wiggins -- Cullman, AL -- 10, 27-00 -- 107
Day 1: 5, 15-05 -- Day 2: 5, 11-11

5. Jared Lintner -- Arroyo Grande, CA -- 10, 26-13 -- 106
Day 1: 5, 13-15 -- Day 2: 5, 12-14

6. Adrian Avena -- Vineland, NJ -- 10, 26-05 -- 105
Day 1: 5, 10-00 -- Day 2: 5, 16-05

7. Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, SC -- 10, 26-05 -- 104
Day 1: 5, 11-12 -- Day 2: 5, 14-09

8. Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, AZ -- 10, 25-09 -- 103
Day 1: 5, 13-10 -- Day 2: 5, 11-15

9. Justin Lucas -- Guntersville, AL -- 10, 25-04 -- 102
Day 1: 5, 13-09 -- Day 2: 5, 11-11

10. Skylar Hamilton -- Dandridge, TN -- 10, 25-01 -- 101
Day 1: 5, 14-09 -- Day 2: 5, 10-08

11. Mark Menendez -- Paducah, KY -- 10, 24-10 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 17-09 -- Day 2: 5, 07-01

12. Alton Jones Jr. -- Waco, TX -- 10, 24-07 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 12-01 -- Day 2: 5, 12-06

13. James Elam -- Tulsa, OK -- 10, 24-04 -- 98
Day 1: 5, 12-06 -- Day 2: 5, 11-14

14. Cliff Prince -- Palatka, FL -- 8, 24-02 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 19-13 -- Day 2: 3, 04-05

15. Jonathon VanDam -- Gobles, MI -- 10, 24-02 -- 96
Day 1: 5, 13-08 -- Day 2: 5, 10-10

16. Michael Iaconelli -- Pitts Grove, NJ -- 10, 24-02 -- 95
Day 1: 5, 11-00 -- Day 2: 5, 13-02

17. Brett Hite -- Phoenix, AZ -- 10, 23-12 -- 94
Day 1: 5, 10-12 -- Day 2: 5, 13-00

18. Randy Howell -- Guntersville, AL -- 10, 23-11 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 10-06 -- Day 2: 5, 13-05

19. Ott DeFoe -- Blaine, TN -- 10, 23-10 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 09-10 -- Day 2: 5, 14-00

20. Dustin Connell -- Clanton, AL -- 10, 23-09 -- 91
Day 1: 5, 10-15 -- Day 2: 5, 12-10

21. Russ Lane -- Prattville, AL -- 10, 23-07 -- 90
Day 1: 5, 14-08 -- Day 2: 5, 08-15

22. Mark Daniels Jr. -- Tuskegee, AL -- 10, 23-07 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 12-08 -- Day 2: 5, 10-15

23. Brent Chapman -- Lake Quivira, KS -- 10, 23-04 -- 88
Day 1: 5, 12-15 -- Day 2: 5, 10-05

24. Robbie Latuso -- Gonzales, LA -- 10, 23-03 -- 87
Day 1: 5, 11-03 -- Day 2: 5, 12-00

25. Wesley Strader -- Spring City, TN -- 10, 23-02 -- 86
Day 1: 5, 10-12 -- Day 2: 5, 12-06

26. Jason Williamson -- Wagener, SC -- 10, 22-15 -- 85
Day 1: 5, 10-10 -- Day 2: 5, 12-05

27. Bradley Roy -- Lancaster, KY -- 10, 22-14 -- 84
Day 1: 5, 10-04 -- Day 2: 5, 12-10

28. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, LA -- 10, 22-14 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 10-07 -- Day 2: 5, 12-07

29. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, TX -- 10, 22-13 -- 82
Day 1: 5, 10-05 -- Day 2: 5, 12-08

30. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 10, 22-12 -- 81
Day 1: 5, 11-06 -- Day 2: 5, 11-06

31. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, AL -- 10, 22-11 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 11-04 -- Day 2: 5, 11-07

32. Jason Christie -- Park Hill, OK -- 10, 22-10 -- 79
Day 1: 5, 11-03 -- Day 2: 5, 11-07

32. Matt Lee -- Guntersville, AL -- 10, 22-10 -- 79
Day 1: 5, 11-03 -- Day 2: 5, 11-07

34. Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, FL -- 10, 22-08 -- 77
Day 1: 5, 13-06 -- Day 2: 5, 09-02

35. Micah Frazier -- Newnan, GA -- 10, 22-07 -- 76
Day 1: 5, 12-03 -- Day 2: 5, 10-04

36. Shin Fukae -- Palestine, TX -- 10, 22-06 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 10-06 -- Day 2: 5, 12-00

37. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 10, 22-05 -- 74
Day 1: 5, 11-12 -- Day 2: 5, 10-09

38. Ray Hanselman Jr -- Del Rio, TX -- 10, 22-03 -- 73
Day 1: 5, 12-07 -- Day 2: 5, 09-12

39. Chris Lane -- Guntersville, AL -- 10, 22-01 -- 72
Day 1: 5, 09-14 -- Day 2: 5, 12-03

40. Josh Bertrand -- San Tan Valley, AZ -- 10, 22-00 -- 71
Day 1: 5, 08-12 -- Day 2: 5, 13-04

41. David Mullins -- Mt Carmel, TN -- 10, 22-00 -- 70
Day 1: 5, 10-11 -- Day 2: 5, 11-05

42. Boyd Duckett -- Guntersville, AL -- 10, 21-15 -- 69
Day 1: 5, 09-13 -- Day 2: 5, 12-02

43. Cliff Pace -- Petal, MS -- 10, 21-12 -- 68
Day 1: 5, 10-04 -- Day 2: 5, 11-08

44. Chad Pipkens -- Lansing, MI -- 10, 21-11 -- 67
Day 1: 5, 09-03 -- Day 2: 5, 12-08

45. Skeet Reese -- Auburn, CA -- 10, 21-10 -- 66
Day 1: 5, 14-13 -- Day 2: 5, 06-13

46. David Walker -- Sevierville, TN -- 10, 21-10 -- 65
Day 1: 5, 14-05 -- Day 2: 5, 07-05

47. Paul Mueller -- Naugatuck, CT -- 10, 21-10 -- 64
Day 1: 5, 11-13 -- Day 2: 5, 09-13

48. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 10, 21-10 -- 63
Day 1: 5, 11-01 -- Day 2: 5, 10-09

49. Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 10, 21-07 -- 62
Day 1: 5, 09-01 -- Day 2: 5, 12-06

50. Brent Ehrler -- Redlands, CA -- 10, 21-04 -- 61
Day 1: 5, 10-12 -- Day 2: 5, 10-08

51. Cliff Crochet -- Pierre Part, LA -- 10, 20-12 -- 60
Day 1: 5, 14-01 -- Day 2: 5, 06-11

The following anglers did not make the cut and will not fish on day 3.

52. Brock Mosley -- Collinsville, MS -- 10, 20-11 -- 59
Day 1: 5, 11-08 -- Day 2: 5, 09-03

53. Jamie Hartman -- Newport, NY -- 10, 20-11 -- 58
Day 1: 5, 10-15 -- Day 2: 5, 09-12

54. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, AL -- 10, 20-10 -- 57
Day 1: 5, 10-08 -- Day 2: 5, 10-02

55. Chris Groh -- Spring Grove, IL -- 10, 20-09 -- 56
Day 1: 5, 12-08 -- Day 2: 5, 08-01

56. Mike McClelland -- Bentonville, AR -- 10, 20-09 -- 55
Day 1: 5, 11-13 -- Day 2: 5, 08-12

57. Hank Cherry Jr -- Lincolnton, NC -- 10, 20-08 -- 54
Day 1: 5, 11-09 -- Day 2: 5, 08-15

58. Gerald Spohrer -- Gonzales, LA -- 10, 20-08 -- 53
Day 1: 5, 10-09 -- Day 2: 5, 09-15

59. Fletcher Shryock -- Dennison, OH -- 10, 20-07 -- 52
Day 1: 5, 09-07 -- Day 2: 5, 11-00

60. Jacob Powroznik -- North Prince George, VA -- 9, 20-06 -- 51
Day 1: 4, 05-15 -- Day 2: 5, 14-07

61. Edwin Evers -- Talala, OK -- 10, 20-05 -- 50
Day 1: 5, 11-14 -- Day 2: 5, 08-07

62. Brandon Coulter -- Knoxville, TN -- 10, 20-04 -- 49
Day 1: 5, 10-12 -- Day 2: 5, 09-08

63. Fred Roumbanis -- Russellville, AR -- 10, 20-04 -- 48
Day 1: 5, 10-08 -- Day 2: 5, 09-12

64. Chris Zaldain -- Laughlin, NV -- 10, 20-03 -- 47
Day 1: 5, 10-03 -- Day 2: 5, 10-00

65. John Crews Jr -- Salem, VA -- 10, 20-00 -- 46
Day 1: 5, 09-10 -- Day 2: 5, 10-06

66. Bobby Lane Jr. -- Lakeland, FL -- 9, 19-14 -- 45
Day 1: 4, 05-12 -- Day 2: 5, 14-02

67. Greg Vinson -- Wetumpka, AL -- 10, 19-13 -- 44
Day 1: 5, 09-06 -- Day 2: 5, 10-07

68. Jordan Lee -- Grant, AL -- 10, 19-11 -- 43
Day 1: 5, 08-09 -- Day 2: 5, 11-02

69. Matt Herren -- Ashville, AL -- 10, 19-08 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 08-11 -- Day 2: 5, 10-13

70. Gerald Swindle -- Guntersville, AL -- 10, 19-07 -- 41
Day 1: 5, 11-06 -- Day 2: 5, 08-01

71. Hunter Shryock -- Newcomerstown, OH -- 10, 19-05 -- 40
Day 1: 5, 08-01 -- Day 2: 5, 11-04

72. Brandon Palaniuk -- Hayden, ID -- 10, 19-05 -- 39
Day 1: 5, 08-05 -- Day 2: 5, 11-00

73. Randy Sullivan -- Breckenridge, TX -- 10, 19-05 -- 38
Day 1: 5, 09-07 -- Day 2: 5, 09-14

74. Jake Whitaker -- Fairview, NC -- 10, 19-00 -- 37
Day 1: 5, 07-04 -- Day 2: 5, 11-12

75. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, AR -- 10, 19-00 -- 36
Day 1: 5, 11-01 -- Day 2: 5, 07-15

76. Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 10, 19-00 -- 35
Day 1: 5, 10-00 -- Day 2: 5, 09-00

77. Tim Horton -- Muscle Shoals, AL -- 9, 18-14 -- 34
Day 1: 5, 09-15 -- Day 2: 4, 08-15

78. Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, OK -- 10, 18-11 -- 33
Day 1: 5, 10-00 -- Day 2: 5, 08-11

79. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 10, 18-11 -- 32
Day 1: 5, 09-12 -- Day 2: 5, 08-15

80. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, AR -- 10, 18-09 -- 31
Day 1: 5, 09-00 -- Day 2: 5, 09-09

81. Gary Klein -- Mingus, TX -- 10, 18-08 -- 30
Day 1: 5, 09-08 -- Day 2: 5, 09-00

82. Darrell Ocamica -- New Plymouth, ID -- 10, 18-07 -- 29
Day 1: 5, 09-14 -- Day 2: 5, 08-09

83. Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, FL -- 10, 18-01 -- 28
Day 1: 5, 07-06 -- Day 2: 5, 10-11

84. Dave Lefebre -- Erie, PA -- 10, 18-00 -- 27
Day 1: 5, 09-07 -- Day 2: 5, 08-09

85. Caleb Sumrall -- New Iberia, LA -- 8, 17-14 -- 26
Day 1: 4, 10-04 -- Day 2: 4, 07-10

86. Rick Morris -- Lake Gaston, VA -- 10, 17-13 -- 25
Day 1: 5, 10-12 -- Day 2: 5, 07-01

87. Morizo Shimizu -- Suita, Osaka JAPAN -- 10, 17-13 -- 24
Day 1: 5, 09-03 -- Day 2: 5, 08-10

88. Paul Elias -- Laurel, MS -- 10, 17-11 -- 23
Day 1: 5, 07-09 -- Day 2: 5, 10-02

89. Brandon Card -- Knoxville, TN -- 10, 17-11 -- 22
Day 1: 5, 07-14 -- Day 2: 5, 09-13

90. Shaw Grigsby Jr. -- Gainesville, FL -- 10, 17-11 -- 21
Day 1: 5, 07-15 -- Day 2: 5, 09-12

91. Seth Feider -- Bloomington, MN -- 10, 17-08 -- 20
Day 1: 5, 09-15 -- Day 2: 5, 07-09

92. Alton Jones -- Lorena, TX -- 10, 17-08 -- 19
Day 1: 5, 09-03 -- Day 2: 5, 08-05

93. Stetson Blaylock -- Benton, AR -- 9, 17-02 -- 18
Day 1: 4, 07-11 -- Day 2: 5, 09-07

94. Keith Poche -- Pike Road, AL -- 10, 17-01 -- 17
Day 1: 5, 10-02 -- Day 2: 5, 06-15

95. Jacob Wheeler -- Harrison, TN -- 10, 17-00 -- 16
Day 1: 5, 07-11 -- Day 2: 5, 09-05

96. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 10, 16-09 -- 15
Day 1: 5, 10-01 -- Day 2: 5, 06-08

97. John Murray -- Spring City, TN -- 10, 16-03 -- 14
Day 1: 5, 08-03 -- Day 2: 5, 08-00

98. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 10, 15-14 -- 13
Day 1: 5, 08-10 -- Day 2: 5, 07-04

99. David Fritts -- Lexington, NC -- 10, 15-11 -- 12
Day 1: 5, 05-12 -- Day 2: 5, 09-15

100. Kelley Jaye -- Dadeville, AL -- 9, 15-08 -- 11
Day 1: 5, 08-03 -- Day 2: 4, 07-05

101. Drew Benton -- Panama City, FL -- 9, 15-02 -- 10
Day 1: 5, 09-03 -- Day 2: 4, 05-15

102. Randall Tharp -- Port St. Joe, FL -- 10, 15-01 -- 9
Day 1: 5, 07-12 -- Day 2: 5, 07-05

103. Rick Clunn -- Ava, MO -- 8, 14-08 -- 8
Day 1: 3, 06-12 -- Day 2: 5, 07-12

104. Marty Robinson -- Lyman, SC -- 8, 14-00 -- 7
Day 1: 3, 03-08 -- Day 2: 5, 10-08

105. Mark Davis -- Mount Ida, AR -- 10, 13-12 -- 6
Day 1: 5, 08-00 -- Day 2: 5, 05-12

106. Kelly Jordon -- Flint, TX -- 7, 13-08 -- 5
Day 1: 2, 04-05 -- Day 2: 5, 09-03

107. Tommy Biffle -- Wagoner, OK -- 8, 10-08 -- 4
Day 1: 4, 05-01 -- Day 2: 4, 05-07

108. Bill Weidler -- Helena, AL -- 4, 10-04 -- 3
Day 1: 3, 08-13 -- Day 2: 1, 01-07

109. Tyler Carriere -- Youngsville, LA -- 4, 08-14 -- 2
Day 1: 2, 03-13 -- Day 2: 2, 05-01

110. Kyle Monti -- Okeechobee, FL -- 6, 07-10 -- 1
Day 1: 5, 06-10 -- Day 2: 1, 01-00