Japanese angler Takahiro Omori leads Bassmaster Classic

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) Japan’s Takahiro Omori took the lead in the Bassmaster Classic on Saturday with a two-day catch of 31 pounds, 11 ounces at Lake Hartwell.

Omori, the 2004 winner based in Emory, Texas, caught five fish Saturday for a total weight of 16-11.

Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Arizona was second at 31-9, followed by 2003 winner Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, New Jersey, at 31-0 and defending champion Randy Howell of Springville, Alabama, at 30-11.

”Yesterday, we were like two hours late starting – and when I got to my first spot, I caught five fish just like that,” Omori said. ”We started at normal time today. So when I get to my spot, it was too dark. I was thinking there were no fish left out here. I just hung around and stuck with it and I caught most of my fish by noon. I ended up catching about 10 keepers today.”

Omori said he wants to avoid getting too excited about a chance to win a second Classic.

”I just want to do my things right,” Omori said. ”I don’t want to jerk a hook set too hard and break my line or get too excited and miss something because I was being too crazy. I just want to enjoy the moment and have another great day.”

Rojas, the first-day leader, had a catch of 10-7 on Saturday.

”I’m having the time of my life and I feel like I’m doing everything right,” Rojas said. ”I’ve caught every single fish that has bit this week. So I’m just going to go out and do the same things tomorrow that I’ve done the first two days. If it happens, it happens. That’s the way I always approach it.”