Video Interview by Joe Gruny / The Angler Magazine Okeechobee / Lakeland Edition
Professional bass angler Takumi Ito came to the United States from Japan in 2019 with a dream of competing on the sport’s biggest stage. It didn’t take him long to become a top contender among the big dogs in the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Ito is not a newcomer to the sport. He has nearly a decade of professional bass fishing under his belt. He was, however, new to the U.S. tournament scene back in Feb. 2019 when he took second at a Basspro.com Open event at Toledo Bend in Louisiana. It was just his second Open tournament, and he followed it up with three top-10 finishes in 2019 Opens.
With just a year touring in the U.S., Ito climbed into the big leagues as an Elite Series pro. He has since made a name for himself on the tour with 11 top-10 finishes, including his first Elite Series win in July 2021 on the St. Lawrence River.
The Angler Magazine caught up with Takumi Ito during February’s Elite Series season opener at Lake Okeechobee. It was his first time fishing the sprawling Florida reservoir, and he was all smiles thanks to a new sponsorship from DHL Express.
“I am honored to receive the support from a global company like DHL. It has been my dream since childhood to participate in this competition in the United States, the home of the professional bass fishing sport,” said Takumi in an announcement of the sponsorship. “I will do my best this 2023 season, aiming to win one Bassmaster Elite Series event and the Bassmaster Classic as well as increase my annual ranking from last year.”
After a late February Elite Series stop at Lake Seminole, Ito will compete in his third Bassmaster Classic—“The Super Bowl of Bass Fishing”—March 24-26 on the Tennessee River in Knoxville. See what Ito had to say in this video interview with The Angler Magazine.