UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Thrift delivers brown-bag express

Pro Bryan Thrift holds up part of his 15-pound, 15-ounce day-two limit. Thrift leads the event with a total weight of 36 pounds, 2 ounces.

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. - Brent Ehrler's ascension to the top of the FLW Outdoors pyramid may be short lived. While Ehrler, currently in 20th place, is putting together a solid tournament, another FLW Tour pro looks unstoppable. After winning the second qualifier of the year on Lake Norman, Bryan Thrift leads the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes event at the halfway point. Yesterday Thrift said he pretty much burned all the bedding smallmouths he had. But to his delight, one of his areas replenished. "I figured it would be a lot tougher today," he said. "I had two left on bed this morning. I caught those, and then I started looking some more. On the same bank I caught those big ones yesterday, I caught four more. I guess some new ones moved up." Thrift only caught seven keepers Thursday, but he also foul hooked a 3 1/2-pounder that had to be Pro leader Bryan Thrift speaks with Charlie Evans Thursday afternoon.returned to the lake. According to rules, all fish caught outside of the mouth while sight-fishing must be immediately released. Knowing the aggressive nature of smallmouth bass, he thinks he can get it to bite again. "I found another one that I think will keep, and if that one that I foul hooked will bite again, I'll have two for tomorrow." Friday's forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms, which could severely hamper the sight bite. "It's real hard to see the bed as it is. They're deep - like in 4 to 6 feet of water. In fact, I don't think I've seen an actual bed. I'm just spooking them, and then I'll pitch to where it left." His main sight-fishing bait is a Texas-rigged Damiki Hydra (green-pumpkin). He'll also occasionally mix in an unnamed soft-plastic crayfish. Ideally, Thrift will catch the two smallmouths early tomorrow and then switch to throwing a swimbait or topwater if the weather gets dicey. "I caught one largemouth doing that on the first day and two today." With major momentum on his side, the Shelby, N.C., pro looks almost invincible. After registering 15-15 today, his total weight stands at 36 pounds, 2 ounces. "I don't know what it is; it's hard to explain. To be honest, I don't feel like I have enough to win. But I didn't think I had much going before today." Browne rises to second After catching 17 pounds on day one, pro Glenn Browne demonstrated remarkable consistency on day After catching 17 pounds on day one, Glenn Browne caught another five-bass limit Thursday weighing 16-15.two - catching another limit that weighed 16 pounds, 15 ounces. All of Browne's fish thus far have been largemouths. The Ocala, Fla., native said the bite was actually stronger today. "I caught two limits yesterday, and I think I caught about three limits today. I must have caught 30 to 40 fish total. I'm having a blast." When Browne is having fun, you can safely assume he's fishing shallow, dirty water. And that's precisely the case this week as he targets lay-downs and docks on Fort Loudoun. "Yesterday I caught a few on the new Gambler Big E-Z swimbait, but today they all came on the 4-inch Gambler flipping tube." While excited, Browne is also somewhat apprehensive about what lies ahead. "I've been in this position a few times before, and shallow-water fish tend to peter out. But the weather could really hurt the sight-fishing guys. I'm just going to try and catch 11 or 12 pounds tomorrow; I feel like that's realistic." Grigsby rallies to third Goodwill pro Chad Grigsby had an eventful day sight-fishing for smallmouths on Fort Loudoun. The end result was an 18-pound, 1-ounce limit, the heaviest registered Thursday. It looks great on paper, but it was extremely dicey at times. Goodwill pro Chad Grigsby fights a keeper smallmouth. "I had no fish in the livewell at 11 a.m., but in the next three hours, I had all of my weight," Grigsby said. "I lost one of my big fish seven times before I got it in the boat. The sixth time it actually jumped, and the hook hit the side of the boat and popped free. But I eventually got her - so it's all good." Grigsby thinks he's got one keeper left on bed. Like the other sight-fishermen, he's keenly aware of the forecasted weather. "I had to have it slick calm to catch them today. So I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. Hopefully I will catch that one, and then maybe I'll go flip for largemouths." Grigsby said the smallmouth beds he's targeting are in 3 to 4 feet of water, but the water clarity in his area is only 2 feet. "I'm basically throwing to little dark spots. And the frustrating part is that I can't tell if they're 16 inches or 19 inches. I worked on a 16-incher today for over 15 minutes, thinking it was a keeper." The Michigan transplant and current Twin Cities resident is using a drop-shot and a Berkley Gulp minnow. "The hardest part about catching these fish is finding them. It doesn't matter what you throw. If you get one that is running and chasing, she'll bite anything." After catching a limit weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces Thursday, Edwin Evers climbed to fourth place in the Pro Division.Evers fourth Bassmaster Elite Series pro Edwin Evers has had a pretty quiet 2010 FLW Tour season. That all changed this afternoon when he brought 16 pounds, 13 ounces to the scale, bringing his total weight to 29 pounds, 5 ounces. "I'm basically targeting prespawn and spawn fish," said the Talala, Okla., native. "I'm working one area slowly, and I'm not sight-fishing." Evers weighed four smallmouths and one largemouth yesterday. Today that reversed to four largemouths and one smallmouth. "I caught about eight or nine keepers today; I figured something out late yesterday that really helped me." Anchoring Evers' limit was a 5-pound-plus largemouth. Amazingly, Evers said he lost two fish that were in the same class. "I really like my chances. I think it actually might get better for me with the weather tomorrow." Kenney holds fifth Florida pro JT Kenney is currently in fifth place with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 4 ounces.J.T. Kenney retained his fifth-place standing after catching four bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces. Kenney's total at the halfway point in the tournament is 29 pounds, 4 ounces. "I caught only two smallmouths off bed today," said the Palm Bay, Fla., pro. "I thought I had enough saved, but some definitely vanished." Kenney adjusted late in the day and dialed into a largemouth pattern. He caught two nice green ones and lost another. "I also found another smallmouth late. I'll go back to her right away, and then I'll expand on this largemouth deal. The weather we're supposed to get should help for just fishing. I'm really excited for tomorrow." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros at the FLW Tour event on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes after day two: 6th: Brandon Coulter of Knoxville, Tenn., 28-8 (two-day total) 7th: James Watson of Waynesville, Mo., 28-6 8th: Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, 26-13 9th: Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., 25-10 10th: Justin Lucas of Montevallo, Ala., 25-6 Largemouth limits work for Mitchell Darrell Mitchell of Taneyville, Mo., leads the Co-angler Division with a total of 10 bass weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces, followed by Kevin Hawk of Ramona, Calif., in second place with eight bass After catching limits on consecutive days, Darrell Mitchell leads the Co-angler Division with a total weight of 18 pounds, 10 ounces.weighing 17-6. Mitchell caught five largemouths weighing 9-11 while fishing with Mike Surman Wednesday and five largemouths weighing 8-15 while fishing with Dan Morehead Thursday. Tomorrow he'll be paired with Terry Bolton. "I have been very pleased with my draws, and I think I have another good one tomorrow in Terry (Bolton). It's been a great tournament." Mitchell is catching his fish with a 5/16-ounce PJ's Lil jig. Yesterday he used a Yamamoto twin-tail grub as a trailer, and today he switched to a Paca Chunk. "The pressure is on tomorrow. I think my wife is more nervous than I am. She almost needed CPR." This is Mitchell's rookie season on the FLW Tour. He finished 11th at the season opener on Table Rock - his home lake. Rest of the best Johnny Manning of Arkadelphia, Ark., is in third place with a total weight of 15 pounds, 7 ounces. Day-one leader Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, slipped to fourth after catching two small bass weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces. Honeycutt's combined weight is 14 pounds, 3 ounces. Following him is local angler Keith Iddins of Knoxville, Tenn. Despite not catching a keeper on day one, Iddins sacked up 14 pounds, 2 ounces today. That stringer is the heaviest of the tournament thus far for the co-anglers. Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes after day two: 6th: Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., 13-15 (two-day total) 7th: Brian Wilson of Somerset, Ky., 13-6 8th: Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., 13-2 9th: Greg Schultz of Wayzata, Minn., 12-14 10th: Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., 12-9 Day three of the FLW Tour event on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes will begin Friday at 7 a.m. at the Tellico Recreational Area Ramp.

Tags: headline-story  brett-carlson 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »