UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Chevy pro Bryan Thrift drives it home at Rayburn

Thrift thrills the crowd in Lufkin, Texas.

LUFKIN, Texas - Fast, shallow and with moving baits - if you were to script the perfect scenario for a Bryan Thrift victory, those would be the key pieces. Today at the Sam Rayburn Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Chevy, however, Thrift proved that he can not only break his own stereotype, but he can win when he does it. Relying on ultra-slow flipping tactics with a Texas-rigged Damiki Knock Out, Thrift brought in a 17-pound limit - the day's heaviest - to come from 2 pounds, 14 ounces behind Walmart pro Mark Rose and lock up his third Tour victory. His four-day total was 73 pounds, 3 ounces, which earned the Chevy pro $125,000. "I had to pitch that bait up there, let it sink and shake it," Thrift said. "Then I'd feel the 'thunk.'" Thrift threw a Z-Man Original ChatterBait each morning, just to see if he could get a bite. On the first day, he didn't have a fish by 10:30 a.m. That was the first sign that he needed to slow down. Zero ChatterBait bites the next two days reinforced the need to stay slow and really soak his lure. Thrift's technique was to make a couple of pitches to each cypress tree, shake the Knock Out in place, then move on to the next target. There was no messing around when Thrift set the hook on one.Ironically, Thrift did get bit on the ChatterBait on the final day and caught four fish with it that contributed to an early limit. Yet, instead of motivating him to continue with the moving presentation, having five in the livewell gave the North Carolina pro the confidence he needed to reduce his pace to a painful crawl. "I settled down and put my Power-Poles down and flipped every piece of that tree, all the way around, and it paid off," Thrift said. "I caught a 4-pounder that way." Some trees required 10 to 15 casts and up to 20 minutes to fish. In addition to cypress trees, Thrift also weighed fish each day that he caught from shallow grass, though grass was more a target of opportunity than a pattern. His primary area was a shallow backwater stretch about five miles long upstream from the Cassels-Boykin County Park takeoff. It was a spot Thrift located in practice that he thought would consistently produce the 2 1/2- to 3-pound fish that he needed to simply make a good check and recover from a disappointing 107th-place finish at the previous Tour stop on Lake Hartwell. "Hartwell left a bad taste in my mouth," Thrift said. "It seemed like every decision I made was the exact opposite of what I should have been doing. To come here and turn it around and win the Tour and right the ship feels good." Thrift's winning area experienced a push of fish during the tournament that helped it replenish. He spent two and a half to three hours each day exploring new sections and expanding on his pattern. The spot was also isolated enough from the main lake that it didn't seem to be influenced as drastically by the weather swings that tormented fellow competitors this week.Bryan Thrift came from behind in the 11th hour to capture the championship with a 3-pound, 1-ounce margin over Mark Rose. "They stayed pretty consistent every single day," Thrift added. "There's not a lot of depth where I was fishing, so the fish didn't have anywhere to go." For bass, being stuck in a backwater heaven with one of the best shallow-water anglers in the game is like having a guaranteed ticket for a boat ride in the black Chevy-wrapped Ranger, even if it means that the captain has to slow down the boarding process in order to take those fish for a ride. Check out Thrift's Winning Moment and the full gallery of photos from the final day of competition.

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Browne Crushes Again, Leads By 6+

Averaging 20 pounds or more is a difficult thing to do in a multi-day tournament on Lake Champlain, but Glenn Browne might be on his way to doing it in the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano. After two days, the Ocala, Fla., pro has run to Ticonderoga twice and sacked up nearly identical bags for a total of 45 pounds, 8 ounces. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Plano on Lake Champlain definitely shook up the leaderboard. While Glenn Browne took a huge lead, the rest of the pack swapped around and remained pretty tight. Browne is catching his fish down south near Ticonderoga, but the north end has also produced very well for the rest of the field. READ MORE »

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Champlain Midday Update Day 2

While day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was wracked by high winds and rain in the morning, day two has been almost as good as Champlain can be. READ MORE »

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Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »

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Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

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Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

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Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

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Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

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Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

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Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

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New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

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New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

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FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

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6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

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6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

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ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

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10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

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7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

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Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »