Getting Married and Going Pro

The Thrift Family

As I noted previously, Bryan and I were able to find a free weekend between tournaments to actually have a wedding. It was a miracle, I tell you. After our wedding on July 21, 2007, we headed to Edisto Island in South Carolina for our honeymoon. We had a great time, but it was a very rushed trip. After all, Bryan had to be back quickly so he could head to Hot Springs, Ark., to practice for the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. It was his first ever and he was psyched.

Allison and Bryan Thrift tied the knot on July 21, 2007.

Bryan’s first year as a pro was in 2007, and it had been a good one. He placed second in the first event of the year on Lake Travis in Texas. Then he placed 10th in the third event on Lake Norman in North Carolina. He even ended up placing fifth in the Forrest Wood Cup. He won Rookie of the Year, as well. That first year was such a blessing to all of us. It helped reassure Bryan that he was doing the right thing by following his dream of being a professional fisherman.

Bryan Thrift won Rookie of the Year in 2007.

When we returned from our honeymoon, I went back to work, which was teaching fourth grade at a year-round school in Gaffney, S.C. Bryan headed for Arkansas. A few days after he arrived there, I talked to him on the phone and reminded him that he had literally been gone half of our married life. Comic genius on my part, but he didn’t think it was as funny as I did. I recall watching the weigh-in for the Cup online the first two days – talk about wishing I was there. He took the lead on day one and I was about to go crazy. It was very hard to focus on teaching the next day when my mind was in Arkansas, wondering how he was faring in the second round. When my mom and I realized that Bryan was going to be fishing day three, we hopped on a plane, which was more like a tin can with wings, and headed to Arkansas. Hot Springs is a beautiful town with a lot of history associated with it. It’s still one of my favorite Tour destinations. My mom, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and I walked around on Saturday and Sunday while Bryan fished. I don’t remember a lot of what I saw because my nerves were completely shot. They still get that way when Bryan is doing well in a tournament. I usually get to the weigh-in right before he weighs in and then walk around the rest of the time after he’s had his turn because I can’t sit still. Having a 3-year-old to take care of now further prevents me from sitting still, but Wylie keeps me busy so I don’t have as much time to work up my nerves.

Bryan Thrift finished fifth in his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2007.

At the time, the Cup paid $1 million to the winner and the thought of a newlywed couple taking home that much money made me excited and sick to my stomach at the same time. It wasn’t to be, though. As I mentioned, Bryan ended up finishing fifth, which was still an awesome finish for his first trip to the Cup. The bug had bit and taken a firm hold, and Bryan was ready for more. I can honestly say that he loves his job more with each passing year, and I think it’s very important to do what you love to do. That way, you never really work a day in your life.

Tags: blog  allison-thrift 

/tips/2015-07-01-the-no-excuse-guide-

The "No Excuse" Guide

Chatter can be dock talk, personal abusive talk, hater talk, fan talk and everything in between. The list goes on. I truly believe tournament fishing is all a mental game. I feel that the most successful anglers know how to tune it all out and fish in the zone. It is crucial to know how to tune out all the chatter and shut up and fish. READ MORE »

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Missed Chances at the Finale

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My Lost-Fish Troubles Continue

Lake Chickamauga is loaded with big bass, and for the first time in three previous visits I felt really good after the practice period was over. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for me, and I ended the event after day two by missing the top-20 cut by a mere 4 ounces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-04-blaukat-on-climate-change

Blaukat on Climate Change

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/tips/2015-05-28-running-a-college-club

Running a College Club

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Blog: I’m Hooked

When I was 10 years old I could only dream about being a professional fisherman. I would spend all my time outdoors playing sports, hunting and fishing. Then, in high school, I competed in my first bass tournament and I was hooked. From that moment, my goal was to become a professional angler some day. Now, almost three decades later, after much hard work and dedication I’m competing in the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour. And I’m more excited than ever. READ MORE »

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Blog: The First Time

This begins a series of blogs by Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Jaime Luengo of Mexico City. He joined the circuit in 2005 and has three top-10 finishes to his credit. Luengo is the author of La Magia de la Lobina Tecnicas Avanzadas, a book on bass fishing techniques, and is host and producer of Nuestra Pesca, a television series available on all cable stations in Mexico. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-19-blog-what-might-have-been-at-eufaula

Blog: What Might Have Been at Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is in the books, but ever since the tournament I haven’t slept very well. If you know me, you know I just “love” losing fish, but I think this latest event was the worst of my career. I finished 12th, which isn’t so bad, but the “what could have beens” got me again. On the last day of practice, I caught nearly 30 pounds, including one around 10 pounds and a 7 1/2-pounder, making it a day I’ll never forget. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-blog-frogging-of-a-different-kind

Blog: Frogging of a Different Kind

As a bass fisherman, I have a special feeling for that time of year when I can start fishing a frog again. I’m not sure if the rush of adrenaline I feel is from that first explosion when a bass crashes the frog, or the anticipation of it. Whatever it is, I love it! READ MORE »

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Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »

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Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-blog-back-in-the-groove

Blog: Back in the Groove

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5 Pivotal Moments in my Career

The FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake marked the beginning of my senior campaign. While it was great to get on some open water for the first time in months (though we didn’t finish very well), it also had me looking back at five events that, more than any others, led me to this point. READ MORE »

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A Year of New Firsts

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/tips/2015-04-10-up-then-down-again

Up, Then Down Again

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/tips/2015-04-07-sweet-home-alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

Hey everyone, I'm just getting back and caught up from the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake. The lake was fishing like never before, and all the fish have grown up quickly on those blueback herring. Now that I've been back home a week and watched all the videos and read all the articles about the top 10 anglers I can say I have zero regrets! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-02-when-everything-comes-together

When Everything Comes Together

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Expect Change and Adapt to It

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So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »