UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Thrift by 3

Thrift by 3
Yep, that'll do. Bryan Thrift smiles at the fruits of his second FLW Tour win in two years.

The “numbers game.”

It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event.

The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day.

When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula.

And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account.

“This is my favorite lake in the country. I absolutely love it,” Thrift says. “I’ve wanted to win here so bad for so long. I’ve finished second here in two other FLW events [the 2013 Tour Major and 2010 FLW Series], so to finally get over the hump feels pretty good.”

Thrift’s numbers game is a model of absolute maximum efficiency on offshore objects sitting in water that’s anywhere from 5 to 15 feet deep. He works with mechanical precision to hit as many as 70 targets per day. For each target, Thrift uses his electronics to idle to within 50 feet of the target. He then breaks his forward momentum with reverse throttle, hops to the deck and fires a swimbait beyond the target. The object of his game is to waddle the swimbait right into the target in hopes that any unsuspecting bass holed up there will blast the lure.

His perfection in this process is measured in the number of times he can hit the target with the very first cast. If he doesn’t get a bite the first time, Thrift might sling the swimbait out there a time or two more, but then he is gone to the next.

As for the objects he is fishing, Thrift says he really doesn’t care what it is. It’s the size of the object that matters to him.

“I don’t really care about the big stuff,” he says. “I like for it to be small and compact; something that others won’t fool with and that I can cover in about two to three casts. It might only hold a single fish, but that’s why I want to have so many of those places to throw at. If I throw at enough of them I’m going to get five bites. It’s a numbers game, simple as that.”

That fish chocked the frog Thrift worked around shallow grass.

Thrift says he spent his entire practice idling flats looking for his targets. He put in 30 hours on his motor in three days of practice. In all, he found nearly 200 pieces of cover that made his waypoint list.

Thrift’s primary weapons in the numbers game were a couple of swimbaits, one rigged with a 1/4-ounce jighead for the shallower or thicker stuff and one with a 1/2-ounce jighead for deeper objects.

Thrift’s weights got stronger each of the first three days – 15-15, 18-12 and 19-14, respectively – making it look as if his program was easy. But the numbers game is not an easy way of fishing by any means.

Sometimes he endured dozens and dozens of fishless stops before striking pay dirt.

While most of Thrift’s fish were derived from the offshore numbers game, Thrift did rely on a hollow-bodied frog fished shallow for a couple of his key keepers on days two and four.

“When I’d go a long time without getting a bite and I started to get frustrated, I’d go to the bank and throw a frog to get a bite and get my head back in the game,” he says. “That happened today. I was starting to spin out a little bit, went to the bank and on about my fourth cast with a frog, I caught a nice 3-pounder. That got me back on track. I headed back out to run my offshore stuff again, and things started clicking then.”

Refocused, Thrift proceeded to put together the second-largest limit of the final day, surpassed only by Randy Haynes’ 15-06, to jump ahead of day-three leader Troy Morrow by almost 3 pounds for the FLW Tour victory.

Bryan Thrift rears back to launch his swimbait to the perfect brush pile on the final day.

 

Top 10 Pros

1. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 69-14 (20) – $100,000 + Ranger Cup ($25,000)

2. Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga. – 66-15 (20) – $29,789

3. Clent Davis – Montevallo, Ala. – 66-01 (20) – $24,822

4. Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tenn. – 63-01 (20) – $19,855

5. Jeff Gustafson – Keewatin, Ontario – 62-15 (19) – $18,862

6. Randy Haynes – Counce, Tenn. – 60-01 (20) – $17,869

7. Shinichi Fukae – Palestine, Texas – 57-12 (20) – $16,875

8. Zack Birge – Blanchard, Okla. – 57-12 (20) – $15,882

9. Adrian Avena – Vineland, N.J. – 56-09 (20) – $14,889

10. John Cox – Debary, Fla. – 55-06 (20) – $13,895

 

Complete Results

Tags: flw-tour  lake-eufaula  bryan-thrift  rob-newell  headline-story  2015-05-14-lake-eufaula 

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain has been postponed due to high winds. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, many pros believe staying off the water today was the right call. READ MORE »

Salewske Cracks 26 at Harris Chain

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Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Anglers are enjoying near-perfect conditions for a day-one slugfest in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

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FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the second stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes. READ MORE »

Guyot Catches 23-8 for Murray Win

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Boater Scott Guyot of Fayetteville, North Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 23 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. For his victory, Guyot earned a total of $4,359. READ MORE »

Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

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Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

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Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., moved ahead one spot in the standings on the final day of competition at the St. Johns River to earn his first Toyota Series victory. His three-day catch of 57 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a 6-pound margin. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

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Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

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Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

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Jason Blair caught 22 pounds, 3 ounces – the biggest limit of the tournament so far – to take over the lead at the Toyota Series Southern Division season opener on the St. Johns River. The West Palm Beach, Fla., pro has a two-day total of 39-15 and a 1-pound, 11-ounce lead over yesterday’s leader, Trevor Fitzgerald. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

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After a warm but windy day to start the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River, day two brought lower temperatures, rain and a shifting wind that blew right up the chute early this morning. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

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The St. Johns River is fishing tough, and while weights were down across the board on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, the top five found a way to get the job done with some impressive stringers of big Florida bass. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

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Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener at the St. Johns River with a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitzgerald has previously won a Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns and is in contention to make his 12th top-10 finish with FLW. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

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As expected, the St. Johns River is still fishing pretty tough in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, which kicked off this morning. The St. Johns holds plenty of good fish, but she’s not all that willing to give them up. READ MORE »

Littich Nets Big O Title

Littich Nets Big O Title

Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of $7,220, including a $2,500 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Dover Wins on Keowee

Dover Wins on Keowee

Boater Randy Dover of Buford, Georgia, brought five to the scale Saturday totaling 15 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina. For his victory, Dover earned a total of $5,627. READ MORE »

Robinson Slings a Blade on Martin

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Boater Dusty Robinson of Eclectic, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama. For his victory, Robinson earned a total of $5,686, including a $1,000 Mercury contingency award. READ MORE »

Bethel Wins on Seminole

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The Bethel University duo of Brad Ableman of Latham, New York, and Wilson Smith of Southaven, Mississippi, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event at Lake Seminole Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. READ MORE »

South Forsyth Wins on Seminole

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The South Forsyth High School duo of Brett Morlanne and Michael Landernaeu, both of Cumming, Georgia, brought four bass to the scale Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Johnson Gets No. 1 on Lanier

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Boater Jason Johnson of Dawsonville, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. For his victory, Johnson earned a total of $13,596, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the first win of Johnson’s FLW career. READ MORE »