UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


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 


Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »


Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »


Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »


Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Retired minister Dan Hughes made the most money he’s ever banked in a fishing tournament, and he did it without even picking up a rod. The 70-year-old Fitzgerald, Ga., resident was the winner of FLW’s marshal contest at the Tour’s second stop of the season at Lake Toho, presented by Ranger Boats. Paired with John Cox on day one and Chris Neau on day two, Hughes’ pros combined for 41 pounds, 10 ounces during his two days on the water to take home the $2,500 top prize. READ MORE »


Georgia’s Gross Wins FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Sunday... READ MORE »


Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »


Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »


Chickamauga’s Gross Out Front at FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – After an exciting day of movement atop the leaderboard, FLW Tour pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, took the lead Saturday... READ MORE »


Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »


Cox Holds Lead after Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 17 pounds, 4 ounces, to hold the lead after day two of the FLW Tour at Lake Toho presented by Ranger Boats. Cox’s two day total of 10 bass weighing 48-13 will give him... READ MORE »


Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »


Cox Catches 31-Pound Limit, Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, hauled in a massive five-bass limit weighing 31 pounds, 9 ounces – the largest limit ever weighed in FLW... READ MORE »


Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »


Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »