UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

The Norman King

The Norman King
Bryan Thrift

When Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., hit the FLW Tour as a rookie 10 years ago, his unusual fishing style immediately drew the attention of fishing fans, media and, of course, his competition.

Thrift’s fishing approach was completely idiosyncratic, bolstered by multiple stops at a blistering pace. Many times his “fishing” did not look like fishing in the normal sense of the word. Instead, it looked like an extreme exercise in repetition: run, stop, trolling motor down, three casts, trolling motor up, run…repeat 50 times per day. The sheer number of miles he covered in a day was downright bewildering.

At first, his high-speed pursuit of a fish that seldom swims faster than 5 mph left a lot of people scratching their heads.

“What’s that kid doing?” some would ask.

“He is just running around like a mad man,” others would say.

Practice with Thrift

Day three coverage blog

Ten years and nearly 2 million dollars in winnings later, no one questions Thrift’s brazen high speed run and gun any more. Today, he once again proved that his turbo speed pace applied across dozens of stops per hour is his winning formula by claiming victory in the Walmart FLW Tour Invitational presented by Lowrance on Lake Norman. It’s the same approach that brought him his first Tour win here on Norman in 2010 as well as a Tour win on Eufaula in 2015 and his Costa FLW Series win on Santee Cooper back in March.

Bryan Thrift

“That’s why I love Norman, it just suits my fishing style so well,” Thrift says. “There is so much to fish here, it never gets old.”

Lake Norman suits Thrift’s style because, in essence, Norman helped mold Thrift’s fishing style. One look at Lake Norman and it doesn’t take long to understand why. Norman is a compact lake slammed full of cover and bass. In all areas and at all depths the bass can live on anything and everything from 40 feet to 4 inches.

Thrift has fished the lake all his life and has limitless places he can throw a lure to. The only way to even begin to put a dent in his exhaustive list of docks, brushpiles, rockpiles, clay points, laydowns and multiple offshore waypoints is simply to fish as fast as humanly possible.

The key to Thrift’s success is the speed and efficiency in which he carries out his mission. To him it’s not as much of a pattern game as it is a numbers game of making presentations to cover. He knows the exact line up on an offshore spot, casting angle on a rockpile or skipping lane on a dock. And he only needs a few presentations to sample each spot.

Bryan Thrift

Like a computer programmer, each day Thrift tweaks his runs and rotations to maximize his efficiency and consistency. This week he weighed in bags of 11-5, 11-12 and 11-11 to close out victory with 34 pounds, 12 ounces.

Thrift’s winning arsenal included a 4-inch Damiki Anchovy Shad swimbait threaded on a 3/16-ounce jighead. He fished the swimbait on 8-pound test P-Line and used it to target offshore brushpiles and rockpiles in about 15 feet of water. He also cranked the offshore sweetspots with a crankbait that runs 10 to 15 feet and dragged a ½-ounce jig through them as well.

When running banks he resorted to a buzzbait with a soft plastic trailer.

“The last two days I got a few more better bites running the bank with topwater,” Thrift says. “That first day I ran a lot of shallow water, but I just didn’t get any good bites fishing that way.”

In terms of having his fishing style dubbed a “numbers game” Thrift just grins and says, “I love it. I cast up there where one is supposed to be and he either bites it or he doesn’t. And then I go on to the next one. If I hit enough of spots, I figure I’ll eventually catch a good one.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 34-12 (15) – $71,000

2. Scott Beattie – Lincolnton, N.C. – 34-6 (15) – $18,340

3. Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tenn. – 33-7 (15) – $15,200

4. Todd Hollowell – Fishers, Ind. – 33-9 (15) – $12,160

5. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 32-14 (15) – $9,120

6. Billy Shelton – La Crosse, Va. – 32-12 (15) – $7,904

7. Scott Canterbury – Springville, Ala. – 31-14 (15) – $7,600

8. Tracy Adams – Wilkesboro, N.C. – 31-7 (15) – $7,296

9. Michael Stephens – Gastonia, N.C. – 31-4 (15) – $6,992

10. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 31-3 (15) – $6,688

Complete results

Tags: bryan-thrift  lake-norman  rob-newell  headline-story  2016-09-15-lake-norman 

Mastodons Win at Wabasha

Mastodons Win at Wabasha

The Purdue University Fort Wayne duo of Connor Landis of Edgerton, Ohio, and Blake Spurgeon of Fort Wayne, Indiana, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the Mississippi River presented by Evinrude Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Mastodon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Hahne Flips, Frogs on Mighty Miss

Hahne Flips, Frogs on Mighty Miss

Darren Hahne of Ottawa, Illinois, brought in a three-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River Saturday. Hahne earned $6,466 for his victory. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 3

Champlain Midday Update – Day 3

While day two was windy and rough, day three has pretty much been calm from the get-go. It has also been hot as blazes. It’s made fishing a little tougher than expected, with a lot of anglers reporting missed or lost fish and a generally slower bite. That said, a slow bite on Champlain is a great bite most everywhere else, so we’re still going to see plenty of bass. READ MORE »

Thrift All the Way on Champlain

Thrift All the Way on Champlain

Taking the win in wire-to-wire fashion, Bryan Thrift tallied 18 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for an even 57-pound total in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain. For the win, Thrift earned $44,200 and a new Ranger boat, and it’s his 11th win with FLW. The Northern Division is presented by Gajo Baits and the tournament was presented by Polaris.  READ MORE »

Thrift Goes Wire-To-Wire, Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Polaris

Thrift Goes Wire-To-Wire, Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Polaris

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 4 ounces, to lead the event from start to finish and win the three-day Costa FLW Series on Lake Champlain presented by Polaris... READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

One of the windier tournament days in recent memory did a lot to reshape the leaderboard of the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The run south to Ticonderoga was not impossible, but the wind up north kept a lot of pros from effectively fishing their best stuff. That made weights drop pretty much across the board on day two. READ MORE »

Thrift Still Ahead on Champlain

Thrift Still Ahead on Champlain

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Champlain featured a bunch of wind and a lot of turnover on the leaderboard. Though he struggled to replicate his massive day-one success, Bryan Thrift still managed 16 pounds, 6 ounces for a 38-12 total to retain the lead. Behind him, Scott Dobson rose from ninth to second with a robust bag of smallmouths worth 18-10 for a 37-14 total. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Polaris on Lake Champlain is going to be quite a swing from day one. Typically turnover in the standings is common on Champlain because the weights stay so tight, but today’s turnover is going to have a lot to do with the weather. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Takeoff was a little blustery, but overall, it’s been a perfect start to the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The event is the kickoff of the Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, and the tournament itself is presented by Polaris. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Last year, every event in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, was won entirely with smallmouth bass. This season, the kickoff event on Champlain, which is presented by Polaris, looks destined to involve some largemouths. Everyone in the top five weighed green ones on day one, though somewhat surprisingly, the south end down by Ticonderoga didn’t play an overwhelming role, as only three of the top 10 anglers made the long run southward. READ MORE »

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Less than three weeks removed from a third-place finish on Lake Champlain in the FLW Tour’s 2019 season finale, Bryan Thrift hauled 22 pounds, 6 ounces of green fish to the weigh-in stage to take the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener, which is presented by Polaris. In second, Brandt Tumberg weighed 21-10, and Joe Wood is just an ounce behind him with 21-9 for third.  READ MORE »

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on the James River after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Elrod took home $3,637. READ MORE »

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Dan Mittlestat of Woodhaven, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair presented by Navionics Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces. Mittlestat netted $6,552 for his win. READ MORE »

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Schmitt earned $7,209 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Representing Lew’s, the team of John Carman, Peter Thliveros and Matthew Mattingly won the 2019 ICAST Cup at Lake Toho this morning with a five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces. It’s the first time in the ICAST kickoff event’s five-year history that a team has won two titles, and they come back-to-back – though this time it was an outright win.  READ MORE »

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Andy Kilgore of Kingston, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Neely Henry. Kilgore pocketed $4,426 for his win in the event and earned 250 points in the Bama Division Angler of the Year (AOY) standings. The winner of the division’s AOY title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Experience Carries Siggers

Experience Carries Siggers

Dennis Siggers of Danville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Siggers earned $2,585 for his victory. READ MORE »

Melton Wins on Rough River

Melton Wins on Rough River

John Melton of Corydon, Indiana, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Melton netted $4,838 for his win. READ MORE »

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory. READ MORE »

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the rescheduled T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake presented by Navionics Sunday after catching four bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Campbell earned $5,703 for his win. READ MORE »