UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Thrift Best in the Southeast

Thrift Best in the Southeast
Bryan Thrift

No doubt Bryan Thrift has accomplished a lot throughout his career so far, and after seven years of fishing the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division as a pro, he finally took home the Strike King Angler of the Year title. Winning an AOY title at any level is impressive, and Thrift did it against some of the stiffest competition in the game. A strong 2018 campaign was comprised of a pair of top-10 finishes at Lake Okeechobee and Santee Cooper, with a mid-20s showing at Lake Seminole.

 

More opportunity in Costa competition

Thrift is all business when it comes to setting his annual tournament schedule. That’s why he continues to fish the Costa FLW Series.

“It’s a great trail to fish,” Thrift says. “The paybacks are awesome, and if you win one of the events you can win almost $100,000. I make a living fishing, so having more chances to make money is important. Plus, it’s another way for me to try and make the FLW Cup and keeps me fishing more.”

Despite his success at the FLW Tour level, Thrift knows winning the FLW Series AOY isn’t something to shrug off.

“It’s a major accomplishment altogether,” he continues. “I have the AOY trophy in the same place I have my Tour trophies, along with my Costa wins. It means a lot to win it.”

 

Tournament rundown


Lake Okeechobee, Jan. 4-6

Results

9th Place

The first event of the season was cut short following the tragic accident that claimed Nik Kayler’s life.

Because of that, anglers finished according to their day-one standings. Thrift caught 15 pounds, 1 ounce to finish in ninth place.

“There was a big cold front that was coming through, and everyone knows how Florida bass get when it’s cold,” says Thrift. “So I thought 15 pounds was pretty decent.”


Lake Seminole, March 1-3

Results

25th Place

The first time Thrift fished Seminole was in 2017 for the Costa event, and he finished second. Naturally, he had high hopes this time around.

“I’ve only been to Seminole twice, but I like it,” says the Shelby, N.C., pro. “It was just standard shallow fishing this year, and you just had to cover water and hope to get bit. But, it was tougher than the previous year for sure.”

The first day of the event was canceled due to high winds, so the entire field fished the final two days. Thrift caught 14-6 on day one and 13-2 on the final day to finish 25th and cash a check.


Santee Cooper, April 5-7 

Results

6th Place

The final event in the Southeastern Division schedule was at one of Thrift’s favorite places to fish. He’s won on Santee Cooper twice (once as a pro and the other as a co-angler) and has a handful of top 10s there. Even with a solid track record, his mind wasn’t focused on the event really at all.

“I was more focused on the Cumberland Tour event the following week more than I was for Santee,” he explains. “On the second day I almost threw back my smallest fish because I knew I’d probably make the top 10 with it, but didn’t want to miss the first day of practice for the Tour event on Cumberland. If I threw it back I’d still make good money, but could make it to Cumberland to start practice.

“When I was standing at the dock waiting for a bag to weigh my fish some people started telling me that if I made the top 10 I would probably win AOY. At that point I knew I couldn’t toss a fish back because that’s an extra $5,000 for winning AOY.”

Turns out, missing a day of practice for the Tour event didn’t hurt much since he went on to win the Cumberland event.

At Santee, Thrift sacked up 20-11 and 25-3 in the first two days of the event. On the final day, things got tough, and he scraped together four fish for 12-10 to finish sixth.

His two big bags were thanks to a 6-inch Damiki Hot Dog (soon to be renamed and added to the Stinger family) wacky rigged on a 3/0 Berkley Fusion19 Weedless Wide Gap hook.


Prizes and standings

For winning the 2018 Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division Strike King Angler of the Year award, Bryan Thrift earned an extra $5,000 in cash. Additionally, cash payouts of $4,000, $3,000, $2,500 and $2,000 went to the other top five pros. The top 40 pros and 40 co-anglers in the division standings qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship.

The top 10 anglers in the standings, including AOY points earned:

1. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 713

2. Wes Logan – Springville, Ala. – 700

3. Jonathan Canada – Helena, Ala. – 693

4. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 682

5. Hensely Powell – Whitwell, Tenn. – 672

6. Nick Thliveros – St. Augustine, Fla. – 671

7. Robert Crosnoe – Inverness, Fla. – 670

8. Bryan New – Belmont, N.C. – 669

9. Koby Kreiger – Alva, Fla. – 662

10. JT Kenney – Palm Bay, Fla. – 662

Tags: kyle-wood  tournament 

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with South Carolina pro Bradford Beavers.  READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Missouri pro Jeremy Lawyer.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Smallmouths dominated at the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Oklahoma’s Andrew Upshaw led the way with brown bass caught on a jig and a Ned rig on bluff bank transitions in the reservoir’s lower end. Behind him, only a couple of pros hedged their bets on targeting largemouths. The rest fished for smallies and considered green bass to be bonus fish and spotted bass to be limit fillers on the tough days. READ MORE »

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

In classic Southern smallmouth fashion, crankbaits and jigs dominated the top 10 at Lake Cumberland during the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship. The only exceptions were a few finesse baits and the tackle used by two pros who targeted largemouths. Here’s what worked. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Cumberland Practice with Bryan New

Cumberland Practice with Bryan New

Bryan New has steadily been making a case to be considered one of the brightest rising stars of the sport. Five top 10s in T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) and Costa FLW Series events this year proves it, as does his inclusion in the Costa FLW Series Championship field. New gives an inside look at how he’s been tackling the puzzle that is the FLW Series Championship on what might prove to be an unusually stingy fishery. READ MORE »

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point. READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Davidson, a West Virginia native, qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Northern Division and has fished the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division quite a bit. He’s spent a lot of time on Cumberland and nearby Dale Hollow in the cooler months. As such, he’s one of a handful that pundits are definitely keeping an eye on heading into the championship, and he was kind enough to let me tag along for part of the second practice day on the Kentucky reservoir. READ MORE »

2019 Costa FLW Series Championship Roster

2019 Costa FLW Series Championship Roster

The 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship brings together anglers from all over the world to compete for a top prize worth $100,000 on the pro side and $35,000 on the co-angler side. Qualifying from the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American, the International Division and five standard FLW Series divisions, a total of 193 pros and 193 co-anglers will descend on Lake Cumberland for a fall showdown to wrap up the fishing season. READ MORE »

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The ninth largest reservoir in the U.S., Lake Cumberland is a perfect stage for the Costa FLW Series Championship. Home to all three bass species and over 1000 miles of shoreline, the lake can swallow up a big field with relative ease, and with the fall bite starting to pick up in earnest and the water level lower than usual, the fishing should be pretty good. READ MORE »

Previewing the Costa Championship

Previewing the Costa Championship

When 200 pros (and 200 co-anglers) descend on the southern Kentucky reservoir for the Costa FLW Series Championship, they’ll be facing conditions that might look nothing like what they’ll see as the official practice period opens this weekend. Forecasts call for ample rain over the weekend, and lake levels are likely to fluctuate as a result. READ MORE »

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Last weekend, Floyd added to his already lengthy list of accomplishments with a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional victory on Lake Guntersville – the tournament was presented by Mercury – with a 44-pound, 15-ounce three-day total, and it all came down to consistency and some really good decision-making. READ MORE »

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

It’s not often an angler wins a Strike King Angler of the Year title in a Costa FLW Series division by chance, and while skill is what carried Jake Morris to his first Costa AOY title, chance definitely brought him to the opportunity. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Considering this was the fourth year in a row Lake of the Ozarks had hosted a Costa FLW Series Central Division event in October, everyone pretty much knew what to expect. And then the weather happened. READ MORE »