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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

How Bryan Thrift Catches Winter Bass

How Bryan Thrift Catches Winter Bass
Bryan Thrift

You might not always catch bass as well as Bryan Thrift, but in early December you sure can fish like him by throwing the same three baits he usually has tied on when he’s out fishing in the winter.

By the way, Thrift doesn’t divide his time between fishing and deer hunting in fall and winter. There are too many bass to be caught.

“I fish all winter,” says the North Carolina pro. “That’s the best time to fish as far as catching big fish. But I actually catch numbers too because they’ll really group up in the wintertime, and they don’t roam as much. If you find them, they’ll be there for a number of days or even a week, and you can really have some fun.”

Here’s what he’s using:

 

Umbrella Rig

“Shane’s Baits Blades of Glory umbrella rig is probably my No. 1 go-to bait if I’m fun-fishing or in a tournament that allows it. I’m going to have 1/8-ounce jigheads on it with 4-inch Damiki Anchovy Shads,” Thrift reveals. “That’s the ‘funnest’ wintertime fishing you can do.”

Thrift likes his Anchovy Shad swimbaits in white with silver flake for fishing slightly stained water and either pro blue or pro purple for fishing clear water. 

The Blades of Glory rig resembles two “standard” umbrella rigs connected in tandem for a total of nine wire arms. Obviously, it needs to be rigged in such a manner that is legally allowed on the waters being fished. It also requires a stout rod. Thrift’s choice is the Okeechobee Rod, which is a 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy-action model in Fitzgerald Rods’ Original Series. He spools up with 20-pound-test P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon.

“When I first started out throwing the umbrella rig, I threw it on braid a lot,” Thrift says. “I found out you get a lot more bites on fluoro. I think the biggest reason is that the diameter of the braid is so small, and when you throw it on braid, you have to wind it fast to keep it off bottom. But the key to fishing an umbrella rig is to wind it as slowly as possible. With fluoro [which is thicker] you don’t have to fish it as fast, and it’ll stay in the depth of water you’re trying to target.”

Depth varies according to the area, but the most important factor is the bait.

“That time of year I’m looking for baitfish that are schooled up and bass that are actively eating the bait,” Thrift adds. “That’s when you catch those giant, fat bass that are gorging on shad. I’ll fish a main-lake point, creek channel or river channel, but you can catch them anywhere the bait is stacked up.”

 

Damiki AXE Blade

Tail-Spinner

“If fish aren’t really reacting to the umbrella rig or they’re closer to the bottom, that’s when I pull out a Damiki Axe Blade,” Thrift says. “It’s a 3/4-ounce tail-spinner with a willow-leaf blade on the back.”

Handling a 7-foot, medium-heavy Fitzgerald Rods Stunner HD, Thrift bombs casts as far as possible. Using thin 12-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon helps with casting distance and presentation.

“That seems like light line, but it lets the bait get down to do what it’s supposed to do,” Thrift explains. “After I throw it as far as I can, I let it pendulum down to the bottom. Then I kind of yo-yo it off the bottom and let it swing back down each time. Don’t rip it like you’d rip a spoon. Lift it up with the rod straight up, wind two or three times, and let it fall back down on a tight line. It’s not falling vertically; it’s falling toward you.”

Thrift fishes the tail-spinner in the same areas as he fishes the umbrella rig. He says he’s not as concerned about structure as he is locating balls of bait that are on the bottom and being actively pursued by bass.

 

Jig

The umbrella rig and tail-spinner are Thrift’s preferred wintertime lures, but he’ll usually have a jig rigged up and ready too. Being a Damiki guy, Thrift likes the 1/2-ounce Mamba Jig with a Damiki Knock Out as a trailer.

“Fishing the jig is more structure- and cover-related,” Thrift explains. “I throw it where there’s not really a lot of schooling fish, but more around docks, rocks or brush where I’m looking for one big kicker fish. I fish more isolated targets, and it doesn’t really matter if bait is there or not. I’m just targeting a place where a big fish might be in the wintertime.”

 

Tags: bryan-thrift  -pro-tips-weekly  curtis-niedermier  article 

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 »

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

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 Brian Latimer.  READ MORE »

Big Little Boats

Big Little Boats

There is a massive surge in innovation in the fishing kayak industry, as evidenced by a showroom floor packed with canoes, kayaks, boats – and, in many cases, a combination of all of them – at ICAST 2019. READ MORE »

4 Hot New Reels from ICAST

4 Hot New Reels from ICAST

2019 is the year of the trolling motor at ICAST, but it wouldn’t be ICAST without at least a few next generation reels from some of the best manufacturers in the business. READ MORE »

New Baits from ICAST 2019

New Baits from ICAST 2019

Here’s a primer on some of the baits that we thought stood out at the show. It’s not a comprehensive list. Rather, it’s just a taste of what will probably make a splash on the market in the coming months.  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 »

Sign up for Polaris Sportsman Giveaway

Sign up for Polaris Sportsman Giveaway

FLW has teamed up with its partners at Polaris to give away a Polaris Sportsman® 570 EPS valued at approximately $7,799. This special giveaway offer is being shared with FLW members and fans. READ MORE »

Ouachita to host Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup

Ouachita to host Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup

The Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack will feature up to 238 of the top kayak bass anglers from around the country who have qualified for the event through the FLW/KBF Kayak Open, the KBF National Championship, the KBF Trail and the KBF Pro Tour. They will be competing for a total prize package of $18,000 – a $3,000 Dee Zee gift card and $15,000 in cash. READ MORE »

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Before we shift our focus to previewing the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, let’s start with a look back at the baits that were used to win the seven FLW Tour events this season. READ MORE »

First 2020 FLW Tour Invites Sent

First 2020 FLW Tour Invites Sent

Today, FLW sent out 119 invitations for the 2020 FLW Tour to the top performers from the 2019 FLW Tour. These invitations are in alignment with the 2019 FLW Tour rules that were announced last summer that transitioned the Tour to a qualification system, as well as one amendment made to accommodate changes in the pro bass fishing industry. The amendment was announced to pros at the registration meeting for the season finale on Lake Champlain last week. READ MORE »

2019 FLW Cup Roster

2019 FLW Cup Roster

With Casey Scanlon’s win at Lake Champlain in the books – not to mention the crowning of David Dudley as Angler of the Year for the fourth time and Ron Nelson as Polaris Rookie of the Year – the 2019 FLW Tour season is complete. Now, focus turns to Hot Springs, Ark., and the 2019 FLW Cup August 9-11. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is the kind of fishery that forces pros to make difficult decisions about where to go and what color of bass to target. This time around, in the FLW Tour 2019 finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, on the big Northern fishery, the decision was more interesting because there were spawning smallmouths everywhere up north, but the forecast was favorable for making the long run south to Ticonderoga to catch largemouths. READ MORE »

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Running south to Ticonderoga each day, Casey Scanlon weighed 19 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain. With a total of 76-2, Scanlon earned the win in the final event of the season and pocketed $102,700 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Oklahoma pro Kyle Cortiana was involved in an accident near Indianapolis on his way home from the FLW Tour event at Lake Champlain on Saturday. He has since been released from of a local hospital and is now in a hotel room recovering and waiting for a ride home to the Sooner State.  READ MORE »

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

After three days of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain, all but one of the top five pros are turning south from Plattsburgh to chase largemouths at Ticonderoga. In the lead, Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., bagged up another 18 pounds, 5 ounces to boost his total to 58-6. In second and just 1-14 behind, Casey Scanlon of Lake Ozark., Mo., weighed 18-13 on day three for a 56-8 total. READ MORE »

Melissa Browne’s First Look at Champlain

Melissa Browne’s First Look at Champlain

When Browne passed away last month after a difficult fight with cancer, there was one item on his list with regard to Champlain that remained unchecked. And it had nothing to do with actually competing there.  Glenn never got to take his wife, Melissa, to visit Champlain and spend time together in the Adirondack region. She’s remedying the situation this week by participating in the FLW Marshal program. READ MORE »

Stewart Strokes 22 on Champlain

Stewart Strokes 22 on Champlain

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain was a bonafide catchfest as expected, and XX pros weighed 19 pounds or better to start things off. Leading the way, Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., put 22 pounds, 3 ounces on the scale to take a 1-12 lead over Tom Redington and John Voyles, who both weighed 20-7 on day one. READ MORE »

Jonathan Henry, 1982-2019

Jonathan Henry, 1982-2019

Professional angler Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., lost his battle with cancer today. He was 36 years old. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

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 Buddy Gross.  READ MORE »