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Thrift Eyeing Final Feather in His Cap

Thrift Eyeing Final Feather in His Cap
Bryan Thrift

Another year, another FLW Cup. Which means, once more, one of the top storylines going into the championship is, “Will this be the year Bryan Thrift finally wins it?”

When you have the pedigree of Thrift – arguably the top angler in the sport – it’s bound to come up. After all, he’s won Rookie of the Year, two Angler of the Year titles (and finished in the top 10 another 11 times) and 11 tournaments (six Tour, five Costa FLW Series). 

Yet, no Cups (or BFLs, either, though he’s not too torn up about that).

As it stands right now, Thrift falls into the sports category of all-time greats who have never won a title. Guys like Dan Marino, Ted Williams, John Stockton or, closer to home, Aaron Martens, Roland Martin and Gary Klein – an impressive group, but one that always has an asterisk next to each name.

Still, it’s not something Thrift loses sleep over.

“I want it to happen, but it just hasn’t yet,” Thrift says. “When you win an event, things just kind of happen where things just come together. At the Cup, I’ve always seemed to have one off day. You can’t have that.”

Bryan Thrift

At only 40 years old, Thrift should have many more bites at the apple to finally win his title. Yet, what if 20 years from now it still hasn’t happened?

“It won’t bother me,” Thrift says. “It’d definitely be a milestone I want to achieve, but people don’t realize how hard it is to win. There’s only one a year, and, yeah, the field is smaller, but you’re going against the top guys who are all in a groove.”

Besides, Thrift has always approached fishing as a business, in that money and cashing checks is priority No. 1. 

Bryan Thrift

“That’s why I look at the Cup like any other tournament, though, this one, I don’t have to get a single bite and I still get $10,000,” Thrift explains. “The hard part is already out of the way, so I can just go with the flow.”

At the time of talking with him, that flow hadn’t even taken Thrift anywhere close to Lake Hamilton. He hadn’t practiced or even done any research on the Cup destination for more than a couple minutes. And why not?

“Two reasons,” Thrift says. “First, I’m too one-track-minded. I can only focus on the next tournament, and that was [the Costa FLW Series event on] Lake Champlain (which he won). And two, when I did a Google search and it came up saying the lake was only 7,000 acres, I figured four days of practice would be plenty.

“A lake that small definitely helps me, because I can run around like I like and fish a pattern. Of course, I’ve fished the Cup enough times to realize the Cup seems to be rarely won on a pattern; more an area or single place. So, it should be interesting.”

Thrift’s entire career has been interesting to follow, as it’s seemingly been a nonstop assault on fishing’s record books. All that’s left is for him to get that crown jewel to cement himself (if he hasn’t already).

“I’d be ecstatic to win it, obviously,” Thrift admits. “Once you do, they can’t ever take that away from you. Plus, for the entire next year, you get introduced everywhere you go as the reigning champ, which ain’t too bad, either.”

Tags: flw  bryan-thrift  bass-fishing  fishing-tournament  sean-ostruszka  article  2019-08-09-flw-cup-lake-hamilton 

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