Shelby angler has now won every FLW award
Earlier this year, Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C. was invited to fish in the new Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour. He was also invited to fish in the Bassmaster Elite Series. He turned both opportunities down to stay on the FLW Tour. And this past weekend, he won his first FLW Cup.
Thrift has been one of the top anglers in the nation for some time now. He has fished in 13 FLW Cups, and finished in the top 10 a total of 10 times. He has won numerous FLW tournaments, and has won Angler of the Year multiple times. But he had never won the Cup until this one at Hamilton Lake in Arkansas.
Thrift had a three-day total of 38 pounds, 7 ounces, and pocketed more than $300,000 for the win. That pushes his total career winnings to more than $3 million.
Thrift took the lead on day one and never lost it
The only Carolina angler to make it to Sunday’s championship day, Thrift led the tournament from start to finish. His 15-3 bag on day one put him in the lead. His 12-7 on day two kept him there. He began day three with a 1-pound, 8-ounce lead over Kyle Walters.
And on day three, Thrift was the only angler to catch a double-digit bag. He weighed in 10-13, and beat second place finisher Walters by more than five pounds.
It was a typical summer-in-the-south tournament for Thrift, who is known to grind it out with what he likes to call “precision junk-fishing.” He picks out dozens of places to fish, then uses up to 15 different lures, choosing each one carefully for every fishing spot.
It was a grueling day for Thrift.
“I’m wore slam out. I really am. I fished as hard as I ever have in my life today. I’m tired, but I’m feeling good,” he said after weighing in.
The next highest-finishing angler from the Carolinas in the Cup was Bradford Beavers of Summerville, S.C. He finished 22nd with a total two-day weight of 18-9. He won $10,000 for his efforts.
Brian Latimer of Belton, S.C. finished 42nd with a two-day limit weighing 13-1. He also pocketed $10,000.