JONESTOWN, Texas – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Thursday to take the early lead at the FLW Tour at Lake Travis presented by Quaker State. Thrift will bring a 4-pound, 7-ounce lead into day two of the four-day event that features 164 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I’m at a complete loss for words right now,” said Thrift, who has amassed nearly $2 million in FLW competition. “In three days of practice I couldn’t catch a third of the weight that I caught today. Each fish was truly a gift from God.”
Thrift said he spent the majority of his day working through an area with a 6½-inch Watermelon Candy-colored Damiki Finesse Miki worm rigged on a shaky-head jig.
“It was a big area, probably 2 to 3 acres long,” said Thrift. “There were some bushes, rocks and points. I caught four fish there, including a 6-pounder. I picked it apart for nearly five hours. There were some other boats nearby, so I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to catch as many bass as I possibly could.”
After 2:30 p.m., Thrift said he made a couple more stops and capped off his limit with another 6-pounder.
“I caught it on a jig in an area that I went to on a whim,” said Thrift. “It was mind-blowing.”
The top 10 pros after day one on Lake Travis are:
1st: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 24-12
2nd: Stephen Patek, Garland, Texas, five bass, 20-5
3rd: Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla., five bass, 19-4
4th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., five bass, 17-3
5th: Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, five bass, 16-8
6th: Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., five bass, 16-0
7th: Dean Alexander, Georgetown, Texas, five bass, 15-0
8th: Dylan Hays, Sheridan, Ark., five bass, 14-15
9th: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 14-13
10th: Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., five bass, 14-12
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Joseph Webster of Fulton, Mississippi, earned the day's $500 Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 7-pound, 14-ounce largemouth.
Overall there were 641 bass weighing 1,405 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 158 pros Thursday. The catch included 85 five-bass limits.
David Larson of Mound, Minnesota, leads the Co-Angler Division with four bass weighing 16 pounds, 11 ounces, followed by Benjie Seaborn of Guin, Alabama, in second place with five bass totaling 13 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers after day one on Lake Travis are:
1st: David Larson, Mound, Minn., four bass, 16-11
2nd: Benjie Seaborn, Guin, Ala., five bass, 13-15
3rd: Thomas Martens, Jonestown, Texas, five bass, 12-3
4th: Ronald Young, Lake Wales, Fla., five bass, 11-6
5th: Sterling Martin, Beeville, Texas, five bass, 10-11
6th: Jason Smith, Forney, Texas, five bass, 10-8
7th: Wayne Hauser, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 10-1
8th: Tim Beale, Hernando, Miss., five bass, 9-10
9th: Anthony Ferdinando, Spicewood, Texas, five bass, 9-7
10th: Mike Casanova, Frisco, Texas, four bass, 8-13
Larson also earned $250 for the Big Bass award in the Co-Angler Division with an 8-pound, 5-ounce largemouth.
Overall there were 323 bass weighing 597 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 127 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 18 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 330 anglers competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, Aug. 11-13.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Travis presented by Quaker State is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CST each day from Jones Brothers Park, located at 10301 Lakeside Drive, in Jonestown. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at Jones Brothers Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Feb. 18-19, will also be held at Jones Brothers Park but will begin at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Jones Brothers Park from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at Jones Brothers Park on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to area youth 15 years of age and younger and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.
The FLW Tour at Lake Travis is hosted by the City of Jonestown and the Austin Sports Commission.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Travis presented by Quaker State will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) April 12 from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat: @FLWFishing.
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