Thrift Thumps 27 1/2 - Major League Fishing

Thrift Thumps 27 1/2

North Carolina pro takes commanding lead at Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake
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Bryan Thrift Photo by Andy Hagedon. Angler: Bryan Thrift.
November 2, 2017 • MLF • Archives

Qualifying for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Southeastern Division, reigning FLW Tour Angler of the Year Bryan Thrift got the event started off in style with a massive day of 27 pounds, 8 ounces. Kentucky Lake fished a little tough for the rest of the pack, and Cameron Gautney was the only other pro to eclipse the 20-pound mark with 20-7. With a lead of more than 7 pounds, Thrift appears well positioned to contend for his first win of 2017 and finally win on the Tennessee River, a system he’s always done well on but where he’s never earned the W.

Complete results

Top 5 patterns

“It went a whole lot better than I thought it was gonna go. Twenty pounds better,” says Thrift of his amazing day. “I had an awful practice; I’m serious. I caught my first one, and I was happy I wasn’t gonna zero. I was legitimately worried about catching keepers. It was that tough.”

At 1:12 p.m., Thrift only had two small keepers in the box, but he had a killer afternoon, catching four giants and getting two more big bites that didn’t hook up. Fishing from a bit south of Paris to New Johnsonville, Tenn., Thrift says he caught all his fish on just two baits.

“I feel like I may have figured a little something out, but I’m not totally convinced yet,” says Thrift. “I feel like I’m close. I don’t think anything changed. I think I just made myself be hard-headed today to do what I needed to do to target bigger fish.”


Top 10 pros

1. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 27-8 (5)   

2. Cameron Gautney – Muscle Shoals, Ala. – 20-7 (5)                 

3. Chad Foster – Saint Cloud, Fla. – 19-13 (5)      

4. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 18-4 (5)                    

5. Bradford Beavers – Ridgeville, S.C. – 15-13 (5)                       

6. Kurt Mitchell – Milford, Del. – 15-8 (5)            

7. Ron Nelson – Berrien Springs, Mich. – 15-7 (5)           

8. Dustin Smith – Grand Island, Fla. – 15-3 (4)    

9. Todd Hollowell – Fishers, Ind. – 15-2 (5)

10. Jason Abram – Piney Flats, Tenn. – 14-15 (5)           

Complete results


Current divisional leaders

A slot in the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be awarded to the top finisher at the Costa FLW Series Championship from each of the five U.S. divisions and the International Division. The next five highest finishers regardless of division also receive a spot at the Cup.

Here are the day one leaders from each division:

Southeastern – Bryan Thrift – 27 pounds, 8 ounces – first place

Central – Cameron Gautney – 20 pounds, 7 ounces – second place

Southwestern – Sheldon Collings – 18 pounds, 4 ounces – fourth place

Northern – Kurt Mitchell – 15 pounds, 8 ounces – sixth place

Western – Brent Shores – 13 pounds, 13 ounces – 15th place

International – Michael Matthee (South Africa) – 11 pounds, 9 ounces – 26th place (tie)


Justin Hicks

Hicks takes co-angler lead

Hailing from Roanoke, Va., Justin Hicks got a fishless day of practice in on Tuesday but otherwise had never seen Kentucky Lake before the tournament began. Weighing only four fish on day one, Hicks caught the right four, sacking up 16-13 in the process to take the early lead.

“I got five bites and got four of them in,” says Hicks, who primarily used two baits all day. “It’s a grind, but the more you keep that lure wet the better your odds are.

“I just got fortunate. That’s basically what it is,” says Hicks. “I just fish hard and pray harder. That’s all there is to it.”


Top 10 co-anglers

1. Justin Hicks – Roanoke, Va. – 16-13 (4)                                    

2. Austin Baskette – Leesburg, Fla. – 13-3 (3)                              

3. Gabriel Scott – Stanardsville, Va. – 11-7 (5)                             

4. Gary Haraguchi – Redding, Calif. – 11-5 (4)                 

5. Keith Gunsauls – El Cajon, Calif. – 11-5 (3)                                          

6. Ralph Wells – Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – 10-13 (4)                                           

7. Casey O'Donnell – Langston, Ala. – 10-7 (3)                             

8. Frank Divis Sr. – Farmington, Ark. – 9-8 (4)                             

9. Craig Dubois – Sprakers, N.Y. – 9-4 (3)                                     

10. Jonathan Fulton – Ray, Ohio – 8-15 (4)

Complete results