FLW Pro Bryan Thrift takes the title at the FLW event on Sam Rayburn
Chevy pro Bryan Thrift came in with 17 pounds today to break the hold Mercury pro Mark Rose had on first and take home the win and a check for $125,000 at the FLW Tour event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Thrift's three-day total of 73 pounds, 3 ounces provided him with his third FLW victory and first of the 2014 season. Rose ended in second with 70 pounds 2 ounces.
Rounding out the Top 5 are Phoenix Boats pro Greg Hackney in third weighing 67-13 ounces. In fourth was Jason Meninger with 66-13 ounces. Fifth went to Crestliner pro John Cox, with a weight of 61-2.
Today's victory marks Bryan Thrift's third tour-level win.
Thrift won flipping
"These guys gotta feel bad," said Thrift. "They let the worst flipper on tour win this event flipping. I was just fishing up the lake, I don't know what the name of the area is. I was targeting cypress trees and some grass clumps. The depth didn't really seem to matter. I caught some fish in as little as 12 inches of water. It was so shallow you'd see the water boil when they hit the bait."
Thrift's primary bait was the Damiki Knockout in green pumpkin or junebug. He was using a 5/16-ounce weight, a 5/0 hook and 20-pound P-Line fluorocarbon. Thrift also stuck a few key fish on a chatterbait.
"I caught most of my fish using the Damiki Knockout," said Thrift. "The bite has been real slow, but today it started out faster. I caught a few good fish right away using a chatterbait. Having a few good fish in the boat early really calmed me down today. That allowed me to fish very slowly and thoroughly the rest of the day.
"Sometimes I'd take as much as 15 minutes to fish one tree. I would pitch the bait into a tree several times before I'd get a bite. I'd pitch it in there and let it sit. Shake it, let it sit, drag it, let it sit and then I'd feel the hit. They were very finicky."
Thrift surprised at winning weight.
"I struggled to catch any big fish this week," said Thrift. "Fortunately my limit fish were better than average. If you would've told me three pound fish were gonna win this tournament, I wouldn't have believed it. Not on Sam Rayburn."