Thrift Takes Over at FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Mercury Marine
Mar 31st, 2019 by Keith Worrall 191
Modified Mar 31st, 2019 at 12:27 PM
GROVE, Okla., March 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Mercury Marine is setting up for a dramatic final day on Sunday – the top 10 is stacked with a two-time FLW Tour Angler of the Year, an FLW Cup champion, a Costa FLW Series Champion, a Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American Champion and a local angling prodigy that are all in striking distance to win the tournament, and the top prize of $125,000.
Link to photo of pro leader Bryan Thrift
Tour stalwart Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, who started the day in fifth place, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 3 ounces to take the lead with a three-day total of 52-1.
Pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, (48-14) jumped into second after bringing in a limit weighing 17-9. Billy McCaghren of Mayflower, Arkansas, (46-12), South Africa’s Michael Matthee (44-15) and reigning Costa FLW Series Champion Bradford Beavers of Summerville, South Carolina (44-6) round out the top five. Local angler, 21-year-old Sheldon Collings of Grove (39-9) moved into the top-10 cut Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces.
With just a 3-pound, 3-ounce cushion heading into the final day, tournament-leader Thrift is excited to see how it all shakes on Championship Sunday.
“I love it – this is where I want to be,” said Thrift, who has six career victories in FLW Tour competition – tied for No. 3 all-time. “If you’re ever leading going into the final day and it doesn’t make you excited, it’s time to quit. It’s an awesome feeling and I’m excited to get back out there tomorrow.”
Thrift said that he had seven bites on Saturday, catching, “a couple on a jig and a couple on a crankbait.” He first keeper came around 9:30 a.m., and he said he caught, “one here, one there” every 45 minutes or so.
“It’s tough because I can’t look at something and say ‘that’s where I’m going to get a bite,’ Thrift said. “I’ve got to go into places and fish everything there – docks, rocks, wood, sand, gravel – I have to fish all of it because I have no idea where I’m going to get bit from. I caught two today on a bare bank. I caught one on a dock, one out of a tree and one on a rock.
“The plan for tomorrow is to do the same as I did today,” Thrift went on to say. “I’m going to fish everywhere that I’ve gotten a bite – that’ll take me about an hour. And then I’m going to run all new water. We’ll see what happens.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Grand Lake are:
1st: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 52-1