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Saturday, February 18, 2017
2017 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Travis Day 3: Thrift Retakes Lead as Rose Sit Second!
Gustafson finishes 13th.
by Rob Newell
FLW PRESS RELEASE
When it comes to the top spot in an FLW Tour event, Bryan Thrift and Mark Rose seem to be getting in each other’s way a lot these days. And going into the final day of the FLW Tour presented by Quaker State on Lake Travis, this reoccurring theme has happened again.
The last time the two parted ways at Lake Guntersville just a couple weeks ago, Rose walked away with an FLW Tour trophy and Thrift was left in the runner-up spot. Going into the final day at Guntersville, Rose was the leader and Thrift the pursuer. When the day ended, Thrift came within a pound of stealing Rose’s glory.
Thrift scratches up 11-07lb limit to take lead. (Photo: FLW)
Now the tables are turned: Bryan Thrift is now the leader and Rose will be following Thrift out tomorrow, and – ironically - the two heavyweights are separated by just a pound.
Thrift is still riding the wave of a momentous day one when he weighed in nearly 25 pounds to lead the event. Since then he has dug in his fingernails, with subsequent catches of 9-6 and 11-7 to keep himself on top. However, his last two days put together don’t equal what he caught the first day.
“Well, here we go again,” Thrift says with a laugh. “Mark’s limits have gotten better since day one and I’m going the other way – I’m not real thrilled about that. The first day was just a huge blessing and I’m just hanging on now. He seems to have a little more figured out here than I do, so we’ll see.”
After a windy day two, Thrift said he wanted calm and slick conditions so he could start running his up-tempo blitz game up and down the lake. He got those conditions for much of today, and his blitzing paid off with one quality fish pushing 5 pounds to put him back in the top spot with a three-day total of 45-9.
“I fished some of the same holes I have been fishing until I got four keepers, then I went running new stuff, looking for something else to develop,” Thrift says. “I did catch one big one running new stuff, but I’m still just practicing.”
Thrift is dragging jigs and shaky heads in his deeper areas, from 15 to 25 feet. When he starts gunning he’s skipping docks and fishing shallower bushes with a jig.
“The lake was pretty calm till about noon today, and when those pleasure boaters got to running around out there it got bad rough,” he says. “At that point I was forced to fish the more protected docks back in pockets and around corners. Getting a jig under docks with rolling boat wakes everywhere was a bit of a challenge.”
Day four of a cut-field tournament is in Thrift’s wheelhouse. He relishes the opportunity to have free run of the lake without having to avoid areas already getting pressured.
“This time of year, the fish are moving in and sometimes it only takes a night for places that have been fished hard to replenish,” Thrift says. “That’s the only hope I’ve got tomorrow to hang on. Maybe with just 10 boats on the lake, some of those deeper places will get right again.”
Top 10 pros
1. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 45-9 (15)
2. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 44-9 (15)
3. Clark Wendlandt – Leander, Texas – 41-12 (15)
4. Dylan Hays – Sheridan, Ark. – 41-0 (15)
5. Stephen Patek – Garland, Texas – 39-0 (15)
6. Clark Reehm – Huntington, Texas – 37-6 (14)
7. Jeremy Lawyer – Sarcoxie, Mo. – 37-4 (14)
8. Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga. – 37-1 (15)
9. Clayton Batts – Macon, Ga. – 36-5 (15)
10. Anthony Gagliardi – Prosperity, S.C. – 35-3 (15)