Sportsmans Warehouse Pro Bryan Thrift leads Day 1 of Champlain Costa
July 18, 2019 by Jody White
Less than three weeks removed from a third-place finish on Lake Champlain in the FLW Tour’s 2019 season finale, Bryan Thrift hauled 22 pounds, 6 ounces of green fish to the weigh-in stage to take the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener, which is presented by Polaris. In second, Brandt Tumberg weighed 21-10, and Joe Wood is just an ounce behind him with 21-9 for third.
Turning north from takeoff in Plattsburgh, Thrift was able to expand on the areas he fished in the Tour.
“Today was fun,” says the North Carolina superstar. “I started out wanting to catch them on [topwater baits] again, but I only caught one on top all day. I had to slow down and throw a Damiki Stinger and that was it.”
Fishing mostly grass in 5 to 6 feet of water, Thrift caught a pile of fish.
“I caught a lot,” he says. “There’s a lot of small fish where I was fishing today, and those ones I weighed in were by far the five biggest I caught all day. My last cull fish was like a 3-4, so I might have culled like 15 pounds. It was funny, when that 3-4 was my smallest one, my co-angler was joking, saying, “Man, you just need a 6-pounder now.” It was like the next cast I set the hook on that 5-pounder.”
During the Tour event, Thrift ran a pretty good milk run of spots, but he mostly settled in one general area today. Bags like Thrift’s are a pretty rare thing on Champlain, and even though nine other pros broke the 19-pound mark, he’s certainly got a leg up the rest of the way. If Thrift can pull off a win, it’d be his 11th with FLW, but his first north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Top 10 Pros
1. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 22-6 (5)
2. Brandt Tumberg – Moore, S.C. – 21-10 (5)
3. Joseph (Joe) Wood – Westport, Mass. – 21-9 (5)
4. Lee Black – Danville, Ala. – 20-5 (5)
5. Jimmy Kennedy – Plainfield, Vt. – 19-15 (5)
6. Joe Lucarelli – Center Harbor, N.H. – 19-14 (5)
7. Wayne Vaughan – Chester, Va. – 19-5 (5)
8. Frankie Appaluccio – Franklin, N.J. – 19-4 (5)
9. Scott Dobson – Clarkston, Mich. – 19-4 (5)
10. Bob Behrle – Hoover, Ala. – 18-11 (5)
Prentiss leads co-anglers
On the co-angler side, Jordan Prentiss of Keeseville, N.Y. holds the lead with 17-9 with Joseph Marsh trailing by just 7 ounces. No other co-anglers topped the 17-pound mark on day one, though seven total anglers turned in bags of at least 16 pounds.
Fishing behind Brad Elwood up north, Prentiss weighed a mixed bag of three largemouths and two smallmouths.
“We were fishing from 10 to 18 feet, just weeds mixed in with rock,” says Prentiss. “A drop-shot was the main key, and I caught a couple on a 4-inch wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko.
“I’m a local, so most of my fishing is right up here,” adds Prentiss. “I probably ended up catching 15 fish today, and they were all pretty similar. I feel good about tomorrow.”