Bryan Thrift hit the scale on the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup with a 7 pound 9 ounce monster bass. This beautiful bass capped off an opening day total of 18 pounds 7 ounces, just one ounce behind the current leader, Randall Tharp.
When asked about his performance today Bryan said, “This is one of those days you dream about; you have to have a day like this to even be a contender in a championship event like this.”
Bryan caught his big bass with a Damiki Finesse Miki 6.5 on a shakey head. While that was the trick for the big bass, Bryan commented, “I caught fish on a Hodge-Podge of different baits.”
Bryan described his practice as “a struggle”, and catching a bass more than 2 and a quarter pounds was very difficult. He went on to say, “I feel very blessed to have got the bites I did today.” Bryan remarked on the numbers of keeper bass he caught, “I caught a ton of 1-1.5 pound bass today.” Big numbers but small fish was a reoccurring theme shared by many anglers crossing the stage today.
When asked about the rest of the event, Bryan was very humble saying, “I have a great start, now if I can just catch 11-12 pounds each day I’ll have a shot at it.” With a little more confidence in his voice he continued, “I have one little deal that seems to be working. It’s producing a little bit larger sized bass. If it holds out for me, I have a real good shot at winning.”
I asked Bryan if he had to beat up his fish today in order to get such a strong lead, he replied, “No not really, I ran a lot of different stuff today. I even ran some new water and caught some good ones.” Bryan is covering a lot of water and it seems to be working for him. He claims he’s doing something a little different than most anglers and it’s helping him to catch larger bass. No one can argue that, he caught the biggest bass of the event for today.
Bryan is one of the few anglers that stated the weather changes didn’t really affect his water or bass, “It didn’t hurt, but it didn’t make it that much better either. It was really not a factor for my fish.”
Bryan is no stranger to the pressures of championship events. With a 5 pound lead in an event where most anglers weights are within ounces of each other, odds are that Bryan will still be at the top of the leader board come Sunday when the Champion is crowned.