Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., crossed the stage Thursday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces to lead day two of the FLW Tour event presented by the National Guard on Lake Norman. Thrift has a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 29-10 and now holds a 2-pound, 1-ounce lead in the tournament featuring anglers from all across the country.
“Home-lake advantage definitely came into play today,” said Thrift, who has won more than $467,000 in FLW Outdoors competition. “Just knowing what to look for and what kind of structure the fish were on once I got a couple of bites, I could keep running to places like that. I didn’t have to waste time running around trying to find where stuff was.
“I’m catching fish on a lot of different things,” Thrift added. “I’m catching them on a worm, jig and crankbait, and caught some on a Chatterbait yesterday. There’s really no certain bait that I’m keying in on. Probably the two I’m spending the most time with are the jig and the crankbait.”
Thrift said he is fishing water all over the lake, almost from dam to dam and keying in on brushpiles and docks he has had success with in the past.
“I’m running way up the river and running up almost every creek in the lake,” Thrift said. “I’m burning two tanks of gas every day.”
Rounding out the top-10 pros after day one on Lake Norman are:
2nd: Rusty Trancygier, Hahira, Ga., 10 bass, 27-9
3rd: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 10 bass, 26-6
4th: Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 10 bass, 26-0
5th: Greg Pugh, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 25-5
6th: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 10 bass, 24-5
7th: National Guard pro Jonathan Newton, Rogersville, Ala., 10 bass, 23-15
8th: Chip Harrison, Bremen, Ind., 10 bass, 23-15
9th: Vic Vatalaro, Kent, Ohio, 10 bass, 23-9
10th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 23-2
Overall there were 644 bass weighing 1,246 pounds, 1 ounce caught by 146 pros Thursday. The catch included 105 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup which will be held Aug. 5-8 at Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Ga., where they could win as much as $600,000 – the sport’s biggest award.
Mitchell Cook of Drexel, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division with 10 bass weighing 19-4 followed by Naohiro Maruo of Takamatsu Kaga, Japan, in second place with 10 bass weighing 19 pounds even.
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Mark Denney, Cottontown, Tenn., nine bass, 18-10
4th: Lynn Baciuska Jr., Afton, N.Y., nine bass, 17-14
5th: Brent Evans, Calvert City, Ky., 10 bass, 17-10
6th: Mark White, Tucson, Ariz., 10 bass, 17-8
7th: Mark Heatwole, Harrisonburg, Va., nine bass, 17-4
8th: Hector Delagarza, Sunnyvale, Texas, eight bass, 17-0
9th: Al Gagliarducci, Enfield, Conn., 10 bass, 16-12
10th: Johnny Manning, Arkadelphia, Ark., eight bass, 16-11
Overall there were 456 bass weighing 778 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 138 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 41 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off from Blythe Landing located at 15901 N.C. Highway 73 in Cornelius, N.C., at 7:15 each morning. Friday’s weigh-in will also be held at Blythe Landing beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center located at 4751 Highway 49 North in Concord, N.C., beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo at Cabarrus Arena & Events Center on Friday from 5 – 9 p.m. and Saturday prior to the final weigh-in from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There will be a drawing for a Can-Am ATV compliments of 99.7 the Fox and rod and reel combos will be given to the first 300 kids under 14 in attendance on Saturday. The Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of events, additional information and to register for the ATV, visit FLWOutdoors.com/ngopen.
Coverage of the Lake Norman tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors,” will air May 2 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.