Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 02/16/2017

Story and photo courtesy of FLW Communications

JONESTOWN, Texas – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Thursday to take the early lead at the FLW Tour at Lake Travis presented by Quaker State. Thrift will bring a 4-pound, 7-ounce lead into day two of the four-day event that features 164 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.

“I’m at a complete loss for words right now,” said Thrift, who has amassed nearly $2 million in FLW competition. “In three days of practice I couldn’t catch a third of the weight that I caught today. Each fish was truly a gift from God.”

Thrift said he spent the majority of his day working through an area with a 6½-inch Watermelon Candy-colored Damiki Finesse Miki worm rigged on a shaky-head jig.

“It was a big area, probably 2 to 3 acres long,” said Thrift. “There were some bushes, rocks and points. I caught four fish there, including a 6-pounder. I picked it apart for nearly five hours. There were some other boats nearby, so I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to catch as many bass as I possibly could.”

After 2:30 p.m., Thrift said he made a couple more stops and capped off his limit with another 6-pounder.

“I caught it on a jig in an area that I went to on a whim,” said Thrift. “It was mind-blowing.”

The top 10 pros after day one on Lake Travis are:
1st: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 24-12
2nd: Stephen Patek, Garland, Texas, five bass, 20-5
3rd: Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla., five bass, 19-4
4th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., five bass, 17-3
5th: Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, five bass, 16-8
6th: Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., five bass, 16-0
7th: Dean Alexander, Georgetown, Texas, five bass, 15-0
8th: Dylan Hays, Sheridan, Ark., five bass, 14-15
9th: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 14-13
10th: Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., five bass, 14-12

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Joseph Webster of Fulton, Mississippi, earned the day's $500 Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 7-pound, 14-ounce largemouth.

Overall there were 641 bass weighing 1,405 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 158 pros Thursday. The catch included 85 five-bass limits.