Thrift Wins FLW Angler of the Year
FLWTour championships can be won and lost in a single day, but it takes an entire season to add an FLW Tour Angler of the Year Award to the trophy case. Week in and week out, anglers in the hunt for this prestigious honor must strive for not only success but consistency.
In just his fourth year of fishing FLW Tour events as a professional, Ranger Pro Bryan Thrift has already laid claim to one of the most consistent and successful young careers in professional fishing. Capping off his amazing 2010 run, which included more than $195,000 in tournament winnings and his first-ever Tour-level win, Thrift won the 2010 FLW Tour Angler of the Year Award during the regular-season finale at Lake Guntersville on June 26.
In 2010, from the front deck of his Ranger Z20 Comanche, Thrift balanced consistency with some convincing performances, including his first win on Lake Norman in March. With a four-day total of 58 pounds, 5 ounces, Thrift won the tournament by nearly nine pounds. For his Angler of the Year season, Thrift notched four Top-10 finishes in five regular-season events - enough consistency to overtake fellow Ranger Pro Brent Ehrler in the standings despite the fact the Ehrler won two FLW Tour events in 2010.
"A lot of things went my way," said Thrift of his Angler of the Year Award-winning season. "I didn't lose any fish all year. I pretty much caught everything that bit. I didn't break my line any. Everything just came together. It feels great to finally win it, especially since this is just my fourth year on the Tour. Hopefully I'll get a couple more shots at it before I have to quit."
Consistency has been a hallmark for Thrift, of Shelby, N.C., who has fished just 23 pro-level events since turning professional in 2007. In his first four seasons, the former construction worker has finished in the Top 50 (the cutoff point for cash payouts) 17 times. Of the six times he has failed to make the Top 50, four of those occurred during his rookie season.
"We couldn't be more proud of Bryan and everything he has accomplished in his career thus far," said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. "Bryan embodies what we have always felt a Ranger Pro should be in the way he handles himself on and off the water. Bryan's humility in the face of so much success is a real inspiration to us all and I can't wait to see what other accolades are coming his way as a result of his attitude and abilities."
Up next for Thrift, his fellow Ranger Pros and the rest of the qualifiers will be the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, the FLW Championship tournament, to be contested August 5-8 on Georgia's Lake Lanier.
Bryan Thrift: 2010 Results
- 4th Place - Table Rock Lake
- 1st Place - Lake Norman
- 3rd Place - Ft. Loudon/Tellico
- 21st Place - Lake Ouchita
- 9th Place - Lake Guntersville