Fishing & Boating News

Thrift's Beaver Lake Triumph Airs April 17 On Versus

One-hour show covers second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2011

by: Chad Gay, Director - Public Relations,

(Apr. 13, 2011 - Minneapolis, MN) The second stop on the 2011 Walmart FLW Tour, which was presented by Straight Talk, took place on northwest Arkansas' Beaver Lake. With water temperatures in the mid-40s, the fishing was much different than in years past. Instead of sight-fishing for spawning bass, most anglers used jerkbaits - including red-hot Chevy pro Bryan Thrift. The defending Angler of the Year crushed the competition with a total weight of 54 pounds, 8 ounces. Complete coverage of the event will air April 17 from 1-2 p.m. ET on VERSUS as part of the weekly "FLW Outdoors" program.

Dating back to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, Thrift has posted seven top-10 finishes and two wins in his last eight events. But he struggled early on Beaver Lake, catching only three keepers the first day. On day two, Thrift changed his technique thanks to a tip from friend Matt Arey. Instead of slowly pausing and retrieving the jerkbait, Thrift started to rip it as fast and hard as possible. On day two he caught a limit and on day three he made his big push - catching a 20-pound, 1-ounce stringer, the largest ever at an FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake.

On the final day, Thrift caught a 4-pounder within the first 20 minutes, and then struggled considerably. At 1 p.m. he decided to abandon his shallow-water rock program and fish deep cedar trees. But he didn't seal the deal until 10 minutes before check-in, when he pulled into Prairie Creek and caught another 4-pounder - the winning fish. In opening his Angler of the Year defense with a win, Thrift also cleared another $125,000.

In second place with 52 pounds, 6 ounces was Reeds Spring, Mo., pro Stacey King. Like Thrift, King primarily employed a jerkbait. But on the final day, he switched to an old-school Cordell Super Shad tailspinner. Although the bait is no longer in production, it works extremely well in calm, bright conditions on Ozark impoundments. King's second-place finish earned him $35,000.

EverStart pro Ron Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., took third and earned $30,000 with a total weight of 49 pounds, 4 ounces. Shuffield alternated between throwing a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait and a Storm Wiggle Wart crankbait, depending on the conditions. Pickens Plan pro Randy Blaukat finished fourth with 48-8 to earn $25,000, while Arey took fifth with 48-4 and took home $20,000.

"FLW Outdoors" airs on VERSUS in high-definition (HD) Sundays from 1-2 p.m. ET. Hosted by Jason Harper, "FLW Outdoors," is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport. The FLWOutdoors website also provides an online guidelisting upcoming episodes of "FLW Outdoors" and a preview of the upcoming show. In addition, each episode of "FLW Outdoors" is available on demand in its entirety on the FLWOutdoors website/flwondemand.

FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011.