By BassFan Staff

He may not acknowledge it, but Bryan Thrift is on some kind of tear right now.

Counting his eye-popping 24-12 stringer today that has him in the lead after day 1 of the Lake Travis FLW Tour, Thrift has spent 20 of his last 22 competition days in the top 11, a streak that extends back to the Toyota Texas Bass Classic last May.

The only days he was outside the top 11 were days 1 and 2 at the Lake Champlain FLW Tour season finale last summer, an event he finished 11th at. Asked to explain his recent hot streak, the North Carolina pro was quick to shrug it off.

I dont pay much attention to it, said Thrift, the runner-up at the Lake Guntersville season opener. Im just trying to catch fish. I have to get paid. Thats the plan get paid.

That shouldnt be a problem this week. The only question that remains is how big that payday will be. How Thrift was able to dial in the big fish on a lake that is teeming with 9- to 12-inchers mystified the four-time Tour champion. He shared water with Scott Martin and caught several of his fish within talking distance of the current top-ranked angler in the BassFan World Rankings.

No way, Thrift said when asked if he thought he could duplicate his day-1 performance on Friday. That was a gift. That was a miracle.

Stephen Patek also was pretty fortunate as he recorded the only other 20-pound stringer, which was anchored by a 7-05 kicker, as he occupies 2nd.

Bradley Hallman, whos coming off a 115th-place finish at Lake Guntersville two weeks ago, caught 19-04 and sits in 3rd. Scott Suggs has picked up where he left off at Guntersville (4th place) with a 17-03 bag that has him in 4th. Texas pro Christopher Brasher is 5th with 16-08.

Here's a look at the Top 10 following day 1 of competition, with deficit margin from Thrift indicated by red numbers in parentheses:

1. Bryan Thrift: 24-12
2. Stephen Patek: 20-05 (4-07)
3. Bradley Hallman: 19-04 (5-08)
4. Scott Suggs: 17-03 (7-09)
5. Christopher Brasher: 16-08 (8-04)
6. Justin Atkins: 16-00 (8-12)
7. Dean Alexander: 15-00 (9-12)
8. Dylan Hays: 14-15 (9-13)
9. Anthony Gagliardi: 14-13 (9-15)
10. Grae Buck: 14-12 (10-00)

Its been several years since a major multi-day tournament has been held at Travis so whether any of the leaders can follow up their strong starts with commensurate stringers Friday remains to be seen. With many of the bass either still in their winter mode or moving into pre-spawn staging areas, its safe to assume some areas that were hit hard today may replenish.

Today was the first time the sun made a prolonged appeared since practice began on Sunday and its expected to stick around through Saturday. Word was the high skies had fish holding tighter to cover and easier to target. A south wind in the 10- to 15-mph range will accompany mostly sunny skies for day 2.

Thrift Surprised Himself

> Day 1: 5, 24-12

Thrift was more than surprised by the quality of the fish he caught today compared to what he saw in practice.

It was about 18 pounds better than what I thought I could catch, he quipped.

He tallied about a dozen keeper-sized bass and an equal number of non-keepers. He caught four of the fish he weighed in at his third spot, including a pair of 4-pounders and his 6-09 kicker in a 10-minute span, where he fished near Martin. He said there wasnt much that happened today that he can build on tomorrow.

Im starting over, he said. Im just hoping to catch a couple. Ill be happy with 7 or 8 pounds.

A shaky-head was his most productive presentation today, which he went to after the jig bite sputtered at his first couple spots.

FLW
Photo: FLW

Stephen Patek's day got a lot better when he landed this 7-05 largemouth.

2nd: Patek Filled Limit Early

> Day 1: 5, 20-05

Pateks biggest fish in three days of practice was a 3-pounder and catching that was pretty tough.

He caught tons of small fish like a lot of his competitors, but today his fortunes turned around and he finds himself in the top 5 after day 1 for the second straight event.

Today was totally different, he said. I only caught a few small fish, but I also caught a few big fish.

The biggest was a 7-05 and came off his third spot after hed boxed a 15-pound limit by 8:40 at his first spot. A Carolina-rig was his best producer today as its a technique hes comfortable with from his days fishing the rocky lakes around San Diego, Calif., prior to moving to Texas.

Hes hopeful his key areas replenish with more fish that he believes are shifting into pre-spawn mode.

My starting spot could turn into small fish, but its a staging area that leads into a spawning area, he said. I think fish are only going to be moving in there. There are not too many fish spawning yet so I imagine theyll load up again.

After catching his kicker, he stuck with a swimbait the rest of the day and upgraded one more time.

FLW
Photo: FLW

Bradley Hallman had a pair of 5-pounders anchoring his day-1 stringer.

3rd: Hallman Fished On Feel

> Day 1: 5, 19-04

At Guntersville, Hallman sacked 13-plus pounds on day 1, but zeroed on day 2 and plummeted down the leaderboard. After a great start at Travis, hes focused on avoiding a repeat of Guntersville.

Ive been having a real problem catching them good on day 1 and then falling off, he said. I hope to turn that corner tomorrow. The biggest thing I did today was something you see guys do at Beaver. I looked at the weather and fished what was in front of me and it worked. Im going to try to stay with that.

After struggling in practice, the first part of his day didnt go much better. He was without a keeper until 10 a.m. After that, he boated seven keepers, including two in the 5-plus pound range.

Today was the first day I caught multiple fish doing the same thing, he added.

4th: Suggs Unsure What Friday Will Bring

> Day 1: 5, 17-03

Suggs was quick to point out a key difference between the success he had at Guntersville and how Travis is shaping up.

Its one of those deals where at Guntersville you feel like you can catch them again, but here you dont know, he said. I could catch 5 pounds tomorrow.

His best fish was a 5-pounder that came off a spot where hed caught three short fish in succession. He also caught one fish off a bed, but it was the only one hed found in practice.

Im around where some big ones live evidently, he said. I got lucky. I had three giant bites and got two in the boat.

Suggs is anticipating some shuffling on the leaderboard tomorrow with the wind thats in the forecast for Friday. He doesnt plan on changing how hes fishing as he looks to make a second straight top-20 cut.

If you give me 12 pounds, Ill do cartwheels across the stage, he said. Its just so hard to get those 5-pound bites. I weighed in three fish off places Id never practiced on.

When the wind blows tomorrow, youre going to see a lot of things change. People who were catching them in practice due to the wind will catch them again. Itll be the third day post-front on a clear, rocky lake.

5th: Brasher Scored In the Morning

> Day 1: 5, 16-08

Brasher has a good amount of history at Travis he lived in Austin from 2002-08 and he said some of it came into play today.

There were places I decided that I wouldnt practice and I ran by one today and figured Id stop on it, he said. I pulled up and caught a 3 on my first cast. I also fished some stuff I didnt practice on that didnt produce. The lakes a lot different now because its full and things are positioned differently.

He had his weight for the day in the boat by 10:30 this morning, then spent the balance of his day zig-zagging the lake to what he felt where big-fish spots.

I switched up a little bit and culled once toward the end of the day when the wind kicked up and we got ripples on the water, he said.

He hit a lot of spots today and plans to hit just as many tomorrow. His experience at the lake tells him to not expect to catch the same weight despite the lakes reputation for being a good pattern lake.

Its about the most inconsistent lake Ive ever fished, he said. Ive had days where Ive caught 20 pounds and then Ill catch 7 or 8 pounds the next day. I feel like Ill catch more fish tomorrow the way the weather will be and the way Im fishing.

Hes been impressed with the average quality of fish in the lake and he hopes to tap into it again tomorrow. His biggest fish was a 5-pounder and the other four were roughly the same size.

I think I can catch those 2 1/2s and 2 3/4s, but I need a big one to stay in it, he said.

6th: Atkins Keeps It Rolling

> Day 1: 5, 16-00

The extended period of sunshine today was a big factor in Justin Atkins success.

I think it made it a lot better, he said. I caught them better today than during any day of practice. There were several guys in the bag line saying they felt like it got better than it was in practice. I think it made some fish come up and set up on some pre-spawn stuff.

He started on a spot that was the only place he had any confidence in from practice. Hed caught two keepers and two non-keepers there on consecutive casts, but couldnt get a feel if it would produce today.

I started there and it was like a Godsend, he said. I just had a funny feeling that was where I needed to be. I caught them in 10 casts first thing this morning.

He caught several more keepers over the course of the day, but only one helped him upgrade.

I didnt fish as many spots today as I did in practice, he added. I fished a little different today.

For the 26-year-old rookie, his confidence continues to grow as hes coming off a top-10 showing at Lake Guntersville in his Tour debut.

It makes me feel like I can do it, he said. I always felt like I could, but I needed to prove it to myself.

FLW
Photo: FLW

Scott Suggs caught some of his fish today off spots he never practiced on.

110th: Kernan Salvaged Something

> Day 1: 4, 6-10

Mike Kernan overcame a mechanical failure this morning to salvage a portion of his day and heads into Friday optimistic that he can make a charge toward check range.

I was happy with four, he said. I didnt get restarted until 10:30 and I was running 50 miles one way. I shouldve done a lot better.

Kernans breakdown occurred 40 miles from takeoff and after calling tournament director Bill Taylor to advise him of his situation, Kernan finished the day from a friends boat after returning to the blast-off point to go through check-in again.

It worked out okay, Kernan said. It couldve gone a whole lot worse. I only fished for 3 1/2 hours today and had four keepers. That tells me Im around them. I just need more time. I had two other good areas that I didnt get to fish today.

Notable

> Pro John Devere did not make the trip to Texas due to a death in his family. He will be return next month for the Harris Chain event.

> Day 1 stats 164 anglers, 85 limits, 27 fours, 21 threes, 20 twos, 5 ones, 6 zeroes.

Weather Forecast

> Fri., Feb. 17 Mostly Sunny - 72/55
- Wind: From the S at 10 to 15 mph

> Sat., Feb. 18 Partly Cloudy - 79/62
- Wind: From the SSW at 10 to 15 mph

> Sun., Feb. 19 Thunderstorms - 73/60
- Wind: From the SE at 10 to 20 mph

Day 1 Standings

1. Bryan Thrift -- Shelby, NC -- 24--12 (5)

2. Stephen Patek -- Garland, Tx -- 20--5 (5)

3. Bradley Hallman -- Norman, Ok -- 19--4 (5)

4. Scott Suggs -- Alexander, Ar -- 17--3 (5)

5. Christopher Brasher -- Longview, Tx -- 16--8 (5)

6. Justin Atkins -- Florence, Al -- 16--0 (5)

7. Dean Alexander -- Georgetown, Tx -- 15--0 (5)

8. Dylan Hays -- Sheridan, Ar -- 14--15 (5)

9. Anthony Gagliardi -- Prosperity, SC -- 14--13 (5)

10. Grae Buck -- Harleysville, Pa -- 14--12 (5)

11. Troy Morrow -- Eastanollee, Ga -- 14--10 (5)

12. Clayton Batts -- Macon, Ga -- 14--4 (5)

13. Brad Knight -- Lancing, Tn -- 14--2 (5)

14. Scott Canterbury -- Springville, Al -- 13--13 (5)

15. Bill Smith Jr -- Burlington, Ky -- 13--10 (4)

16. Larry Nixon -- Bee Branch, Ar -- 13--7 (5)

17. Jimmy Reese -- Witter Springs, Ca -- 13--7 (5)

18. Pete Ponds -- Madison, Ms -- 13--6 (5)

19. Wade Curtiss -- Meadow Vista, Ca -- 13--6 (5)

20. Scott Ashmore -- Broken Arrow, Ok -- 13--3 (5)

21. Chris Johnston -- Peterborough, On -- 13--2 (5)

22. Brandon McMillan -- Clewiston, Fl -- 12--15 (5)

23. Curtis Richardson -- Belleville, On -- 12--14 (4)

24. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, Tx -- 12--11 (5)

25. Jamie Horton -- Centerville, Al -- 12--9 (5)

26. Clark Wendlandt -- Leander, Tx -- 12--7 (5)

27. Michael Wooley -- Collierville, Tn -- 12--6 (5)

28. John Voyles -- Petersburg, In -- 12--5 (5)

29. JT Kenney -- Palm Bay, Fl -- 12--4 (4)

30. Terry Bolton -- Paducah, Ky -- 12--4 (5)

31. Jeremy Lawyer -- Sarcoxie, Mo -- 12--4 (5)

32. Michael Neal -- Dayton, Tn -- 12--3 (4)

33. Tim McDonald -- Prestonsburg, Ky -- 12--2 (5)

34. Jim Jones -- Big Bend, Wi -- 12--0 (5)

35. Matthew Stefan -- Junction City, Wi -- 11--15 (5)

36. Jason Abram -- Piney Flats, Tn -- 11--14 (5)

37. Scott Wiley -- Bay Minette, Al -- 11--13 (5)

38. Casey Scanlon -- Lenexa, Ks -- 11--13 (5)

39. John Cox -- Debary, Fl -- 11--10 (4)

40. Jim Moynagh -- Carver, Mn -- 11--9 (5)

41. Mark Rose -- West Memphis, Ar -- 11--9 (5)

42. David Dudley -- Lynchburg, Va -- 11--8 (5)

43. Nick Gainey -- Charleston, SC -- 11--7 (5)

44. Chase Brooks -- Iraan, Tx -- 11--5 (5)

45. Dan Morehead -- Paducah, Ky -- 11--5 (3)

46. Bryan Schmitt -- Deale, Md -- 11--4 (5)

47. Brandon Medlock -- Lake Placid, Fl -- 11--0 (4)

48. Chad Randles -- Elkhorn, Ne -- 10--12 (5)

49. Timmy Thompkins -- Myrtle Beach, SC -- 10--10 (5)

50. Todd Auten -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 10--10 (5)

51. Ron Farrow -- Rock Hill, SC -- 10--9 (5)

52. Bill McDonald -- Greenwood, In -- 10--9 (5)

53. Rex Huff -- Corbin, Ky -- 10--6 (5)

54. Jeff Gustafson -- Keewatin, On -- 10--4 (5)

55. Shawn Murphy -- Nicholasville, Ky -- 10--3 (5)

56. Johnny McCombs -- Morris, Al -- 10--1 (4)

57. Scott Martin -- Clewiston, Fl -- 9--14 (5)

58. Todd Hollowell -- Fishers, In -- 9--14 (5)

59. Peter Thliveros -- Saint Augustine, Fl -- 9--14 (5)

60. Brandon Cobb -- Greenwood, SC -- 9--12 (5)

61. Tim Frederick -- Leesburg, Fl -- 9--10 (5)

62. Jay Kendrick -- Grant, Al -- 9--8 (5)

63. Jason Reyes -- Huffman, Tx -- 9--8 (5)

64. Powell Kemp -- Scotland Neck, NC -- 9--8 (5)

65. Billy McCaghren -- Mayflower, Ar -- 9--8 (5)

66. Buddy Gross -- Chickamauga, Ga -- 9--7 (5)

67. Luke Dunkin -- Lawrenceburg, Tn -- 9--6 (5)

68. Jeff Dobson -- Bartlesville, Ok -- 9--6 (5)

69. Darrel Robertson -- Jay, Ok -- 9--6 (4)

70. Jimmy Houston -- Cookson, Ok -- 9--5 (4)

71. Jeff Sprague -- Point, Tx -- 9--5 (5)

72. Michael McCoy -- Mentor On The Lake, Oh -- 9--4 (4)

73. Shinichi Fukae -- Palestine, Tx -- 9--4 (5)

74. Jimmy Brewer -- Marshall, Tx -- 9--4 (5)

75. Harry Moore -- Valley, Al -- 9--3 (5)

76. Austin Terry -- San Angelo, Tx -- 9--1 (5)

77. William(Billy) Shelton Iii -- La Crosse, Va -- 9--0 (5)

78. Chris Gosselaar -- Fresno, Ca -- 8--15 (5)

79. Kurt Mitchell -- Milford, De -- 8--15 (5)

80. Derrick Blake -- Rockwood, Tn -- 8--14 (5)

81. Chris McCall -- Palmer, Tx -- 8--13 (5)

82. Eric Jackson -- Walling, Tn -- 8--13 (4)

83. Carl Jocumsen -- Frisco, Tx -- 8--12 (4)

84. Zack Birge -- Blanchard, Ok -- 8--11 (5)

85. Rob Kilby -- Hot Springs, Ar -- 8--9 (5)

86. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, Tx -- 8--8 (4)

87. Brian Latimer -- Belton, SC -- 8--7 (5)

88. Andrew Upshaw -- Tulsa, Ok -- 8--7 (5)

89. Aaron Britt -- Yuba City, Ca -- 8--5 (5)

90. Shane Lehew -- Catawba, NC -- 8--3 (5)

91. Bradley Dortch -- Atmore, Al -- 8--2 (5)

92. Joey Cifuentes -- Clinton, Ar -- 8--1 (3)

93. Joseph Webster -- Fulton, Ms -- 7--14 (1) $500

94. Tracy Adams -- Wilkesboro, NC -- 7--13 (5)

95. Kyle Cortiana -- Broken Arrow, Ok -- 7--12 (3)

96. Alvin Shaw -- Roaring Gap, NC -- 7--12 (4)

97. Evan Barnes -- Hot Springs, Ar -- 7--11 (3)

98. Alex Davis -- Albertville, Al -- 7--10 (4)

99. Randy Blaukat -- Joplin, Mo -- 7--9 (4)

100. Jay Yelas -- Corvallis, Or -- 7--8 (4)

101. Bill Day -- Frankfort, Ky -- 7--7 (3)

102. Tom Redington -- Royse City, Tx -- 7--3 (5)

103. Peter Cherkas -- Des Moines, Ia -- 7--2 (5)

104. Drew Montgomery -- Maiden, NC -- 7--1 (5)

105. Jim Tutt -- Longview, Tx -- 7--1 (5)

106. Jim Dillard -- West Monroe, La -- 6--15 (3)

107. Robert Pearson -- Herndon, Va -- 6--15 (2)

108. Clark Reehm -- Huntington, Tx -- 6--13 (4)

109. Jim Moulton -- Merced, Ca -- 6--13 (4)

110. Greg Bohannan -- Bentonville, Ar -- 6--10 (4)

111. Mike Kernan -- Wylie, Tx -- 6--10 (4)

112. Matt Reed -- Madisonville, Tx -- 6--9 (2)

113. Braxton Setzer -- Montgomery, Al -- 6--7 (4)

114. Billy Hines -- Vacaville, Ca -- 6--7 (5)

115. Rusty Trancygier -- Hahira, Ga -- 6--6 (2)

116. Jordan Osborne -- Longview, Tx -- 6--4 (3)

117. Daryl Biron -- South Windsor, Ct -- 6--4 (4)

118. Richard Lowitzki -- Hampshire, Il -- 6--4 (2)

119. Austin Felix -- Eden Prairie, Mn -- 6--3 (4)

120. Cory Johnston -- Cavan, On -- 6--3 (4)

121. Capt Blake Smith -- Lakeland, Fl -- 6--2 (2)

122. Matt Arey -- Shelby, NC -- 6--1 (4)

123. Jason Meninger -- Gainesville, Ga -- 6--1 (5)

124. Kenneth (Boo) Woods -- London, Ky -- 5--15 (3)

125. Jonathan Henry -- Grant, Al -- 5--14 (3)

126. Wesley Strader -- Spring City, Tn -- 5--13 (5)

127. Matt Wittekiend -- Angleton, Tx -- 5--8 (2)

128. Matt Greenblatt -- Port St Lucie, Fl -- 5--6 (4)

129. Joshua Weaver -- Macon, Ga -- 5--6 (3)

130. Andy Morgan -- Dayton, Tn -- 5--0 (3)

131. Kerry Milner -- Bono, Ar -- 4--15 (2)

132. Jason Lambert -- Pickwick Dam, Tn -- 4--14 (3)

133. Mark Fisher -- Wauconda, Il -- 4--11 (3)

134. Cody Meyer -- Auburn, Ca -- 4--10 (3)

135. David Smith -- Del City, Ok -- 4--7 (3)

136. Bill Hutchison -- Bessemer, Al -- 4--4 (3)

137. Charlie Evans -- Berea, Ky -- 4--4 (3)

138. Chris Whitson -- Louisville, Tn -- 4--3 (3)

139. Daniel Kweekul -- Bryant, Ar -- 4--2 (2)

140. Cody Kelley -- Conway, Ar -- 3--15 (3)

141. Lendell Martin Jr -- Nacogdoches, Tx -- 3--15 (2)

142. Gary Yamamoto -- Palestine, Tx -- 3--12 (2)

143. Jeff Cannon -- Douglasville, Ga -- 3--11 (2)

144. Cody Bird -- Granbury, Tx -- 3--9 (3)

145. Rodney Thomason -- Maumelle, Ar -- 3--9 (2)

146. Chad Warren -- Sand Springs, Ok -- 3--8 (2)

147. Kyle Weisenburger -- Ottawa, Oh -- 3--4 (2)

148. Keith Bryan -- Novato, Ca -- 3--4 (2)

149. Barry Wilson -- Birmingham, Al -- 3--3 (2)

150. Andy Young -- Mound, Mn -- 3--1 (2)

151. Jamey Caldwell -- Carthage, NC -- 3--0 (2)

152. James Watson -- Nixa, Mo -- 2--14 (2)

153. Brandon Mosley -- Choctaw, Ok -- 2--12 (1)

154. Josh Douglas -- Mound, Mn -- 2--12 (3)

155. Jason Johnson -- Gainesville, Ga -- 2--12 (2)

156. Mike Surman -- Boca Raton, Fl -- 1--14 (1)

157. Ramie Colson Jr -- Cadiz, Ky -- 1--6 (1)

158. Dennis Tietje -- Roanoke, La -- 1--0 (1)

159. Blake Nick -- Trussville, Al -- 0--0 (0)

160. Robert Behrle -- Hoover, Al -- 0--0 (0)

161. Bob Morin -- Seymour, Tn -- 0--0 (0)

162. Tom Monsoor -- La Crosse, Wi -- 0--0 (0)

163. Joe Holland -- Jefferson, Me -- 0--0 (0)

164. Chris Neau -- New Orleans, La -- 0--0 (0)