By Todd Ceisner
BassFan Editor


Andy Morgan has witnessed a lot over his 20-plus years as a professional angler. Hes seen sponsors come and go, prize purses swell and shrink, interest in the sport ebb and flow.

Hes accomplished plenty as well, but the three-time FLW Tour Angler of the Year who has more Forrest Wood Cup appearances than anyone cant recall another angler being on a run similar to the one Bryan Thrift is on right now.

On his drive home Sunday night after finishing 5th at the Lake Cumberland FLW Tour, an event he led the first two days, Morgan said its time BassFans begin to truly appreciate the level at which Thrift is performing because hes not sure when itll happen again.

Ive never seen anything like it, Morgan said. Ive never seen anybody as dominant. (Kevin) VanDam and Skeet (Reese) went on unbelievable rolls back in the day, but that was back when swimbaits came out and Senkos and all that stuff was new. There is nothing new now and Thrift is still putting it together, sometimes hodgepodge, and he wins.

Thrifts win at Cumberland is the latest turn in a blistering run that goes back to 2012 when he captured the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Conroe. By then, hed already posted two FLW Tour victories and won an AOY title, but in the years since hes elevated his game to a higher level.

In 36 Tour events since the start of 2013, hes won four times and his average finish is 28th with 20 day-2 cuts made and 10 top-5s. When he misses, its not by much either. He has missed the money cut just seven times over the same span.

Look at what hes won over the last five years holy (expletive), Morgan said. Even when he misses, he still makes the top 10.

Over the same span, Morgan has missed the money just five times and has 22 day-2 cuts to his credit. He has eight top-5 finishes, but no wins and no top-10 finishes in the Cup.

Whats been just as impressive to Morgan is the variety of ways Thrift has won tournaments. Last week, it was with a pre-spawn finesse swimbait presentation amidst falling water. Hes won events junk-fishing as well. He rarely gets pigeon-holed as a specialist with one technique or another.

I was talking to Ramie (Colson) about how many different ways hes won its always different, Morgan said. Hes unbelievable and hes a friend of mine. Ive watched him a lot. Hes good at everything. He has no weaknesses.

Ive said it for a long time, but nobody realizes how good he is. His track record for the last 4 or 5 years its hard to not put him at No. 1. Bryan is such a cool cat and hes in it for the long haul. Hes a tackle junkie and when you talk about the full-time fisherman, hes had all the good characteristics for a long time.

In nine of the last 10 seasons, Thrift has finished amongst the top 10 in AOY points and is the points leader after four events this season.

He also shines in the biggest events. In 11 career Cup appearances, hes finished outside the top 15 just once and has logged a top-10 result in the last six in a row. He won the TTBC in 2012 and was 2nd in 2016 at Ray Roberts, the last time the event pitted the best of the Elite Series against the best of the FLW Tour.

The only gap on his resume, it seems, is a Cup victory. That would surely cement his place as one of the top competitors of this era, but he says its not something he worries about.

Obviously, yeah, I want to win the Cup, but I dont dwell on it, Thrift said. It seems like you more dwell on it the harder it is to obtain. It has to appear out of nowhere like a surprise.