EUFAULA, Ala. (Feb. 23, 2021) – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, weighed in 15 bass totaling 50 pounds, 4 ounces over the first two days of competition to win the two-day Qualifying Round at REDCREST 2021, the Bass Pro Tour championship at Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama. The five-day competition features a field of 40 of the best anglers in the world from the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour competing for a top cash prize of $300,000.
The field is now cut to 20, and weights are zeroed as competition moves into the Knockout Round. A field of 10 anglers (Group A) will compete on Wednesday and the remaining 10 anglers (Group B) will compete Thursday. The top five anglers from each day advance to the fifth and final day of competition, Championship Friday.
Lake Eufaula was a bit tougher for anglers on Tuesday, however quite a few anglers, including Thrift, spent most of the day practicing and searching for new areas to fish during the upcoming Knockout Round.
“I didn’t catch a lot of fish today – only two scorable bass – but it was a fun day because I eliminated a lot of water,” Thrift said. “That’s pretty much all we got accomplished today, but that’s just a part of it. Sometimes that’s almost as good as finding the winning hole, because now I’ve got a great idea of what not to do when I get back out there, and that’s definitely a plus.
“It feels great to be leading in my very first REDCREST, but I’ve still got some work left to do,” Thrift said. “You can’t win if you don’t make it to the Championship Round. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and seeing what we can do.”
Reigning REDCREST champion, Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers, had a great day Tuesday, catching eight bass weighing 22 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest weight of the day – to vault from 25th place to inside the Toro Top 20 Cut and end the day in 8th place.
“I caught the largest weight of the day, and I know that doesn’t mean a lot to some of the guys that laid off their fish, but it gives me a lot of confidence going into the Knockout Round,” Evers said. “The majority of my fish today came on a Berkley PowerBait Power Hog. I’m learning more and putting more pieces of the puzzle together each day and I can’t wait to get back out there and compete in the Knockout Round.”
The top 20 pros that made the cut and will advance in competition at Lake Eufaula are:1st: Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 50-4
2nd: Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., 12 bass, 39-7
3rd: Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 36-3
4th: Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tenn., 10 bass, 33-8
5th: Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, 10 bass, 33-2
6th: Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., 11 bass, 31-1
7th: Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., nine bass, 31-1
8th: Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., 11 bass, 30-0
9th: Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas, 10 bass, 29-7
10th: Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., nine bass, 28-12
11th: David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., eight bass, 28-7
12th: Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 27-4
13th: Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla., eight bass, 27-0
14th: Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark., seven bass, 26-8
15th: Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., eight bass, 26-4
16th: Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan., nine bass, 26-3
17th: Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., six bass, 23-5
18th: Fred Roumbanis of Russellville, Ark., nine bass, 23-3
19th: Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala., seven bass, 22-15
20th: Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., eight bass, 20-10
Full results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 105 bass weighing 101 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 35 pros on Tuesday, which included eight 5-pounders and eight 4-pounders caught.
Fletcher Shryock of Guntersville, Alabama, won Tuesday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 5-pound, 14-ounce largemouth during Period 1. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $7,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.
The 10 anglers that will compete in the Group A Knockout Round on Wednesday are:
Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla.
Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark.
Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala.
Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark.
David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va.
Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C.
Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn.
Fred Roumbanis of Russellville, Ark.
Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn.
Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.
The 10 anglers that will compete in the Group B Knockout Round on Thursday are:Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan.
Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tenn.
Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla.
Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C.
Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas
Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala.
Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn.
Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan
Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla.
Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C.
REDCREST 2021 Presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage, the Bass Pro Tour championship at Lake Eufaula, is hosted by the Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce.
All 40 Anglers competed on Day 1 (Monday) and 2 (Tuesday) of the event. Now, the field is cut to just the top 20 based on two-day total cumulative weight. The remaining 20 anglers are split into two groups – 10 compete on Day 3 (Wednesday) and 10 compete on Day 4 (Thursday). The top five anglers from each group based on total single-day weight will advance to the fifth and final day of competition (Friday), where weights are zeroed and the angler that catches the highest total weight on the final day will be crowned the REDCREST 2021 champion.
Attendance is limited to competing anglers, essential staff and media covering the event only. Fans are encouraged to follow the event online through the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com
The 2020 Bass Pro Tour featured a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing in a COVID-shortened five regular-season tournaments around the country. The top 40 anglers in the Angler of the Year (AOY) standings after the five events qualified to compete in Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2021 presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage.
The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action each day of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com. and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
Television coverage of REDCREST 2021 presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage, the Bass Pro Tour championship, will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, July 3 on the Discovery Channel. A one-hour special episode of MLF Inside the REDCREST will premiere at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, July 18 on CBS. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.