17.12 to Lead REDCREST | Knockout Round 1 Results

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17.12 to Lead REDCREST | Knockout Round 1 Results

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P-Line Pro Bryan Thrift Leads Knockout Round REDCREST.jpg

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 10, 2023) – Shelby, North Carolina pro Bryan Thrift, caught a five-bass limit Friday weighing 17 pounds, 12 ounces – the largest limit of the tournament thus far – to grab the early Knockout Round lead after Day 3 of the Major League Fishing (MLF) REDCREST 2023 presented by Shore Lunch , the Bass Pro Tour championship. The field is now trimmed to 15, and competition resumes Saturday as the anglers compete to get inside the top 10 to advance to Championship Sunday. The five-day event, hosted by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Visit Lake Norman and the Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation Department, features anglers competing to become pro bass fishing’s newest world champion, and a top cash prize of $300,000.

“I started the first period on the same place I’ve been starting every day, and I caught a pretty good limit on a little ¼-ounce Damiki Underspin with a 3-inch (Damiki) Armor Shad,” Thrift said. “I came out of there with almost 12 pounds, and that gave me the confidence to go and run my big fish pattern – throwing a bigger swimbait around docks.

“I ended up getting four bites on it and they were all 3-pounders, which is a very good day on Lake Norman. I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow. If they keep biting that swimbait and I can keep catching them on this underspin, we might have a chance at this one.”

Behind Thrift in second place is reigning Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year Jacob Wheeler, who boated five bass weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces.

“I had a solid day out on Norman and survived Day 1,” Wheeler said in his post-game interview. “We have our work cut out for us. I’ve got to catch a big bag tomorrow, to sort of make up that margin on Thrift.

“The thing about Lake Norman is it’s really easy to slip up here,” Wheeler continued. “If someone catches 12 pounds and you can catch 16, you can make up that weight margin quickly. But we at least survived and made it to where we have a chance going into the next couple of days. I think I figured something out today, so hopefully we can put that in our hand and go out here and try to reel a couple of bass in again tomorrow.”

The top 15 pros that made the cut and will advance in competition on Lake Norman:

1st: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 17-12
2nd: Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., five bass, 15-4
3rd: Alton Jones, Jr., Waco, Texas, five bass, 14-9
4th: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., five bass, 14-4
5th: Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., five bass, 14-2
6th: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., five bass, 12-3
7th: Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., five bass, 12-3
8th: Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 12-3
9th: Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., five bass, 12-0
10th: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 11-15
11th: Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., five bass, 11-11
12th: Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 11-9
13th: Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, five bass, 11-7
14th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., five bass, 11-1
15th: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 10-15

Finishing in 16th through 20th place are:

16th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., five bass, 10-13
17th: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., five bass, 10-13
18th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 9-7
19th: Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 8-12
20th: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., four bass, 7-2

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 173 scorable bass weighing 362 pounds, 10 ounces caught by the 20 pros Friday.

Pro Alton Jones, Jr. of Waco, Texas, earned Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with a stout 5-pound, 7-ounce spotted bass that he caught during Period 1. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $1,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

All 40 Anglers competed on Days 1 (Wednesday) and 2 (Thursday) of the event. After two days of competition, the field was cut to just the top 20 based on two-day total (10 bass) cumulative weight. Weights were zeroed, and the top 20 anglers competed on Day 3 (Friday). Now the field is trimmed to 15 anglers on Day 4 (Saturday), then only the final 10 anglers compete on Day 5 (Sunday). The winner is determined by the heaviest three-day total (15 bass) cumulative weight with the winner earning the top prize of $300,000 and the REDCREST 2023 trophy.
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