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N.C. angler named nation’s best – for the second time

Pro angler Bryan Thrift of Shelby won his second FLW Tour Angler of the Year title and its $100,000 prize last weekend.
Pro angler Bryan Thrift of Shelby won his second FLW Tour Angler of the Year title and its $100,000 prize last weekend. Fishing League Worldwide

Pro angler Bryan Thrift of Shelby has won his second FLW Tour Angler of the Year title and its $100,000 prize.

Thrift won the award at the tour’s final 2017 regular-season event, on the Potomac River.

Angler of the Year annually goes to the tour’s most dominant bass angler. FLW stands for Fishing League Worldwide.

“The Angler of the Year is the greatest accomplishment you can have in professional fishing,” Thrift said in a tour news release. “You were the best fisherman all year long. Not one tournament, not the championship, but all year long.”

Thrift, an 11-year tour veteran, earned his first Angler of the Year title in 2010, when he posted top-10 finishes in four of the five regular-season tournaments, then added another at the Forrest Wood Cup, The Star reported.

“It’s nice to finally win it again,” the 37-year old Thrift sai in the news release. “I think I blew Angler of the Year three or four times since then. To be able to do it the first season we’ve had seven events, to me that’s a huge accomplishment.”

Thrift has fished professionally on the tour since 2007. He finished outside the top-10 just once – impressive considering most FLW Tour events feature more than 160 anglers competing each season.

Coverage of Thrift’s Angler of the Year win on the Potomac River will premiere on NBC Sports Network noon-1 p.m. Sept. 20.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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