Congratulations to Rob Melendez for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest! For the answer, please read below.
Bryan Thrift’s narrow 2006 Stren victory over Bobby Lane on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee wasn’t Thrift’s first win with FLW Outdoors. He’d won two other AAA-level tournaments with them the prior year, one on Lake Eufaula and the other on Santee Cooper. However, in both of those efforts he’d been a co-angler. The 2006 trophy was the first one he’d won with them from the front of the boat. Of course, he’s gone on to have a stellar career, with FLW Tour victories in 2010 and 2011, and he also earned the AOY title in 2010. He followed up those accomplishments with a win at the 2012 Toyota Texas Bass Classic.All of those achievements have certainly been meaningful to Thrift, but for historical reasons his 2006 victory may be the most important to the sport.
Do you remember what was significant about it? In order to win this challenge, give us a sentence or two answering that question. To make it a little more difficult, tell us the name of the Carolina-made topwater he used in Bassmaster’s “Day on the Lake” feature.
Here’s the answer
The Lake Norman area pro won at Okeechobee with a lure from his home region – one that is now a staple for bass anglers coast to coast, but which at the time was “a relatively new offering,” according to FLW’s tournament report – the Chatterbait.
Certainly quite a few pros had been using the Rad Lure creation, but for the most part they’d kept it quiet. Two weeks later, those who had them and used them dominated an FLW Tour event on the Big O. As 8th place finisher Sean Hoernke told FLW: “It’s a brand new bait. It’s a jig with a blade on it. It’s a very nonintrusive bait and it’s very subtle. Once one guy starts to catch them on it, everybody uses it.” One local tackle shop reported selling 1,400 of them in a single week.
Once the word was out, demand far outstripped supply and Rad Lures was overwhelmed with orders. Chatterbaits were reportedly selling on ebay for $50 or $100 apiece. Eventually Rad sold out to Z-Man.
Just as Rad Lures was headquartered close to Thrift’s Shelby, N.C. home, so too was the lure he used in his Bassmaster “Day on the Lake” feature a local creation. He relied on a Barry’s Custom Lures prop bait, made by Barry Sullivan of Hickory, N.C. It’s a balsa bluegill imitator that remains popular with many tour-level pros, even if it’s not quite as well known as the Chatterbait and its many imitators.