Strader brings local flavor to FLW Tournament - WSMV News 4

Strader brings local flavor to FLW Tournament

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With 17 Years on the FLW Pro Tour, Spring City's Wesley Strader knows how to catch a fish under all circumstances. On Wednesday we put his skills to the test as he was preparing for this weekends FLW Tournament on Chickamauga Lake.

If anyone could put this reporter (Paul Shahen) on a Chickamauga Lake big bellied large mouth bass it would have to be Wesley Strader.

Strader grew up fishing Chickamauga Lake in Rhea County. Which would make him a favorite in this weekends FLW Tournament where the top prize is $125,000.

"It would be nice to win in front of your hometown crowd, friends and family. People you've been fishing with and shared things with. To me that would be the greatest victory that you could have," said Strader.

To do that he has to beat what those on the tour call "the hometown curse."

Strader said, "the best thing to do is treat it like you've never been here. That's what I've tried to do all week, but it's hard because you wannna fish places that you've caught them in the past. It's called the hometown curse."

Good news for Strader, the hometown curse may have rubbed off on me. Strader reeled in three fish in under 20 minutes.

"Get that camera rolling boys we got them rolling in now," yelled Strader as he drilled fish after fish.

The score read fishing pro three and wannabe zero.

Fun aside, it's a proud moment for Strader who knows the economic value of his hometown hosting this great event which will be on national television sometime this fall.

"You're like I saw that on TV let's take the boat to Chickamauga for the weekend or the week and that turns into an annual thing and if you do that over 1,000 families every year, that's a big boost in the economy," said Strader.

To do anything for 17 years you have to be good at it. Strader's won more than $1,000,000 on the pro tour but prides himself on passion and consistency, "you'll never work a day in your life if you love the job you have. Basically I've taken something I love to do and made a profession out of it," said Strader.

The tournament kicks off Thursday morning with anywhere from 150-200 anglers and will wrap up on Sunday. The weigh-ins on Thursday and Friday start at the Dayton Boat Dock at 3 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday the weigh-ins move to the Dayton Walmart parking lot at 4 p.m.

Normally anglers are not allowed on the water in days leading up to tournaments, but FLW granted Strader permission to do so with WRCB.

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