Area Sports Notes: Wesley Strader switches to Bassmaster Elite Series

Area Sports Notes: Wesley Strader switches to Bassmaster Elite Series

December 13th, 2017 by Staff Report in Sports - College

After 20 years as a Fishing League Worldwide professional angler, Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., is switching this year to the Bassmaster Elite Series with the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. His name was one of the 111 listed Tuesday in the Elite field for 2018, along with John Murray of Spring City and Jacob Wheeler of Harrison. Those two are recent transplants from Arizona and Indiana, respectively. "I've fished some B.A.S.S. events, but I never have done the Elite," Strader said Tuesday night from a duck hunting camp in Arkansas. "At one time you could do both (Bassmaster and FLW), but now you have to pick one or the other. Their schedules overlap. The Elite field size is smaller — it's less crowded — and there are no co-anglers, so you don't have to worry about giving away your spots to somebody in the back of your boat. Most of all it's just a change of pace, a little something different." Another reason for the move now, he said, is that the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest in May will be held on Lake Travis near Austin, the home base for Strader's title sponsor, Hellas Construction. Strader said he qualified for the Bassmaster top series three times previously — including 2002 when he considered fishing it as well as FLW but decided not to double up because he thought the travel would be too much for his 5-year-old daughter. "I always chose to stay with FLW, and with all the friendships I've made over those 20 years I'm not turning my back on them," he said. "Those guys made me who I am, and I'll never forget that." He's won about $1.5 million as an FLW pro, according to the B.A.S.S. release. The Bassmaster Elite season begins in February on Lake Martin in Alabama, and two of its postseason tournaments wll be on Lake Chatuge and Carters Lake in northern Georgia. Other Tennesseans in the 2018 Elite field are Brandon Card, Brandon Coulter and Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Skylar Hamilton of Dandridge, David Walker of Sevierville, Brandon Lester of Lawrenceville and David Mullins of Mount Carmel. Andy Morgan and Michael Neal of Dayton remain FLW regulars.


» Lee University's Erin Walsh made eight 3-point baskets — one shy of the program record — and scored 30 points in an 86-64 home basketball win Tuesday against Lane College. She was 8-of-14 from past the arc. Lindsey Roddy scored 19 points and Carrie Cheeks had 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds for Lee (8-2), while Nicky Widenski scored 10 points and Abby Bertram passed for six assists. Antrice McCoy scored 27 points for Lane (1-9), which made 37 percent of its shots from the field compared to 55 percent for the Lady Flames.

» The Lee men downed visiting Cumberland 71-46 with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals from Ryan Montgomery and three other double-figure scorers. Parker Suedekum was 4-of-5 on 3-pointers in scoring 12 points, and Colton Blevins and Chase Cullen added 11 and 10 for the Flames (7-2).