Fletcher Shryock made the move from Ohio to Alabama this fall. Photo by Phoenix Moore

I made a big decision this offseason. After calling Ohio home for most of my life, Rose and I decided it was time to make a move down south to Lake Guntersville in Alabama. This was an important step for me in the development of my professional bass fishing career. I can now officially say that I’m “all in”.

Making the Decision

We didn’t just wake up one day and decide that it was time to move to Alabama, it kind of came about over a long stretch of time.

Last fall, I stayed around Lake Guntersville for about 10 weeks, because I always wanted to fish that lake in the fall when the grass was high. I lived out of my RV and left Alabama around Thanksgiving, but I always found myself rushing to get things done at home in Ohio so I could come back and fish Guntersville.

During the Bass Pro Tour season, I left my RV in Guntersville because it was centrally located somewhere that was a reasonable difference from all of the event locations. As time goes by and we spend more time in Alabama, Rose and I really begin to fall in love with it. I love all the seasons, yes, even the scorching hot summers.

Once spring rolled around, we knew that we wanted to permanently move to Alabama. So, we sold the house in Ohio and lived out of our RV for the remainder of the season, and found us a house that we really liked once the season ended.

New Home, Fresh Start

The moving process was a long one, as most are. However, it gave me a chance to go through some old tackle that I kept in my garage for years. There were baits buried in places that I hadn’t seen since I first moved into that house. I was able to go through it all and really strip down my baits to the basics.

A lot of people think you need every new bait that hits the market, or a million colors of each bait. The truth is, you really don’t. I stripped my tackle arsenal down to the bare bones, and I’ve never felt better about it. It kind of gives me a chance for a fresh start.

When I lived in Ohio, I really struggled with understanding different setups I needed for tournaments, and it was hard to practice my trade up there. In Guntersville, there are so many different scenarios that play out every day, and I have time to understand and practice for those situations. I feel like living in Alabama is going to make me a better professional.

Now that we’re permanently in Guntersville I really have a chance, for the first time in my career, to be all in. What I mean by that is when I lived in Ohio, I didn’t really have the opportunity to fish every day of the year because of the weather. That’s different here in Alabama, because I have the opportunity to fish every day if I wanted to (and so far I have).

When I was younger, I raced motocross. As I watched and learned from all of the top-level guys, I noticed that they all lived where they needed to make sure they were able to stay on top of their game. I learned that it’s almost impossible to be halfway in at anything in life that you want to do really well. I was halfway in when I lived in Ohio. Now, I can honestly say that I am just like the pros in motocross: all in.