Strader Sticks on 19-9, Falls Short of Championship Qualification - Major League Fishing

Strader Sticks on 19-9, Falls Short of Championship Qualification

Image for Strader Sticks on 19-9, Falls Short of Championship Qualification
March 12, 2018 • Joel Shangle • Cup Events

ALPENA, MI – It was 2 pounds, 7 ounces – just one small largemouth bass – but as far as Wesley Strader was concerned, it might as well have been 20 pounds, 70 ounces.

Competing in his very first MLF Summit Cup Sudden Death Round – on Fletcher Pond near Alpena, Michigan – the Tennessee-based veteran had shot out of the gate like gangbusters, catching six fish for 19-9 in the first two hours  of Period 1 to virtually guarantee that he’d pass the 22-pound cut weight and lock up one of the four Championship Round qualifying spots.

The key word being “virtually”.

Strader failed to catch another legal fish the rest of the day, remaining stuck on 19-9 for over three competition hours while Jacob Wheeler, Aaron Martens, Bobby Lane and Jason Christie squeezed around him to claim the four berths to the championship.

“Dude, I could not catch a bass to save my life,” Strader said after his three-hour dry spell. “I felt like maybe somebody was playing a big joke on me. Like that movie ‘Groundhog Day’ where the guy keeps living the same thing over and over, except my ‘Groundhog Day’ was NOT catching a bass.”

So far in his MLF career, though, the 22-year FLW Tour veteran seems eminently comfortable with the SCORETRACKER format and style: he’s advanced out of the Elimination Rounds at both of the events he’s fished.

“I like the speed of it all, it keeps you on your toes,” Strader says. “That suits me just fine, I kinda prefer to fish by the seat of my pants.”