I grew up in the Eagle Furnace community of Rockwood, Tennessee. I have always been fascinated by fish and have been chasing them for as long as I can remember. I can remember dad making crank baits and putting them in egg cartons, and as a young child, I would stand in front of the eggs at the grocery and say, “fish.” I remember going to my grandmother’s house and making hooks out of needles and using sewing yarn as line to catch minnows out of the creek. Living near Watts Bar Lake, I fished out of a 14 ft John boat until I was 16. My brother and I paddled that boat all over that cove. This is where I learned to bass fish. I went to Rockwood High school and served as president of the bass club. My principal Leroy Wilson was the first to start a High school fishing club. I started fishing little jackpot tournaments on Watts Bar and that is where my love of tournament fishing began.
After High School graduation, I attended Roane State Community College. I went to work for a machine shop and then worked as a lineman for TVA. While I was working for TVA, I fished BFL and the Hungry Fisherman Series. I quit my job because of a near fatal accident while working for TVA. I had only been married a few months and my wife Stephanie thought we would starve to death. God had a different plan! I fished my first FLW event on Kentucky Lake in 1997 and finished 11th, just missing the cut by 3 ounces. I made enough on that event to pay all my deposits for the 1998 season. I couldn’t have done any of this without my mother and father, as well as my strong Christian foundation. Here it is approaching on my 20th wedding anniversary and my 17th year on the tour. The 2017 season is looking to be the best yet for Strader Fishing!