Gerald Swindle Unplugged Part 3
We spent a day on the water with bass pro Gerald Swindle posing questions that members from our forums submitted for him to answer. This is the third of a four-part series where the G-Man answers every single one of them!
In this episode, Gerald reveals how he takes apart a new body of water, the most common mistakes anglers make, and what it's like to fish against KVD.
Glenn: So here's an interesting question from AJ. He wants to know if there's something that you always did during a tournament when you first started out that you never do now.
Gerald: Something that I always did. AJ, I'm coming up with nothing. Man, I really haven't changed the way I fish, so there's really nothing that I was doing that I quit doing. I'm boring on that one, AJ, I got nothing. I haven't changed really. There's really nothing that, I still try to keep it simple and fish basically the same baits. I don't have many superstitions at all, so basically the same deal.
Glenn: Okay, well, Belligerent, that's the guy's name, Belligerent. Belligerent wants to know what modifications or tweaking do you do to your baits?
Gerald: That just depends, you know, from changing hooks on lipless crank baits to a little custom paint here and there to little stuff like that. Tuning buzzbaits, making them make noise.
Glenn: Can you give any specific examples?
Gerald: Yeah, man. It's complicated. I mean, I sand wires, I grind blades, I turn pot rivets, stuff like that, to make different sound. Mostly just though, nothing really besides changing hooks is the biggest thing. Little tweaks here and there. Trimming skirts on jigs and stuff like that.
Glenn: So RedTail poses a really good question. If you're fishing a brand new body of water and you had no electronics, no maps, nothing of the sort, and you could only bring three baits, what might those be?
Gerald: Well, if I had never seen the lake, no maps, no nothing, I could only bring three baits, it'd probably be stuff to beat the bank with. Spinnerbait, I'd take shallow crankbait and I'd take spinnerbait. Probably something to flip with and probably pitching a little 3/8 ounce jig and throwing a little half ounce double Colorado spinnerbait, little Lucky Craft RC1.5 because I know with all that stuff, I'm just basically going to beat the bank and fish what I can see. So those three would probably do it the whole day.
Glenn: Doesn't matter what time of year?
Gerald: Nah. Beat the bank. Be my old bank beater. Being as I don't know nothing about it, I'd just be thrashing the bank.
Glenn: Well, Row Your Boat asks, what's the most common mistake you see the average angler make?
Gerald: Most common mistake. Not paying enough attention to detail. Not fishing the obvious stuff, not paying attention to the pattern, and really paying attention to what the fish is telling him. That's what I see most of the time. Not looking at all their conditions and taking all that in consideration. They're just fishing in old places they like to fish.
Glenn: So what do you feel is your biggest mistake as a pro angler?
Gerald: Usually finding too many places to fish, getting too strung out. You know, locating fish all over the lake and then trying to sort out where to fish, so you get a little, sometimes you get a tendency to be a little bumbuzzled
Gerald: Bumbuzzled. Just really not knowing which direction to go.
Glenn: Don't use these technical terms on me, man.
Glenn: I get lost on you real quick.
Gerald: Big one there wasn't it.
Glenn: BassingBob54 wants to know what's it like to fish against KVD and is it hard to stay focused knowing that he's gunning for you?
Gerald: KVD. Fishing about KVD. It's a lot like having VD. It just kind of burns a lot and you can't hardly get rid of it. That's what it's like fishing against KVD. I call him VD. He gets all bent out of shape but it is what it is. Tough he ah. Really no different than the rest of them. I mean, he makes the count a lot of the times but they bite mine, I make the count too. So you just try not to look at that, you're not fishing against him as much as the field and just watching the burn when you pee. That's KVD.
Glenn: So here's one and I don't know how serious this one. I think this guy's giving you a hard time here, so I think he deserves a little back. He goes by the name of Randy's Breath. He wants to know is if the sting has worn off yet from the beating Luke Clausen gave you from using a sissy rod on the Ultimate Match Fishing.
Gerald: I wouldn't say it's gone. I mean, when you fish, you get somebody you don't even really like and sitting in the back of the boat and you ain't even got nowhere to throw, getting beat ain't no fun. I didn't like him before I started and I still don't like him, so I say the sting is gone but it don't change how I feel.
Glenn: Well, you're known for your practical jokes. I'm sure you know that.
Gerald: Oh yeah.
Glenn: So, do you happen to have any particular ones that you're fond of or any recent ones you want to share with us that went off particularly well?
Gerald: I haven't really pulled any this year on anybody. I hadn't been around a lot of the guys but, you know, outside of the Living the Dream stuff that you can watch online, getting the guy to drink a bunch of energy drinks and stuff like that, I hadn't. This winter I've been kind of dormant, I'm just waiting on my chance, you know? Probably pull a good one on VD or Skeet before the year's over but there's been many. There's been many.
Glenn: Any ones come to mind that?
Gerald: I paid a hooker to go up and hit on Kelly Jordan one time. That was kind of funny. Cost me 50 bucks, she was all over him. Telling him she read about him in Bassmasters magazine. I had done filled the whole deal in and I mean it was worth all 50 of it. Easiest 50 she ever made. That was kind of fun. That's just what we do.
Glenn: So if you could have any super power, what would it be?
Gerald: Any super power. Bionic eyes? I don't know. I've always wanted the power to pick the woods up and look under them, so I could see where the deer were and then walk over and kill them. I've said many times I wish I could just super power the trees up and look under them and find the deer but hadn't worked yet but that's the super power I would want. Ability to remove the brush where I could see the animal. Then he couldn't hide. I could kill them all.
Glenn: So when you're pre-fishing a body of water, what kind of things are you trying to accomplish? And how do you go about doing that?
Gerald: I got one rule of thumb in practice. I try to get in the area that I feel likes got the most fish in it that's the easiest for me to catch and then that's where I spend my time in the tournament. I go all over the place but when it's said and done, I'm going to go right back to the area that I feel like I may not have had the most bites, but I had bites in there and got the best indication that's the most fish in there. Once I do that, that's where I'll be. Yeah, you want to find a pattern and all that. There's always key areas.
Glenn: Do you spend more time fishing or looking at your depth finder, running around?
Gerald: It just depends. All that stems on type of tournaments. Kentucky Lake you look more at your depth finder. Here you spend more time fishing, you know. So it's a mix due to how the lakes are at the time of year. If it's an offshore tournament, I'll spend hours and hours and hours just looking and looking, not even fishing. Bank beating tournament, put your trolling motor down and just go. Try and cover as much water as we can.
Oh, I got something. I got something on you, boss. And it's a striper and I have found a school of them and I'm going to catch every one of them. Oh, it's on like soup bone. I don't care. There's a thousand of them down there. I seen them on the deep meter. Oh, he bit my tail off. Look at that little gerbil head. Dandgum it. I've done that a many, many times brother. Throw back in there and catch a four pound spot.