Gerald Swindle Unplugged Part 4

Original Bass Pro Interviews
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 final installment of a four-part series where the G-Man answers every single one of them!

In this episode, Gerald talks tournament tactics, his scariest moment on the water, and reveals something about himself he's never told before!

Glenn:  So during a tournament, what's your opinion of angler's ownership of spots?

Gerald:  Pure respect.  You show the guys respect, and they should show it back to you.  Unfortunately we got guys who don't do that.  I don't like to crowd nobody and then in return, I don't like to be crowded but some guys out here rather fish in your pocket as they would fish in their own spot.

Glenn:  Well when you're fishing a spot and you decide to pick up and move, I mean, aren't you a little concerned about someone moving in on it?

Gerald:  Yeah, it's anybody's game.  If you feel like it's that good, you probably should never leave it.  So you take that risk.  Go find fish and cull or stay there, so when you start crossing that bridge you got to be realizing if you're not there, they've got no way to know.

Glenn:  And speaking of moving up and going, at what point while you're fishing a spot, do you feel like, you make the decision to get up and move.  Do you set a time limit or?

Gerald:  No, I just go by gut feeling.  When I get that gut feeling I aint going to catch them anymore, I leave.  I don't have any time frame, any of that stuff I go in there thinking.  When I lose confidence, I'm leaving.  That may be one cast, it may be 100, I don't know.  It's just whenever I lose confidence.  So many people give themselves a timeframe but, heck, that ain't no good.  You can't set that timeframe and know what conditions you're under out there, might as well just go off your gut instinct.

Oh, I got a bite. Stripers on the move baby.  Oh, I had him again.  Stripers on the move.  Stripers is right in that gut.  They all little because they're thumping the crap out of that thing.  Old white bass.  Ain't no biggies in there yet.  I've had days up this river, you sit and catch 100 fish a day doing this and catch a big old stringer spots.  Catch five drums, 22 stripes, and a 3-pound spot.  That's just where the bait stays.  Oh yeah, Swindle's found the rhythm on a crappie.  He's a puller.  He's pissed. 

Do a few more, see if I can catch one out of there and then we'll move on back.   I knew when I found ya'll sitting in there, I was going to catch every one of you.  That wad of them was too thick when I come over.   I knew they was fixing to do something.  They're right on the bottom.  It's a little bitty old eight ounce.  Pop that thing like that and domp,  there they are right there.  Where's them spots at?  No spots.  Stripers.  Don't let them fool you.

Glenn:  So where do you want to be in 20 years?

Gerald:  Retired.  Living on my cabin on my 200 acres with my wife.  Maybe doing a little bit of comedy and public speaking but totally out if it, you know.  I'm not even going to compete when I'm old.  You know, can't get around getting your butt handed to you every day.  You can get your butt handed to you enough young.

Glenn:  So when you're fishing a tournament and you have a bad day, how do you stay focused?

Gerald:  Oh, dude, you just learn after years, it's just one day.  It's not the end of the year and you shake it off and get back up and do it again.  You can't, it's just too destructive if you let one day dominate you.  It's just one day.  The best hitters in the world get struck out.

Glenn:  Do you have any specific advice you can give somebody?

Gerald:  Let it go.  Don't carry it around with you for two or three days.  Let it go.  When you leave that weigh-in, it needs to be over that day.  Tomorrow's a new day.

Glenn:  What would be, after all these years of fishing, your scariest moment on the water?

Gerald:  Oh, it was last year when Derek Remitz had that wreck.  Thought his partner was going to die on me holding him in my damn arms.  Scared me to death, dude.  Guy's choking and dying.  I didn't know what to do.  He lived but it, the day Remitz wrecked in Illinois or Iowa, where we was, that's the scariest moment of my career.  You see somebody tore all up and dislocated and tore all apart that's when you realize fishing ain't that important.  Especially when you're trying to hold him. Remitz begging me don't let him die, don't let him die, don't let him die.

Glenn:  So what do you think is the one thing that perhaps your fans don't know about you?

Gerald:  I'm a romantic guy.  No.  I don't know.  I'm pretty big into old cars and hot rods.  I like that.  I'm a pretty strict parent.  For me to act the way I do, I'm pretty strict.  You know? 

Glenn:  Well, what's your favorite ice cream?

Gerald:  Butter pecan.

Glenn:  Without hesitation.

Gerald:  Yes sir.  Or a Chic-Fil-A chocolate shake.  Two favorite desserts.

Glenn:   What would be your idea of a dream vacation?

Gerald:  Me and my wife in a hut on an island I can't pronounce.  That'd be kind of nice, wouldn't it?

Glenn:  No kidding.  Well, not too long ago, you kind of got into a funk.  Wonder if you're, you were able to claw your way back out of it.

Gerald:  That was just a little mind deal, man.  You know, got down and out.  Lost my brother and kind of got behind.  I tried too hard for a year and just had to fight your back out of it.  It's one of those deals you go through.  You learn a lot from it, you know?  It was some mistakes but, hey, when you try too hard, most of the time nothing good happens.  And that's all we were doing was trying too hard, when my brother started dying and then after I lost him, I knew I had to catch them and then I had dug a hole for myself.  Man, I spent all one year digging out.  Nothing happened but I come back in the next year and turned it around.  It's just a mental thing, getting your feet back up under you and believing in yourself.  All that is.

Glenn:  Do you do anything different now than you used to?

Gerald:  Nah.  I hired a mind coach, coming out of it.  A guy who helped me mentally.  I was just tearing myself down and turn some thought process around but other than that, just fishing insticts and going back to doing what you do best.

Glenn:  Well, if you could fish with anyone from the past or present, who would it be or why?

Gerald:  I'd probably like to go with my granddad again, you know?  He's the one that used to carry me pond fishing and cat fishing.  I probably wouldn't mind sitting on the bank of an old pond with him again with some corks and live brim, catching cat fish.

Glenn:  That sounds like a lot of fun.  Was he the one introduced you into fishing?

Gerald:  My dad kept me fishing but I spent the summers with my granddad when I was young and we catfished every pond in north Mississippi.  I mean, we was after 'em.

Glenn:  Do you happen to have any fishing techniques that you feel you invented or modified or perhaps improved that nobody else knew about?

Gerald:  I'm one of the first guys that ever started skipping boat docks with a bait caster and perfecting that skip cast and a lot of guys done it with a spinning rod but I was probably one of the first guys that seen it on TV doing it with a bait caster.  So yeah, skipping under docks with a jig.  That's probably it.

Glenn:  So if they could bring back one old discontinued lure, what would you like that to be and why?

Gerald:  The original wiggle wart.  Phantom brown.  Fish catchingest lure ever made and the new ones just ain't as good as the old ones.  Plastics different, don't sound the same, don't run the same.  Phantom brown old school wiggle wart baby.  I'd take a boatload of them.

Glenn:  Well Gerald, I want to thank you for taking the time to be with us today and answer everybody's question.

Gerald:  We got them.  We ain't caught no fish but we got the questions.  But we'll get there.  The fish will come.  Fish will come.