Gerald Swindle's Expert Boat Organization Tips for Bass Fishing Success

Tackle Organization and Bass Boat Organization
Join Bassmasters Elite Series pro, Gerald Swindle, AKA the GMAN, for an exclusive tour of his fishing boat. Discover Gerald's top tips for boat organization, aimed at simplifying competition days on the water. From rod box strategies to maximize storage without tangling, to the smart use of Rod Glove products and organizing tackle in labeled boxes, Gerald shares his secrets. Get insights into his custom Phoenix PHX setup, including unique storage solutions for baits, tools, and personal items, ensuring everything is at arm's reach and chaos-free. Learn how Gerald balances his boat's weight for optimal performance, along with his approach to managing live wells and the powerhouse system in the back. This video is a treasure trove of advice for any angler looking to streamline their fishing experience, improve efficiency, and focus on what matters most - catching bass. Whether you're a tournament competitor or a recreational angler, these organization tips from a seasoned pro will elevate your fishing game and make every trip more enjoyable.

Hey, guys, it's Gerald Swindle, Bassmasters Elite Series Angler, AKA the GMAN. Today, I'm on BassResources, and I'm gonna give you the nickel tour of my boat and how I organize it, and a few of the things I do to try to simplify a day on the water and competition. We'll start with the rod box. This is pretty important to me.

First thing I do in my Phoenix is I take out the back divider. I don't want the front tubes. I wanna be able to put as many rods in here as I can. I use all the Rod Glove products that slide on your rods. This prevents a lot of tangling and twisting. It makes this a little bit easier for me to get in and out. It also lets me put a lot of fishing poles in there. I can get 25, 30 poles in there, and that's what I'm looking for.

So this is the key, but being able to reach in, get them in and out the easiest without tangling all up and being a mess, the Rod Glove will help you do that. So now you've seen that part. Now, we're going into the center. So I run the Phoenix PHX, which only has the giant lid. If it's an Elite II, it'd have two lids. So I have the big center console lid, and welcome to the repertoire, and I'll get down here with you.

You'll notice I've got everything in boxes, labeled, drop shots, swim bait heads, big weights. I've got all kind of baits. We have a slide draw here. I keep a lot of knick-knack stuff that I may need. You notice I build a little deal here just for my dyes to sit upright. I keep my scales here because I'm out here at St. Clair last week. I'm weighing a lot of fish. Everything's in boxes and labeled. DT 20s.

Then I got my small boxes up here. And it's kind of key when you're loading your boat, you don't wanna load the front of your boat too much weight up front. So you'll notice a lot of the smaller boxes are up here. Everything from SD cards, shaky heads, keep a lot of plastics on the sides of the box, slides back and forth. I can reach in here and get whatever I need. Ned heads, hair jigs, sprays. You'll notice up here, I use the...this is the Phoenix organizing system, but I keep a few baits hanging up here that I may need at the drop of a hat. You just never know. So these few stay up here, always ready to go. If I get done with one, I can just hang it up, shut the lid back down and I'm ready to go. So that's kind of organized chaos.

And check out the little boxes. This is the stuff that you wouldn't think matters. This is a box I use that seems like it's just there as a catch-all, but it's not. This is where I keep everything from Sharpies. I have hook files, I have dye markers, I have all my plug knockers, have my fin clips. I keep all my little small stuff right here, and an overflow of jigs and stuff I pick up by the floor. I'm a guy that don't like a lot of stuff in the floor. And, of course, you have your cooler. So if I'm stripping line or something during the day and I need to put trash in there, I use my cooler to put trash in. Don't throw it out, don't let it get blown out in the lake. Don't do any of that. You can just simply set your bags right back down in there. Shut her down.

With the PHX, it has what's called the day box. So I have this small box right here. A lot of guys will use it for just whatever they're gonna need in that day. I use it just for a basic bunch. A bunch of bulk plastics. Everything'll see some leader line in there, fluke-style baits. I've got Z-Craws, but I use this just as kind of a catchall, and I mean, I put some stuff in it. The front box, which we call the secondary rod box. And if you'll notice, my rod straps are different. I do not like the ones that pull out from the side. I remove those when I immediately get a boat and use the Old TH rubber-style straps. I just like that system better. I don't feel like it catches my line as bad. And look here, in this front box, we got it all. I can always... I have a towel fetish. My wife says I keep plenty of dry towels in the boat.

I have my line box here, so I can just reach in here and get my leader line out. I've got a bunch of extra AFTCO clothes, rain suit, keep my spare line box in here, more line right here. But this is an area that I don't try to pack too heavy. If you'll notice, there's a lot of light objects in here. And that being the reason is the rod box is pretty light. Those rods don't weigh a lot. And I don't wanna overload this. So I want the boat to be balanced. So I load the sides equally. Try and weight. The most weight goes in the center of this box and back. So that's kind of the front end in my storages. You check out the front of my boat, of course, she's set up, one Garmin, two hummingbirds, got the Minn Kota trolling motor, got everything you could ask for up here. This baby's loaded.

But now, let's get to the back of the boat and the storage that matters. One of the neat hidden compartments that's really overlooked in the PHX and a lot of the Phoenix models is this is the area for your co-anglers rods, has its own strap-down system. It's got its own footrest, but it's got a storage right here. And you'll see this is where I keep my camera poles and everything. Because in our tournaments, running cameras, whether they're GoPros or whatever they run, they're mandatory. So I keep my Taddo pole, I keep some extra rod gloves. I keep extra running light in there. I've got all my boat numbers, restoration, keep my fire extinguisher in there. This is kind of the working utility box of things I need to make the day go smoother, from tools to cameras, gear. But I love this little box that's nice and hid. Of course, your partner can put his rods down there. His rods lay there. He's got his own footrest. So Phoenix thought of everything. That's an overlooked box but most definitely important to me.

All right, the Phoenix has this little center console box. This is the handiest thing ever. So you can pitch your phone in there. I keep my billfold, extra glasses, medicine, whether ibuprofen, Goodie powder, whatever, screwdriver, a few tools. But I love the fact that I can shut that down and it's not gonna get blown out or get wet. But yet I got it right there at my fingertips.

Live wells, you would think, "What's the big deal about organizing live wells?" You'll see on one of my live wells, I've got the T-H vent system. It's the V2 vent system. Notice how nice my culling buoys are set up right here. Everything's in order and organized, ready to go. So I catch a fish, I can buoy, and put them back down and I bring them back out. Pop back up here. The vent system helps blow the air out. You'll notice I didn't put one on this side, this side, if I'm up at the Great Lakes. So if the water's hot, I'll fill this side slammed full of ice all the way to the top. Shut the lid down, let it cool through the interior wall into here. That ice will stay all day. This vent will let the air flow through here. So if it builds up any hot fumes, that ammonia smell in the water, it'll vent it out. Keep that cleaned out.

Now, back storage behind the passenger seat. You'll notice we keep a bunch of boxes in here. I've even got an extra thing of line. And you'll notice these boxes. You can store a lot of stuff, but I always try to keep...from tournament to tournament, I will reload and unload things that I think I need. I won't just try to keep piling stuff in here on top of each other. So that's one reason you'll see that we kind of cleaned out.

Now, this would be the equivalent of the man's gun-safe room. This is one that I just throw everything in, and you'll notice the randomness, spare shoes, G-Juice, more towels. But back here, these are heavy. These are my tool compartments. So I've got prop wrenches, I've got a set...I've got the basic set of tools to get me through anything, maybe not rebuild the motor, but enough to try to get it fixed and get back in.

And I think one most important thing you wanna keep in your boat when you organizing it is a really good first aid kit. This is the Angler Aid. Brandon Palanuik promotes this. This has everything you need. If there's an injury or a boat wreck, I should have something in here that I maybe could help somebody with. So I keep that, and I always keep it in the back here by me. That way if something happens, and I always wanna know where it's at. And then we'll go to the back box because here's where all the power happens at, baby. Here's where all the power happens at.

Back here, still organized and fresh, battery spaced out separately. I use the Power Pole charge. I run three Battle Born size 31 lithium 12-volt batteries. I run two AGM lead wired in series for my cranking. Keep my pole pumps over here.

All this is set up perfect and clean. I space them out so I can always see what's going on. But to me, this is the powerhouse system back here. The Power Pole charge helps charge when I'm running, the double 31 AGMs for running 5 graphs is a ticket. You're never gonna run out of power. You'll notice I equip them with Power Poles, the 250 T-H Hydraulic Atlas Jack Plate. And of course, my boat's been pimped out by Hennessy Outdoors with a custom Phoenix bird, Phoenix logos, all the new step drip stuff. The boys tricked it out.

So you all have had a grand tour of my office. Now, it don't have flowers in our office view in the corner of a building, but I have God's view behind me, which is never-ending.