Swindle Wins Southern Open
Elite Series pro Gerald Swindle can no longer be considered one of ï¿½the best whoï¿½s never won.ï¿½ During his 167-tournament career, heï¿½s won Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year and joined the B.A.S.S. Millionaires Club. But a win has eluded him until now.
With his win at the first 2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open on Floridaï¿½s Lake Tohopekaliga, the Warrior, Ala., resident earned a brand new Triton 19XS boat with a 200-hp Mercury OptiMax motor and more importantly, claimed the first berth in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, set to take place in Shreveport, La.
ï¿½I canï¿½t even think about the Classic yet; that wonï¿½t set in until I get home,ï¿½ he said. ï¿½When I came here I never thought about the Classic; I was just fishing. I didnï¿½t have any intention of winning. I knew I had one sure spot and I was going to make it work, and it just worked out.ï¿½
Swindle credits his win to a bit of advice given to him by fellow Elite pro and Florida native Terry Scroggins. Scroggins told Swindle that despite the spawn being in full swing, the tournament would be won in deeper water. Swindle relied on a lipless crankbait and a Carolina rig to sack 25 pounds, 8 ounces on Day 3, which gave him a total of 80-13.
photo and story credit: BASS and ESPN Outdoors