In the 10 days since his first Bassmaster event victory, Gerald Swindle has been in demand. Every major Internet site has featured him, major newspapers have run pieces on him, radio interviewers are calling him.
He has fielded hundreds of phone calls, voice mails and text messages from friends and fans. Winners always get attention, but Swindle's case is special. His Jan. 22 win at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open was his first Bassmaster win after 147 tries over 16 years.
The momentum of winning is huge for him as he heads into the Feb. 18-20 Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta. "Winning is a self-confidence boost; it's a mental thing," he said. "And now that it's happened, you look back and say, 'It wasn't that hard; repeat it.'
Now I visualize winning instead of just trying to do well." Swindle's Classic record is ripe for a win.
The Louisiana event will be his 11th Classic; the first was in 1998. His record on the delta fishery is strong: 11th in 2003, when Michael Iaconelli won; and fifth in 2001, the year Kevin VanDam took his first of three Classic crowns.