DORA, Ala. — Once Gerald Swindle figured out the bass wanted an achingly slow presentation with his lipless crankbait, it was a matter of staying focused and grinding out his first Bassmaster tournament win. More than 80 pounds in three days might not be considered "grinding" to some anglers. But for the G-Man, who rarely operates in slow motion, his Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open victory on Lake Toho was a course in patience and tackle refinement.
The veteran Alabama pro and Vicious Elite Team member used 12- and 14-pound Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon with his lipless crankbait and Carolina rigged Zoom trick worm to notch his win. Conditions were tough. Toho's pre-spawn largemouths were lethargic due to cold air and water temperatures, which made it tougher to initially crack the code.
"You can get into that fun zone on the bank because it's warming up a little and they're biting a fluke or topwater toad," Swindle said. "Coming from cold weather up north where it's miserable, catching fish like that is fun. But it wasn't going to win. "I made up my mind to stay offshore and grind it out. In practice I caught a 3- and 4-pounder on consecutive casts on a little shell bed in some grass.
You don't fish miles and miles of grass, get two bites in one little hard spot and not have more of them around there ready to move in." Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon is new in the Vicious lineup and is made for the serious angler. It was in the testing stages in 2010 when Vicious prostaffer John Crews won the Bassmaster Elite Series opener on the California Delta.
The technology in Pro Elite incorporates top-of-the-line resins with modern spooling techniques that make it subtle and silky smooth, but with an affordable starting price of $14.99. "I've worked with Gerald for more than 16 years and the Vicious family is proud of him for his first Bassmaster win," said Chris Dutton, Vicious pro staff and marketing manager. "Gerald has worked so hard and has been so committed to the sport of bass fishing for many years.
He deserves this victory and we're very proud that Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon is his line of choice." Swindle's first clue to the puzzle came after locating the small, hard-bottom shellbed. The lipless crankbait didn't work so he began dragging the Carolina-rig. Two bites, two quality fish and that put his mind in overdrive to put his practice keys into place in the tournament. "I think the whole key that first tournament day was the speed, no doubt," he said. "They wanted it so slow and I could do so much better if I made a long cast, worked the lipless bait through the grass and then let it fall to the bottom.
I was just dragging it, barely getting it off the bottom enough to make a little flutter and sometimes they hit it so hard they would be hooked under the mouth. The first one I caught was cold and I knew they weren't in the mood to chase anything." Swindle threw the lipless bait on the 12-pound Pro Elite Fluorocarbon, and used 14-pound test on his main line and leader with the Carolina-rigged trick worm. He used a 3/4-ounce Eagle Claw tungsten weight and 3/0 Lazer TroKar hook on the junebug worm.
"The key was staying tuned in and staying on the bottom without getting too fast," he said. "I never had a problem with my line, not once, during practice or the tournament. Almost 81 pounds of bass and no breakoffs ... that's pretty good in my book."
About JBS Fishing: Based in Pell City, Ala., JBS Fishing offers Ultimate, Pro Elite Fluorocarbon, Fluorocarbon, Panfish, Braid, All-Purpose and Offshore fishing lines along with apparel, hats and accessories to cover multi-species and multi-season uses for freshwater and saltwater applications.
JBS Fishing promises to do everything in our power to insure our top quality fishing products will always perform better than you expect. Web: www.vicious-fishing.com