Suicide duck

A "local" is encroaching on Gerald Swindle's fishing. For more than 100 yards of shoreline, a mallard hen has paddled her way just ahead of Swindle's boat, frequently getting in the way of his casts. "Quit harassing the wildlife," Steve Bowman cautioned him when one of his casts landed close to the duck.

"Maybe she'll come to Arkansas, and we'll get her then," said Swindle, an avid hunter who shared a duck blind with Bowman in Arkansas last season. I started to suggest Swindle tie on a "Suicide Duck" -- a new topwater lure introduced at ICAST this year that has webbed feet and feathers -- but that would violate the no-info rule. I doubt he has one anyway.

As I wrote that, Swindle had a 3-plus pounder latch on. He deftly swung it into the boat and placed it in his livewell with the 14-inches he caught earlier. Things are looking good so far for the AOY front-runner.