Trey Swindle’s relationship with his uncle, Bassmaster Elite Gerald Swindle, put him in a cranky mood on Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on Lewisville Lake. Cranky, in the reaction bait sense of the term — a strategy that delivered a fifth-place limit of 15-6.
The younger Swindle got off to a roaring start on Day 1 with four keepers for about 14 pounds within the first two hours. He caught his early fish by targeting an isolated concrete slab amid brush piles with a Rapala DT-20 in the Helsinki shad color.
“My day started off kinda tough; the wind came up pretty quick, and I couldn’t hold on them,” Swindle said. “I finally got on the spot and got my Spot Lock on, and I had my Garmin LiveScope, so I could pan out there and see them all suspended.
“As soon as I fired in there, I caught a 4- to 5-pounder and when that one bit, it just fired them up, and I caught three in a row. I broke off a crankbait, so I floated around, retied and when I threw back in there, I caught another 4-pounder.”
After boating his fourth keeper, Swindle found he could no longer contend with the relentless morning bluster. Working through other areas with less wind exposure, he finally filled his limit with a keeper that bit a Berkley Frittside crankbait on an old boat ramp at 2:30.
Swindle acquired his Rapala baits from his uncle, who has been instrumental in guiding his nephew’s entry into the sport.
Editor's note: Read Trey Swindle's tough love
“I only had two of those DT-20s; Uncle G gave them to me last night,” Swindle said. “I called him and said, ‘Dude, I don’t have any.’ He was coming down from hunting in Indiana, so he brought me some.
“I broke them both off in the same brush pile, and I never got another bite (on the morning spot).”
Along with the baits, Swindle also collected some key advice that clearly helped position him well for a challenging event. Uncle G’s hunting trip prevented him from practicing with his nephew, but some wise counsel prepared the young angler for what he’d face.
“He told me it was super, super tough; he said, ‘You’re going to have to keep your head down and grind,” Swindle said. “I called him the second day of practice and told him ‘Man, it’s horrible. I caught one keeper in two days of practice.’
“The third day of practice is when I really found them and he said, ‘Just keep your head down and keep fishing. Just cover water and do what you love to do.’ He said, ‘Find what you’re confident in and do it.’”
Following that advice, Swindle zeroed in on his offshore strength. Idling and graphing revealed his hard bottom honey hole. When cast No. 1 yielded a 3-pounder, Swindle wrapped up his practice knowing his uncle’s advice had helped him find something special.
After weighing in yesterday, Swindle said his evening mission would be to replace those Rapala crankbait. He was considering a run to the local Bass Pro Shops, but there was also another option — back to the family connection.
Nothing wrong with that route, but like the bass that bit his DT-20, Trey Swindle has found that every bait has a hook in it.
“He gives me stuff all the time, but I never know there’s a price until later,” Swindle chuckled. “I’ll get home and he’ll call me up and say, ‘I need you to come over here and wash my boat.'”
Gotta earn it. Good lessons from a guy with two Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles.