Swindle: Giraffe lips and jerkbaits

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Alan McGuckin

At 6’ 4”, bass fishing’s funniest man, Gerald Swindle relates well to giraffes, the world’s tallest land mammal that typically stands 15 to 20-feet high. In fact, his quick wit was fast to compare expected catch rates here on the St. Lawrence River to a giraffe’s smoocher.

“This place is loaded with big fish, we all know that. In fact, you can go ahead and write it down, weights will be just like giraffe lips – real high and real tight,” said Swindle, moments before blast off at the Farmers Insurance Bassmaster Elite Thursday morning.

When he says high …

When Swindle says high – he means high. Like, 21-pounds a day for a Top 10 says the Alabama pro.

Comparatively, his Team Toyota buddy Brandon Lester projects more like 19-pounds a day for a Top 10, and Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer is also thinking 19 or 20 pounds a day for a Top 10. So, Swindle is definitely aiming high.

Don’t get impatient

“The biggest key for me is staying patient,” says Swindle. “Because when you know in your mind how much weight you’ll probably need to do well here, you tend to get in a hurry trying to catch 20-pounds in the first two hours of the day,” he says.

“You gotta get that out of your head. You only need 5 – and you’ve got eight hours to catch them -- but they better be the right size.”

Jigs and jerks

Unlike many Elite Series events before on the St. Lawrence where deep dropshots ruled the river, Swindle says fish this week are more scattered and shallower.

“In my mind, they’re not all deep and grouped-up. Many of them are fresh off the spawn and still relatively shallow, so I’m going to be throwing a jerkbait and a tiny little hair jig more so than the dropshot,” says Swindle.

Confident, focused, and full of humor, look for the tall bow-legged fella from Alabama to land at giraffe level status on the leaderboard here on the St. Lawrence.