Elite Man Caves

Elite Man Caves: Gerald Swindle

This is not an average garage. Nor is it an average man standing at the entrance. Come on in and take a tour of the ultimate man cave with two-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle.
Photo: Craig Lamb - This is not an average garage. Nor is it an average man standing at the entrance. Come on in and take a tour of the ultimate man cave with two-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle.
Home base for Swindle is this Man Cave conveniently located near Lake Guntersville in Alabama. The Tundra and Triton are always ready to roll out of this cave. Be that for a practice trip for the G-man on G-Ville or a long haul to a tournament.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Home base for Swindle is this Man Cave conveniently located near Lake Guntersville in Alabama. The Tundra and Triton are always ready to roll out of this cave. Be that for a practice trip for the G-man on G-Ville or a long haul to a tournament.
Inside you will find lots of trophies, horned and shiny, along with plenty of tackle and the space to store it. Upstairs is a fully finished attic and more storage.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Inside you will find lots of trophies, horned and shiny, along with plenty of tackle and the space to store it. Upstairs is a fully finished attic and more storage.
“I designed the floor plan to see everything I need that goes into or out of the boat.” Like the flow of a well-designed home this layout combines functionality with style.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I designed the floor plan to see everything I need that goes into or out of the boat.” Like the flow of a well-designed home this layout combines functionality with style.
Swindle gets wherever he goes in style aboard this Tundra fitted with KMC Wheels. “I stained the floor this color so it doesn’t show stains.” Right now you can eat off the floor it’s so clean. “The color makes the shop look good, too.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - Swindle gets wherever he goes in style aboard this Tundra fitted with KMC Wheels. “I stained the floor this color so it doesn’t show stains.” Right now you can eat off the floor it’s so clean. “The color makes the shop look good, too.”
Look below the trailer frame and wheels and find a floor drain. “I can wash my boat in here, drain the livewells without flooding the floor,” he adds.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Look below the trailer frame and wheels and find a floor drain. “I can wash my boat in here, drain the livewells without flooding the floor,” he adds.
The cave is a work in progress. Swindle says there are lots of projects remaining on the to-do list. Not long after completion Gerald and wife LeAnn hit the road for the Bassmaster Elite Series season. Today he is taking advantage of the downtime between tournaments to work on the projects.
Photo: Craig Lamb - The cave is a work in progress. Swindle says there are lots of projects remaining on the to-do list. Not long after completion Gerald and wife LeAnn hit the road for the Bassmaster Elite Series season. Today he is taking advantage of the downtime between tournaments to work on the projects.
View from the balcony. Behind the wall to the right is upstairs attic space where more tackle and gear are stored. Down on the floor is enough space to store two boats, if needed.
Photo: Craig Lamb - View from the balcony. Behind the wall to the right is upstairs attic space where more tackle and gear are stored. Down on the floor is enough space to store two boats, if needed.
“I’m a visual kind of guy and like to see everything I need when it comes time to pack up for a tournament.” Just about everything Swindle needs lines the walls or is stored inside the closets. Plenty of walking space around the boat and truck make the loading easier, quicker and safer.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I’m a visual kind of guy and like to see everything I need when it comes time to pack up for a tournament.” Just about everything Swindle needs lines the walls or is stored inside the closets. Plenty of walking space around the boat and truck make the loading easier, quicker and safer.
“I added these tin walls around the boat so I can spray it down and not soak the paneling.” The tin adds a rustic design touch to the cave, too.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I added these tin walls around the boat so I can spray it down and not soak the paneling.” The tin adds a rustic design touch to the cave, too.
Swindle made this shelving specifically to fit Plano utility boxes. Those are located on the port side of the boat and against the wall. “I designed them at that level to make it easy to see the boxes from inside the boat.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - Swindle made this shelving specifically to fit Plano utility boxes. Those are located on the port side of the boat and against the wall. “I designed them at that level to make it easy to see the boxes from inside the boat.”
Slatwall panels make the task of organizing lures easier. The sliding mounts are easier to arrange and look better than standard pegboard.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Slatwall panels make the task of organizing lures easier. The sliding mounts are easier to arrange and look better than standard pegboard.
These Quantum rods and reels on the front deck demonstrate how functional the space is for easy access to line, lures and terminal tackle located nearby.
Photo: Craig Lamb - These Quantum rods and reels on the front deck demonstrate how functional the space is for easy access to line, lures and terminal tackle located nearby.
The space has central air and heat to make year-round work comfortable in the cave.
Photo: Craig Lamb - The space has central air and heat to make year-round work comfortable in the cave.
You will see Swindle wearing a PMA bracelet on every tournament day. He also puts on the bracelet the first thing, every morning, to remind him that keeping a positive mental attitude is good all of the time.
Photo: Craig Lamb - You will see Swindle wearing a PMA bracelet on every tournament day. He also puts on the bracelet the first thing, every morning, to remind him that keeping a positive mental attitude is good all of the time.
“I like to do my own boat maintenance, work on the truck, so I built this work bench in the corner of the shop.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - “I like to do my own boat maintenance, work on the truck, so I built this work bench in the corner of the shop.”
Tools for modifying lures are there, too. “I like to experiment with things and this space is perfect for doing it.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - Tools for modifying lures are there, too. “I like to experiment with things and this space is perfect for doing it.”
Quantum reels get some routine maintenance while other unusual items are nearby.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Quantum reels get some routine maintenance while other unusual items are nearby.
This Etch A Sketch seems out of place in a world of manly things like wrenches, hammers, oil and drills. The toy is normally kept inside the boat for a reason.
Photo: Craig Lamb - This Etch A Sketch seems out of place in a world of manly things like wrenches, hammers, oil and drills. The toy is normally kept inside the boat for a reason.
“When I have a bad day on the water I just give it a shake to clear the screen. That reminds me that tomorrow is a new day.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - “When I have a bad day on the water I just give it a shake to clear the screen. That reminds me that tomorrow is a new day.”
Swindle has a view of great days in the woods as he spools fresh Sunline on the Quantum reels.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Swindle has a view of great days in the woods as he spools fresh Sunline on the Quantum reels.
There is more to the huge TV than for watching the weather. Swindle plans to use this setup for tournament research. The screen will be connected to Apple TV and synced to his iPad.
Photo: Craig Lamb - There is more to the huge TV than for watching the weather. Swindle plans to use this setup for tournament research. The screen will be connected to Apple TV and synced to his iPad.
He will sit behind the console and compare the Google Earth view on the TV to specific bottom structures using Humminbird LakeMaster maps on his fish finder.
Photo: Craig Lamb - He will sit behind the console and compare the Google Earth view on the TV to specific bottom structures using Humminbird LakeMaster maps on his fish finder.
Behold the trophy wall. “We didn’t have enough room in the house for all the mounts so they ended up here so we can see them all lined up.” Swindle added more mounts are coming from the taxidermist. Some belong to him, others to LeAnn.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Behold the trophy wall. “We didn’t have enough room in the house for all the mounts so they ended up here so we can see them all lined up.” Swindle added more mounts are coming from the taxidermist. Some belong to him, others to LeAnn.
Between the tackle and deer mounts is a shelf with plaques. Many are from past Bassmaster Classic events. Swindle has 16 world championships on his resume and counting.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Between the tackle and deer mounts is a shelf with plaques. Many are from past Bassmaster Classic events. Swindle has 16 world championships on his resume and counting.
Lining the other wall are more plaques and mounts. “The deer mounts might be overkill but that’s what we do,” he added.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Lining the other wall are more plaques and mounts. “The deer mounts might be overkill but that’s what we do,” he added.
Nostalgia Row is an appropriate name for this side of the room. Back in the day, the forerunner to the Elite Series was the Bassmaster Top 150 tour. Swindle did well in many of those events and here is the proof.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Nostalgia Row is an appropriate name for this side of the room. Back in the day, the forerunner to the Elite Series was the Bassmaster Top 150 tour. Swindle did well in many of those events and here is the proof.
Lining this wall are framed cover photos and memorable moments from the early years of his career.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Lining this wall are framed cover photos and memorable moments from the early years of his career.
Swindle’s participation plaque for the 2008 Classic begins a long row of trophies earned through the years.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Swindle’s participation plaque for the 2008 Classic begins a long row of trophies earned through the years.
“A friend of ours gave me this after I spoke those words on the weigh-in stage.” A poor day prompted the words. An entire wall of the cave could be taken up with such Swindle-isms.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “A friend of ours gave me this after I spoke those words on the weigh-in stage.” A poor day prompted the words. An entire wall of the cave could be taken up with such Swindle-isms.
There are more serious mementos, like this spear given to him by natives on a fishing trip to Venezuela. “It meant a lot for them to give it to me as a token of honor and appreciation.”
Photo: Craig Lamb - There are more serious mementos, like this spear given to him by natives on a fishing trip to Venezuela. “It meant a lot for them to give it to me as a token of honor and appreciation.”
Another meaningful memento is this artwork painted by a family friend. It depicts the moment when Swindle weighed his final catch at the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship.
Photo: Craig Lamb - Another meaningful memento is this artwork painted by a family friend. It depicts the moment when Swindle weighed his final catch at the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship.
“She did a great job of capturing my expression and how I felt at the moment.” According to Swindle, that was “tired, mentally done and just overwhelmed that it was real.” Moments later, he hoisted the AOY trophy with LeAnn by his side.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “She did a great job of capturing my expression and how I felt at the moment.” According to Swindle, that was “tired, mentally done and just overwhelmed that it was real.” Moments later, he hoisted the AOY trophy with LeAnn by his side.
“The trophies mean a lot but gifts like this from complete strangers just overwhelm me with gratitude.” An airman and fan of Swindle sent it to him as a gesture of his friendship.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “The trophies mean a lot but gifts like this from complete strangers just overwhelm me with gratitude.” An airman and fan of Swindle sent it to him as a gesture of his friendship.
The inscription reads: “The accompanying American Flag was proudly flown aboard AC-130H Spectre Gunship #69-6577 during Operation Enduring Freedom on 15 April 2006.” Swindle returned the gesture by sending a tournament jersey to the airman.
Photo: Craig Lamb - The inscription reads: “The accompanying American Flag was proudly flown aboard AC-130H Spectre Gunship #69-6577 during Operation Enduring Freedom on 15 April 2006.” Swindle returned the gesture by sending a tournament jersey to the airman.
“LeAnn really wants this closet for other things,” admitted Swindle. Those things are anything but fishing tackle. The plan is to store tournament clothes here for easy access when loading and unpacking from a tournament.
Photo: Craig Lamb - “LeAnn really wants this closet for other things,” admitted Swindle. Those things are anything but fishing tackle. The plan is to store tournament clothes here for easy access when loading and unpacking from a tournament.
For now, the shelves hold Quantum reels, GoPro cameras, LakeMaster chips and lots of other gear.
Photo: Craig Lamb - For now, the shelves hold Quantum reels, GoPro cameras, LakeMaster chips and lots of other gear.
There is hope for the project. At least the shoe shelf has the appropriate items where they belong.
Photo: Craig Lamb - There is hope for the project. At least the shoe shelf has the appropriate items where they belong.