Gerald Swindle made a key decision Sunday afternoon that got him into Monday’s top 10 final. He threw a crankbait around a bridge and caught two key fish, a 3-pounder and a 2 1/2. When he left Neely Henry Lake after Day 3, he said, “I’m going to throw a crankbait all day long tomorrow.”
However, Swindle noticed that the lake level came up about 6 or 8 inches overnight, and he changed plans with it.
“It put that water back in the grass,” Swindle said. “There’s about a 300-yard section that’s about about a foot-and-a-half deeper than anywhere else on that bank. When that water came up, I’m like, now that’s two foot of water. That’s going to be enough.”
And it was enough for Swindle to put on a show Monday morning. Using a swim jig, he put a 12-pound, 5-bass limit in the boat before the other nine finalists had time to settle in. He started in 4th place, 4 pounds, 6 ounces, behind Day 3 leader Wes Logan, and passed everyone in front of him on the leaderboard in short order. Swindle finished with 15 pounds, his biggest bag of the tournament, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Logan and Paul Mueller at the end of the day.
“This one I didn’t lose,” Swindle said. “They just beat me.” And he can live with that.
“On a dead serious note, I do suffer from attention deficit disorder, sometimes pretty bad,” Swindle said. “I’m supposed to take more medicine than I do. I enjoy tournaments like this because every day is new. My mind is engaged. I feel the challenge and the uncertainly versus a lake where everything is same every day. I get bored with that, and I do stupid stuff.”