Obviously, you would think the first thing 2-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Gerald Swindle would talk about in reference to Lake Eufaula would be fishing related. But in fact, Swindle’s mind quickly drifted back to his days as a framing carpenter when asked what he loves most about Lake Eufaula.
“You know man, the thing that really captures me every time I come down here is all the old homes and mansions that line the streets,” says Swindle. “I’ve traveled all over this country, and I’ve never seen any place that looks like this. You can’t help but be impressed by the master craftsmanship that went into building so many of the big old homes in this town, especially when you think about the fact they were built long before power tools came along.”
He’s right. Eufaula is famous for its Grand Antebellum and Victorian mansions that were mostly built in the 1800s by planters and town merchants when cotton was king. Not only do dozens of eye-capturing homes line streets canopied in huge live oak trees, there are roughly 700 total structures in this famous bass tournament town listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
While Eufaula is nearly a 4-hour drive from where Swindle grew up, he’s got some history here too. Fond memories actually, from simpler times when he was still framing houses and fishing the old Red Man tournament trail on a really tight budget.
“Believe it or not, my favorite memory of this place was in the early 1990s when my buddy Bradley Duke and I came down here for a Red Man tournament, piled about six of us in one cheap hotel room, and I caught 25 pounds on a buzzbait, but lost to a real good angler named Don Hogue by two ounces,” says Swindle.
Don’t be shocked if Swindle slings a buzzbait around this week too. He’s as good with the topwater known for attracting big bites as anybody in America. But like most of the 87 Elite Series anglers, he’ll focus mainly on getting the deeper offshore post-spawn bites the next few days.
“My favorite lures this week will likely be a 3/4-ounce Buckeye Ballin’ Out jig, a big Zoom Ol’ Monster worm, a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm, and a 5” Zoom swimbait on a 3/8 once head,” shares the longtime Team Toyota pro.
Oh, and one more of Swindle’s favorite things about Eufaula … alligators.
“Not only do I love the look of all the old houses in this town, but when you’re on the water here, along with the cool-looking flooded cypress trees, this place offers one of the biggest populations of gators I’ve ever seen. Eufaula is just a cool place on and off the water,” smiles Swindle.