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Swindle not ready to let FFS kill his fun

Swindle not ready to let FFS kill his fun

(Editor's note: This feature comes from Alan McGuckin of Dynamic Sponsorships.)

Team Toyota’s Gerald Swindle returned to the boat ramp Tuesday evening at Lake Fork following another long day of practice with a torn-up transducer and healthy heart for the woman he loves.

“I spent 80 percent of my first day of practice here staring at the sonar screen, and then 45 minutes into today, I broke off a transducer. So, I went to the bank and swam a jig, and my head’s a lot freer now,” said Swindle, as the sun slipped deep in the northeast Texas sky.

Swindle has spent the past two years working on his forward-facing sonar game. He wants fans to know he’s not harshly opposed to the technology, but he’s also a realist and a two-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year winner who knows you simply can’t ditch the girl who brought you to the dance to chase the popular queen.

“Forward-facing sonar has become so dominating you feel forced to commit to it, but I’m just not ready to fully retrain my mind to ignoring the techniques and intuition that built my career,” he says.

Call it conflict or contemplation, the hilarious but introspective Alabama pro simply doesn’t want to lose sight of the moments that make days on the water special because he was too busy looking down.

“You can’t see birds, you can’t see that Texas flag blowing in the wind, and you can’t see the elderly couple I saw crappie fishing in a boat together last week on Toledo Bend if you’re too focused on a sonar screen. Those are the kinds of things I love seeing in my workday, and I don’t want to miss those moments,” he explains.

That elderly couple got Swindle’s attention. She was in the boat because she likely wanted to share time with her husband, and he wanted her to join him, simply because his life is always more complete when she’s near. That’s the life Swindle strives for with his bride “Lulu” – and it has nothing to do with a sonar debate.

“I’m caught up trying not to stress about a new technology, and the only thing that couple was worried about was if their minnow was still alive, and how long it’d be before their cork went under the surface,” said the 20-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier.

“I just don’t want forward-facing sonar to take the fun out of fishing. I’m just not sure staring at a sonar screen will ever be as fun as slack-lining a swim jig tied to a complete element of surprise, much like that couple watching that bobber on Toledo Bend."

The last time the Elite Series visited Lake Fork was in May of 2022. Swindle finished third with an amazing 102 pounds of bass in four days. Only the days ahead will reveal how and what he catches this week, but nobody would be opposed to him slack-lining another century belt’s worth of Lake Fork largemouth without staring at a screen.

Especially he, Lulu, and dare we say, the couple in the crappie fishing boat at Toledo Bend.

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