Classic Bass Tags Along With 2016 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle

See How G-Man Took in his Final Day of Practice on the Mississippi River

Classic Bass was fortunate enough to be able to hop in the boat with newly crowned 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Gerald Swindle, on the final day of practice for the Mississippi River event held in La Crosse, WI.  Wednesday morning (September 7th) started off a little soggy and wet for us and all the Elite Series anglers that ventured out on the water for the final day’s practice.


As we were idling out of the Black River, Swindle paid close attention to his Humminbird Onix units and spotted some rubble on the bottom via his side and down imaging, this prompted a quick stop and drag of a jig.


Swindle’s first stop was a backwater slough that was filled with matted vegetation that he targeted with a hollow-bodied topwater frog.  Many competitors in La Crosse used this technique and although it wasn’t Gerald’s primary pattern, it did yield some fish for him over the four day event.


Over the first two days of practice Swindle focused on the launch pool (pool 8) and found fish near the ramp in the Black River, this prompted him to look for areas close to this as he was hopping to have a milk run of sorts.  Here he targeted a railroad bridge with a jig, but no one was home and at this point Swindle made the comment that the jig was going to be buried in the rod locker come tomorrow.


Like many Elite Series anglers, the catching of fish during practice, especially on the final day is pretty limited, but here you can see G-Man re-rigging his Zoom Z-Craw after he shook one off after flipping it along a grass line.


As the half days practice came to a close, Swindle took shelter under one of the many bridges to get out of the light rain and rig his rods for the first day of the tournament.  “This year I really have tried to get the bulk of my rigging and tackle prep for the first day of the tournament done while on the water,” said Swindle.  “If I try to do it at the hotel, there are distractions and it takes at least double amount of the time if I’m by myself on the water.”

Gerald ground through the first two days on the Mississippi River making yet another top 50 cut and then on Saturday got that much needed 4 lb bite, thus pushing him into the top 12 cut and had him fishing on Sunday.  In the end Swindle finished the Mississippi River event in 12th place with 52 lb 13 oz.

GMAN Talks Flippin’ River Grass