You probably already knew that Gerald Swindle was the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year. You probably know that his nickname is "G-Man." While there are several things you already know about one of the funniest pro anglers, Gerald Swindle peels back the layers and tells us several things we didn't know about "G-Man."
1. If you had to recommend one book to anyone, what would it be?
If I had to recommend one book to anyone to read, it would be the book called “Same Kind of Different as Me.”
It's a true story based on a husband and wife going through tough times and what the power of faith is when befriending a homeless man. So, it's probably the most inspiring book you’ll ever read.
2. What is the best purchase you have ever made under $100?
I did buy two pieces of bull panel this year. They were each 16-feet pieces at about $25/piece. I cut them in half and made a drag from a tractor to cover my seedbed up in my green field. It was lights-out perfect! Probably the best $50 I ever spent in my life.
3. When you think of the word successful, who is the first person that comes to mind and why?
Michael Jordan. When someone says “successful” to me, that’s one of the first people that comes to mind. He was successful at the highest level that could be achieved in the sport he was in and when he started out in high school, he wasn’t. So, it just kind of proves to me that a guy can come from being told “no” to being at the top of his game. Michael Jordan screams successful!
4. What is something you believe that other people think is insane?
The Bible. Other things I believe that others may think is insane is I don’t believe in pumping gas on tournament mornings. I don’t like gas on my hands. I also believe that big deer only walk two out of seven days. I believe big fish don’t swim very far to a bait. I believe if you go down a hill on a bicycle with no chain on a chert road, you’re gonna wreck.
5. What is the worst advice you hear being dispensed in today’s world?
The worst advice I hear is if you try and put a little effort into it, then it’s a promise to you, it’s a given; you deserve whatever it is you’re after because you put a little effort into it. That’s false advice. You can put all the effort into it in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you deserve it more than the next guy. That’s not legit advice.
I think before many people try something, they say, I’ll ask people to help me do it. I think that’s bad advice.
I think to achieve anything you want to do you have to pretty much try it alone and you have to try to do it yourself to see how far you can make it.
We see people tell their kids, “Let’s go get sponsors and then you go try to fish.” That process is backwards. You need to go fishing and then go try to get sponsors. Until you accomplish something, there’s nothing to give back to the sponsor. You have to fish before you get paid. You don’t get paid before you fish.
6. What are some common misconceptions about you?
Some common misconceptions about me is that I’m not romantic. [laughing] I’m very romantic. I believe in flowers and love songs. I’m Conway Twitty all the way, mixed with a little bit of Poison.
7. Who has been the biggest mentor/supporter of your life?
My mom and dad were huge supporters of what I was doing growing up. My dad didn’t have a never-ending American Express. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even have credit cards, but he was an addict of fishing and hunting. He liked to see me fish and hunt. He taught me the outdoors.
Once I met my wife, I would say my wife and my daughter have become two of my biggest fans to press me and challenge me to get better and become a better fisherman. So, my family, my mom, dad, wife, daughter have truly been some of my biggest supporters to this day.
Up until my brother, Tony, passed away, he was hands-down my biggest fan that ever sat in a bass boat with me or had ever been in the woods with me. He was the guy that thought if there was a bass in 10,000 acres of water, I could catch it. So, sometimes just having somebody believe in you that much is refreshing and it just gives you confidence.
8. Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?
I’m a big advocate of PMA, Positive Mental Attitude. I wear the bracelet every day that says PMA, #PositiveMentalAttitude. I believe the mindset of a person dictates their life. I believe if you’re a negative person and you take on life in a negative light, you’re going to display a negative light. If you’re a positive person, you believe in yourself, and you remain positive, you’ll display a positive light.
9. If you could relive a moment, what would it be?
There was a time in a junior high dance with Julie McClean, and I was so close to kissing her but I chickened out. I should’ve just laid it on her on that old gym floor, just puckered up right dead center on the mouth, but I was just too scared. That’s a true story. I think about that sometimes and maybe her breath stunk, I don’t know what it was, but I backed off, I was scared. [laughing]
In all seriousness, I think if I could relive a few moments in my life, I don’t think I could pick just one. I would probably pick one of those hot summer days in North Mississippi. My granddad lived in Ackerman, Mississippi, and we would fish at my Uncle Rexel’s farm pond and we’d catch catfish. We would sit there with Zebco 33s and a red and white cork. We’d cut our bait and pick up worms from the ground. I would like to relive one of those evenings. I’d like to see him sitting there in his old Liberty overalls and his old slip-on boots.
At that time in my life, fishing was my video game. It was everything to me. It was all I knew. When I look back at how simple that was and how much it means to me now, it makes me want to relive that moment again.
10. What is one change you have made in your career that has led to the biggest/best results?
Changing my mindset. The biggest thing I ever did to help my fishing was understanding the power of my mind and what I think and really reinforcing the Positive Mental Attitude on me and my family. I made a conscious effort not to room with any negative people; I don’t run around negativity. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care how tough the fishing is. There is no need to talk about it. We still have to have a winner. So, making a stand to say I’m going to try to remain positive at all costs. It’s a challenge I accept each and every day that has influenced my fishing to the good.