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John's Journal... Entry 260, Day 5

The Secret to Winning With Gerald Swindle-Part II

Gerald Swindle-2004 BASS Angler of the Year

Editor's Note: Thirty-four-year-old Gerald Swindle of Hayden, Alabama, this year's BASS Angler of the Year, has lived the American dream in the last 12 years. As a $12,000-a-year carpenter, Swindle dreamed of earning a living as a professional bass fisherman. This year, Swindle already has earned more than $1/2-million in his chosen sport. If he stays on track, he may earn $1 million before December 31, 2004.

By winning the Angler-of-the-Year title, Gerald Swindle, the carpenter from Hayden, Alabama who once earned only $12,000 a year, had insured himself a position as one of the nation's top professional fishermen. The price for his speaking engagement fees went up. He'd made all his sponsors happy. And, Swindle finally had achieved one of the greatest goals in all of tournament bass fishing when he became the 2004 BASS Angler of the Year.

Looking down from this pinnacle of bass fishing, Swindle recognizes that he's at the top of his game because of the sacrifices he made back when he started tournament fishing when he:
* didn't have enough money to buy a dollar bag of ice for his ice chest;
* didn't have any extra money to buy a cold drink and a sandwich on the ride home after fishing all night in a tournament and having to go to work the next morning;
* couldn't attend music concerts like his friends did because he had to sharpen hooks, put line on reels and go to bed early to be ready to fish the next day;
* couldn't go to Florida for weekends with his buddies because he had to use the money to pay entry fees at bass-fishing tournaments; and
* couldn't participate in and do many of the things that young men his age did, but instead spent his time honing his craft and learning to become the best bass fishermen he could possibly be.

If you're still wondering how Gerald Swindle became Bassmasters Angler of the Year, the question has a simple answer. Gerald Swindle sacrificed and paid the price for his success - the same ingredients required to become the best of the best in any sport or any business.

If you ask Swindle what he sees in his future, you may expect him to say, "I want to have a TV Show, a car dealership or work for a fishing-tackle company," because many successful bass pros strive to have these types of jobs. However, Swindle explains that, "All I want to do for the rest of my life is fish tournaments. That's what I really love to do. I don't have any interest in having any other type of profession. When I'm not fishing, I enjoy going hunting. I fish al year so can hunt in the winter. I plan to hunt deer every day that I'm alive and deer season is in, and I don't have another obligation."



Check back each day this week for more about The Secret to Winning With Gerald Swindle-Part II ...

Day 1 - Dreading Lake Guntersville
Day 2 - Turning The Tables at Table Rock
Day 3 - Betting On The Alabama Beds
Day 4 - Last Stop on the BASS Circuit-Santee Cooper
Day 5 - Gerald Swindle-2004 BASS Angler of the Year

John's Journal