When well-known professional angler and part-time comedian Gerald Swindle stepped onto the Hickory Point boat ramp on Lake Harris to start Elimination Round 2 of the Jack Link’s Major League Fishing 2016 Shell Rotella Challenge Cup in Lady Lake, Fla., he instantly began sniffing around for a rat.
“There is no way,” Swindle said. “There is no way they are just going to put us on Lake Harris and let us fish. I know this MLF bunch better than that; they’ve got something else up their sleeve. They’re going to make us fish from the bank or from the bridge while we have to dodge traffic while reeling one in. I’m telling you there is something more to it.”
No one can blame Swindle for thinking there would be more of a gimmick to the MLF Challenge Cup venue. After fishing the MLF Selects for two seasons, Swindle has been dragged to mud holes across Arkansas and dropped onto private ponds in Ohio as part of his initiation to MLF. In fact, he qualified for the 2016 Challenge Cup by beating five other pros on a tiny private neighborhood lake in the suburbs of Youngstown, Ohio. This being his first Cup event, he was on guard.
“I’ve seen what kind of little tricks this group is capable of,” he added. “They’re pretty good at coming up with off the wall places so to come here to regular old Lake Harris … I’m thinking they’ve got more up their sleeve. I bet their going to make us all fish in Little Lake Harris.”
But Swindle would come up empty-handed on his prediction for trickery in the Challenge Cup. After the course maps were handed out, he realized Lake Harris and Little Lake Harris were wide open for all competitors. To him it was like getting a box of Cracker Jacks with no surprise in it.
“This is the best-known lake I’ve ever fished with MLF,” he added. “Now I’m surprised that there is no surprise!”
Read the rest of “Swindle Sniffs for a Rat in Elimination Round 2” at MajorLeagueFishing.com.