Swindle Says You Only Need Three Colors of Crankbaits

Modern day crankbaits come in a vast array of impressive color options that can cause a heap of mental perplexity and a badly overstuffed tackle tray. But bass fishing’s funniest man, Gerald Swindle, offers a comforting dose of simple advice, stating that you really only need three basic colors: red craw, shad, and firetiger.

“We all make it harder than it has to be, but choosing crankbait colors should really just be a seasonal-based deal. You’re not trying to collect every color they make. There’s no need to go broke trying to buy every shade they stock on a retail peg, but make sure you can afford these three,” says Swindle.

Red Craw

“This is your early winter through early spring color. Anytime the water temp is 42 to 56, I’m generally throwing a shade of red craw. You can be sure this color will put you in the ballpark of success anytime the water’s cold,” says the 2-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year.


“When the water temps hit 58 or 59, that’s when I generally see bass get off the red craw pattern and dial in on shad colors. It makes sense, because once the water warms, shad get shallower. But even in the heat of summer, if you’re fishing out deep, shad are probably the primary food for bass,” he says.


“Firetiger is my bullpen pitcher. I put him in the game anytime the water is heavily stained, and he stands a chance to play just about any month of the year. He’s kind of the wildcard among the three colors, but he can also be the most consistent if the water is off colored or dirty no matter the season,” concludes Swindle.

Swindle’s rod, reel, line for most cranking situations: Aside from ultra deep cranking, most of the time Swindle cranks with a Quantum 7-foot medium action rod, and a Quantum Smoke S3 6.1:1 gear ratio reel spooled with 10-pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon line.

Subscribe to Swindle’s simple theory on crankbait colors, and you’re sure to save a little money on tackle, spare yourself some mental angst, and catch a few more bass through a confidently refined approach to your crankbait game.

FLW Tour Set to Visit Lake Chickamauga for Sixth Event of Season

DAYTON, Tenn. (April 22, 2019) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament fishing organization, is set to continue the 2019 FLW Tour season – the 24th season of the competitive Tour – next week, May 2-5, with the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude. Hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic Tourism Council, the tournament will feature 168 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals competing for a top award of up to $125,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup – the world championship of bass fishing.

The FLW Tour has visited Lake Chickamauga four times prior in FLW’s 24-year history. When the Tour visited the East Tennessee fishery in 2015, some of the biggest names in the sport ended up competing on Championship Sunday, including former Forrest Wood Cup champion David Dudley and legendary angler Larry Nixon. Pro Michael Wooley, then of Collierville, Tennessee, won the event, weighing 20 bass totaling 92 pounds, 4 ounces, focusing on a shell bar in Dallas Bay with a shaky-head rig and a football-head jig.

The 2019 event will mark the 216th tournament in FLW Tour history. The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude is more than $860,000.

“This tournament is going to be one of the most fun events that we have all year,” said FLW Tour rookie Miles Burghoff of Hixson, Tennessee, who is currently leading both the Angler of the Year (AOY) and Rookie of the Year (ROY) point races with just two events remaining in the season. “Dayton, Tennessee is the most bass-friendly town that I have ever been to and the best bass-fishing community that I have ever seen. It’s going to be great fishing and great crowds all week.”

Burghoff predicted that the majority of the bass would be spawn or post-spawn, and he expects that competitors will be able to fish however they would like to.

“We’re going to have guys that fish the ledges and do great, and we’ll have guys that avoid the ledges and fish shallow that will do great,” Burghoff said. “I think the key will be having multiple options. I don’t think you can win off of one spot very easily. It’s possible, but there are no secrets on Chickamauga – especially offshore. In order to win, you’re going to have to stay fluid and have a few back up plans ready to go.”

Burghoff predicted that standard Tennessee River-tackle would be in play – big spoons, jigs and swimbaits are all expected to play a role for tournament competitors. Burghoff also predicted that many of the FLW Tour pros would likely be seen throwing topwater baits for the first time this season.

“We’re hitting the lake perfectly and there will be plenty of fish well into their summertime patterns,” he said. “I think it’ll take at least a 15-pound-a-day average to make the top-30 cut to fish the weekend. I think it’ll take a four-day total of 87 to 88 pounds to win. It could be a little high, but it’s Lake Chickamauga and we’re going to crush them.”

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. ET Thursday through Sunday from the Dayton Boat Dock, located at 175 Lakeshore St., in Dayton. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins, May 2-3, will be held at the park beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, May 4-5, will also be held at the park, but will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Dayton Boat Dock from 2 to 6 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the Dayton Boat Dock on Saturday, May 4, from Noon-2 p.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

As part of the FLW Tour’s community outreach initiative, FLW Tour anglers will visit shoppers and staff at We Care, a second-hand store benefitting the Safe Haven Light Family Transitional Shelter, located at 420 Market Street in Dayton on Wednesday, May 1 from 3-4:30 p.m. to interact with guests, snap photos and sign autographs, give away goodie bags and share fishing stories.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude will premiere in 2019. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs each Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST and is broadcast to more than 63 million cable, satellite and telecommunications households in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean on the World Fishing Network (WFN), the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and South Africa.

The popular FLW Live on-the-water program will air on Days Three and Four of the event, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran will be joined by Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.

In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 168 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2019 FLW Cup will be on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 9-11 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About FLW

FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Birmingham, Lake Guntersville To Host Historic 2020 Bassmaster Classic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 50th Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will come home to its Alabama roots in 2020. The world championship bass tournament will be held in Birmingham, Ala., with fishing competition taking place on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala., B.A.S.S. announced today.

Legacy Arena in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex was packed for weigh-ins during the 2014 Bassmaster Classic at Birmingham and Lake Guntersville. Crowds are expected to be even bigger in March 2020, when the 50th world championship of bass fishing will be held there.                                                                                                               Photo by Laurie Tisdale/B.A.S.S

The iconic fishing tournament will be held March 6-8, with daily weigh-ins and the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo taking place in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) in downtown Birmingham, B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin said during a press conference Monday afternoon at the BJCC.

“It’s fitting that the golden anniversary Classic be held in Alabama, where B.A.S.S. was founded more than 50 years ago,” Akin said. “Our plans are to make this the most spectacular celebration of bass fishing in history.

“Throughout the current Bassmaster Elite Series tournament season, we are celebrating ‘The Year of the Fan’ — our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the millions of bass fishing fans who make this sport so great. The celebration will culminate at the Classic here in Birmingham.”

The Classic was first held at Lake Mead, Nevada, in October 1971. The tournament was the brainchild of B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott, who wanted a way to determine an ultimate champion at the end of every tournament season. It has since been held in Alabama 12 times, eight of those in Birmingham.

“We are so proud to once again host the Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “We look forward to the great competition the Classic attracts and the dedicated fans who will gather in Birmingham for this incredible event. While in the region, we invite everyone to experience the inspirational history, legendary food and world class entertainment which make us the Magic City.”

“We are thrilled that the Bassmaster Classic will be returning to the Birmingham region once again,” said John Oros, president and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This event is the pinnacle of professional bass fishing and it attracts the greatest anglers in the world. The tournament reinforces the fact that the Birmingham area is a great professional and amateur sports destination. We expect that the economic impact of the event will equal or exceed the $32 million spent in hotels, restaurants, attractions and retailers this past year in Knoxville, Tenn.”

Twice previously — in 1976 and 2014 — fishing has taken place on Lake Guntersville, which has become synonymous with bass fishing greatness over the past half-century.

“We are excited that Lake Guntersville has been chosen to be the fishery for this anniversary Classic,” said Katy Norton, president of Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The interest the Classic generates has positive impact for months, even years following the tournament, and we expect Lake Guntersville will be at the top of the list for anglers and B.A.S.S. fans to visit following next spring’s competition. We look forward to the tournament and to continuing our partnership with B.A.S.S.”

The inaugural event in Nevada, which was won by Arkansas angler Bobby Murray, featured a 24-angler field and a winner-take-all format with a $10,000 prize. None of the anglers knew the location ahead of time, and they all fished with identical boats and motors.

Much has changed since then — especially the payout, which is now a whopping $1 million for a 53-angler field with $300,000 going to the winner. The winner also adds his name to the most prestigious list in bass fishing.

“The Classic is literally a life-changing event for the angler who wins,” said B.A.S.S. Director Chase Anderson. “It exemplifies what Bassmaster competition stands for: ‘Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.’ It honors the angler who can catch the biggest bass of the week, and weigh them on the biggest stage in bass fishing, and fulfill the biggest dream any angler can have. No title in professional fishing holds the same clout as ‘Classic champion.’”

It’s hard to imagine a more fitting spot for the 50th renewal of the event than Lake Guntersville, which has hosted 22 major B.A.S.S. events.

The 68,000-acre Tennessee River fishery, which is a popular destination for bass fishing enthusiasts from across the country, will also play host to a regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series tournament June 21-24. That 23rd major B.A.S.S. event will make Guntersville the second-most visited lake in B.A.S.S. history, behind only Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas.

Weigh-ins and the Classic Expo will be held 75 miles away at the BJCC — and recent history says they’ll be plenty busy.

The 2018 Classic attracted 143,323 fans to all activities, including the Get Hooked on Fishing activity center, morning takeoffs, weigh-ins and the Expo. That was an all-time record until this year’s event on the Tennessee River in Knoxville drew 153,809.

The Classic will be covered live and streamed on, ESPN3 and the ESPN App, and five hours of original programming will be aired on ESPN2 and the Pursuit Channel following the event. In addition, the Classic annually draws more than 250 credentialed media. The 2019 Classic was covered by journalists from 28 states as well as Japan, China, Australia, Italy, Germany and Canada.

(Editors note: If you would like to include any of the promotional videos, you can find the links listed below.)

(password: bass19)

(password: BMSJ19)

For more information, visit

2019 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: GEICO

2019 Bassmaster Classic Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods
2019 Bassmaster Classic Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2019 Bassmaster Classic Premier Sponsors: Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia
2019 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods

2020 Bassmaster Classic Local Host: Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau 

2020 Bassmaster Classic Lake Host: Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 510,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (, television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

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