Gerald Swindle Rig
store, so when I got out of school I would hang out there. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.” His father had long since split the scene, so when Myers grad- uated from high school he went to work on the loading dock at a freight company. He’d work there seven days a week, but it wasn’t enough to keep his high-octane personality satisfied. By 19, he’d taken out a $5,000 title loan and opened a car stereo shop of his own. Business trickled in slowly, occasionally not at all. “I remem- ber days when we’d have one customer all day,” he said, but Myers pushed on. He still worked at the loading dock every day from 5am to 10am, and then went to the store six days a week from 11am until 7pm. “I didn’t make squat,” he recalled. “That didn’t phase me.” After two years, he quit his other job and sunk all of his energy into the shop. He was barely breaking even. “I was ready to close the doors,” he said. “I had like seven dollars in my checking account.” On the last possible day, he took his Honda Civic to get lunch for himself and an employee and was rear-ended by another car. “The other guy did $1,700 worth of damage,” he said, laughing. “Most people would take the check and fix the car. I took it and paid my lease for two more months.” Oddly enough, that was the break he needed. Business started to take off, and soon he needed more space. The shop where his mom had worked had closed after 20 years and Myers took over their location. That was his next good move. “It was three times what I was paying, but it was in a prime location and people just came there because of that.” At that point his shop was known as Audio Excellence, but a few years later a local car accessory shop called CS Motorsports went up for sale. Myers, forever thinking ahead, got a $7,000 busi- ness loan and purchased the other business. Eventually he out- grew the space and moved again, to a former car dealership. Two years ago, he purchased the current space – this time he learned from his nomadic history and left room for expansion. Today CS Motorsports has 17 employees and a worldwide reputation.
Myers was raised in a single-parent home by a hard-working mother who had little time or extra money for extraneous activi- ties, but he had a grandfather who took him fishing. When that grandfather died, time on the water did too, but the bug never re- ally went away. By the time CS Motorsports had blossomed, Myers got the itch again and bought a boat. “It was behind my truck every day at work,” he said. “I’d close the shop at 6pm and go straight to Lake Wylie.” Shortly thereafter he started tournament fishing, getting off on the wrong foot with a series of blanks. The smile never went away. Then came the first limit, and within a short while he’d come in first or second in nearly every small event he fished, usually without any practice. “I think I have some natural ability,” he ex- plained. “I’m not KVD, but as compared to the average angler.” He moved up to the BFL level, but since he wasn’t “the kind of guy who just leaves the business,” he’d often fish those without practice, too. Still, he racked up a number of top finishes. As with his business endeavors, once he’d established that he could compete at one level, he wanted to see what was around the next corner. In the case of fishing, that meant trying out the Bassmaster Opens, without any intentions of taking the next step after that one. “Probably 80 or 90 percent of the Open anglers dream of fishing the Elites,” he said. “My goal was just to fish against pros like Takahiro and Denny Brauer.” Once again, he achieved that goal and more, qualifying for the first Elite Series campaign. His wife encouraged him to take the leap and the die was cast. He main- tained a full-time job at the shop, and in many ways the long hours during a tournament week are a respite from his day gig. “Even today, right now, I fish the Elites almost like a weekend warrior. You never see me at the lake before the official practice. When I’m home, I get up and go into work from 8am until 6:30 or 7. I never leave for lunch. Then I go home, play with my kids until about 8:30,
The Fishing Phenom