Bismarck boy casts wide net of kindness, inspires professional fisherman to pay it forward

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 1:01 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. – This is a real fish story.

This one has everything a good fish tale should have: a hook, a big catch, a cute kid, a professional fisherman and an ending that’s guaranteed to make you smile.

Six-year-old Carter Bader was born to fish.

“I like fishing,” he said, fishing pole in hand.

The Bismarck boy been fishing most of his life.

“We’ve had him fishing since he was probably a year old. If he could fish every day, he would love to do that,” said his mom, Amanda Bader.

He’s not the most patient fisherman, but Carter loves the anticipation, and the surprise.

“You never know what you’re going to catch,” Carter stated.

Carter not only loves fishing, he also loves watching other people fish. He and his family went to a recent professional fishing tournament in Mobridge, S.D. just to watch.

“The kids really loved that,” recalled Amanda.

That’s when Carter met his favorite fisherman, Gerald Swindle.

“Carter started heading over to get his autograph. I was watching him, and he came running back and said ‘mom do you have my $20? I need to give it to this guy,’” Amanda said.

That guy was Gerald Swindle.

“He likes to give and you’re better just taking it than trying to argue with him,” said Amanda.

Swindle quickly learned that, and left South Dakota with an extra $20 in his pocket.

Swindle shared about the encounter on his Facebook page. In the video, he promised to pay it forward. Since posting that video, a couple more people have given Swindle cash. He’s got it all set aside, waiting for the right moment and the right person.

“Is that not what we want to raise our kids and our grandkids to be like, to do things for others,” Swindle said in his Facebook video.

“This $20 bill this kid hit a little bit harder because I’m thinking somebody’s raising this kid in a manner that giving is more important than taking, and we need that so bad in this day and time. That’s just something rare to see,” he added in a phone call with us.

For Carter’s mom, it’s a proud mom moment, that’s left her wondering, how many other times has her son changed someone’s day.

“Just thinking back on the other times when he’s done things for people, it’s probably impacted them, and I just didn’t know it,” said Amanda.

And so, just as he keeps casting his line, hoping to one day catch the big one, Carter is also casting a wide net of kindness, and spreading joy everywhere he goes.

Swindle gave Carter the bracelet he was wearing. It’s got the letters “PMA,” which is a reminder to have a positive mental attitude, something Carter has already mastered.