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Best bass fisherman ever

2/8/2010

Did you ever see the baseball movie the "Natural?" Great movie about a guy who hoped someday people would see him walking down the sidewalk and say, "There goes Roy Hobbs, the best baseball player there ever was."

Keep that in mind and let me tell you about a new book; a book that should be read by every bass fisherman who has the least amount of interest in bass fishing history.

Have I gotten so old and irrelevant that I'm down to critiquing books?

No, not really. This books hits very close to home, so I should have a lot of interest. However, even though "you weren't there" like I was years ago, you're still going to find it interesting.

An Impossible Cast, Glen Andrews and the Birth of Professional Bass Fishing, How's that for a long title?

We'll just call it An Impossible Cast.

No telling how many times through the years I have been asked who is the best bass fishermen I've ever known. My answer has always been the same: "I could tell you but you've never heard of him, so I'm just going to go with Kevin VanDam or Rick Clunn."

No offense to Kevin or Rick, but the best bass fisherman there ever was is guy named Glen Andrews from Lead Hill, Ark. I've always just kind of kept that thought to myself.

Then comes An Impossible Cast. As I'm reading it I find out that Bill Dance, Bobby and Billy Murray, Ron Linder, Tommy Martin and many others feel the same way.

Now we are all out of the closet and can support each other's statement. Ray Scott actually said Andrews is probably the "best natural-born bass fishermen" he's ever met in his 70 plus years.

There you have it, now let the comments begin.

I'm sure there are those thinking: "Oh well if you're talking about bass fishing, 'ole Ned Douglas from over on Lake Newson is easily the best" or "Spinner Bait Ellison wins every tournament ever held on Slocum Reservoir. He's better than this Andrews guy."

No he isn't. No they aren't.

Glen Andrews, the best there ever was, still lives in Lead Hill, Ark., and other than this book you will probably never hear much about him again. You for sure will never see him on the water.

I would say his bass fishing career started in about 1950 with him fishing the stream around his home, as a dam on the White River began filling up Bull Shoals Lake.

He then became a legendary guide on Bull Shoals and began moving around to different newly formed impoundments. He was still guiding and trying to make a living, but without knowing it he was becoming a monster of a bass fisherman, along with spreading his reputation with all the different location moves he made.

There was Bull Shoals, then Table Rock and Greers Ferry. In a few more years he was off to Sam Rayburn in Texas, then over to Louisiana and Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Now here comes the shocker. In 1968 he quit. He hit a wall, left the sport, and never returned. It's pretty unbelievable, and of course the whole story is in the book.

That's 42 years ago, and for the most part he's never been bass fishing again.

Through the years in conversation with him I asked if he's been on the water, and he'll say things like, "Oh yeah, last spring my son and I went crappie fishing one afternoon. We caught the fire out of them and had a big time, but we never went back."

So here's what comes to mind. Glen Andrews is the "Roy Hobbs" of bass fishing. That's the Roy Hobbs from that movie, "The Natural."

At the peak of his career, Hobbs hit an important home run, circled the bases, went into the dugout and never played again. He ended up playing catch with his son back on the farm.

I wonder if someone saw Glen Andrews walking down the sidewalk in Lead Hill, (even though they don't actually have sidewalks) if they'd say, "there goes Glen Andrews, the best bass fishermen there ever was."

This is a book every fishing fan will not want to miss. In the same way I can't explain how good "The Natural" is in 800 words, I can't tell you how good An Impossible Cast is in that space either.

You need to check it out yourself by clicking on this newfangled thing called a link.