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Archive for January, 2010

January 24, 2010

Now that we are past the holidays, a sell-out book signing in Lead Hill, AR, and a pretty dog-gone good write-up about An Impossible Cast in bassfan.com, I need to fulfill a promise I made to you regular readers of the blog about the relationship between Bill Dance and Dad.

When I began this book project around 2003, I knew I had something special on my hands, but I didn’t really know how special. I cherished and recorded the stories that Dad had been telling me all the years, many times while sitting with him over the campfire we often burned in our yard set in a halved, rusted oil drum. But then the work began.

Stories and people were missing from the account of the World Series of Sport Fishing. After years of researching the “Series” in libraries all over the Midwest I discovered that Dad had not just been a spoke in the giant wheel of modern fishing tournaments, but he actually was the hub itself. Some of the most influential people in the industry today were influenced by the name Glen Andrews. Bobby and Billy Murray, Jerry McKinnis, even Ray Scott all built their empires from the cornerstone known as Glen Andrews. Dad even showed the ropes to the guy with the most recognizable name in the industry today.

Bill Dance’s name is so well known to the general public that people who’ve never dipped a hook in their lives have heard of him. With over 20 national titles, well-known tackle lines, and a TV show, it’s very difficult to not stumble across his renown at least every now and then. Bill was a young hardware and furniture salesman when he met Dad at a sports show in Memphis. Bill constantly picked Glen’s brain on how to catch bass. He and his cronies would follow Dad back to his motel room and keep him up always later than he cared for with their never-ending inquiries about angling. Dad grew to love Bill like a brother and taught him everything he knew to teach. Bill once told me in a recent phone conversation that “Seventy percent of everything I know about tournament fishing, I learned from your dad.”

After talking to Bill about my dream of a book on freshwater sport fishing history and the biography of Glen Andrews, Bill Dance sat down and, with reverence, respect and a deep brotherly love penned this letter and sent it to me signed:

It’s amazing to me how you can meet someone or simply hear something the person says and it can change your whole direction in life. The one person that changed mine back in the early days, particularly in 1966, and was highly influential in kick-starting my fishing career was a big ole tall, lanky, fishing guide by the name of Glen Andrews.

There can be absolutely no doubt that I wouldn’t be doing what I am today had or lines not crossed back then. This soft spoken, country gentleman impressed me so much by his uncanny fishing abilities and I can tell you for sure that my early tournament successes were greatly influenced by it.

Glen used to always tell me “strategy wins tournaments.”And he took the time to teach me how to read both shallow and deep water, the importance of using my electronics, how to read maps, how to locate key structural features and how to catch bass on them. He knew bass habits and habitat better than anyone I had ever met.

Glen Andrews was, and still is, my mentor, my friend, my advisor and absolutely has always been, among the top contributors to the success of the name Bill Dance!

Next time, I’ll tell you all about Dad’s relationship with world-famous anglers Bobby and Billy Murray.

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We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays!  Some great news for the book came with the winter weather.  Dan Basore has written a review for the book that will appear in Midwest Outdoors Magazine and BassFan.com posted a review of the book today!  If you haven’t ordered your copy, you can still buy it for $19.95 at http://www.whitefishpress.com/bookdetail.asp?book=89

Checkout the new review of An Impossible Cast at BassFan.com:

http://www.bassfan.com/docktalk.asp?id=6875#6875

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