Posts Tagged ‘Professional Fishing History’

Tournament on Bull Shoals Lake, Glen’s old and current haunt, this weekend. The winner, who camped in the back of his truck every night, caught his fish just down the lake from Glen’s and Shane’s houses.

Check out photos of Glen with Kevin VanDam on the Bassmaster website: http://www.bassmaster.com/slideshow/behind-scenes-day-three-3

And more photos featuring Glen, Rick Clunn, and Kevin VanDam:

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As spring has finally chased off winter, the lake water is finally heating up in the fishing world and the publishing world as well.  After a winter of great publicity through ESPN (twice–see Glen’s Bassography and Jerry McKinnis’s article), Tulsa World, BassFan.com, NPR, and the Shiloh Museum we’re looking to make the rounds in the Ozarks for book signings.  Shane and Glen love entertaining, so it sure to be an enjoyable time for young and old.  We’ve also uploaded some new videos featuring Glen’s storytelling to our Facebook page that were previously only available on YouTube, so check them out too.  In order to bring in the new season, we’ve pulled a new story and a few pictures out of the archives that should put you all right in the boat with Glen to experience the World Champion for yourselves.  Of course you can find many more stories in the book– An Impossible Cast–which you can buy at the Whitefish Press.  We hope you all enjoy!

Some time ago, Glen, Shane, and I put the boat in down at Tucker Hollow on Bull Shoals.  Around 7:30 that morning, Glen came knocking with coffee, chattering excitedly about the day.  Rain had bloated the lake and muddied the water—good conditions for catching bass he said.  Our destination was Bear Creek near Glen’s parents’ old farm.  He’d fished it constantly growing up before it was inundated, but he hadn’t returned in years.  His only concern was the forecasted 5 to 17 mile-per-hour north wind, which he was certain would kill our chances because he’d rarely caught bass with a north wind.

That morning’s trip was sparked by one week earlier when Wayne, an old friend from Rogers, Arkansas, drove across the state with a nice boat and bassin’ fever.  The day he arrived Glen and Shane took him out on the lake.  Shane caught his largest bass ever, a 5.5 pound Largemouth, and Glen wasn’t too embarrassed with a 4 pounder.  They were both embarrassed though that Wayne got skunked.  The next day, Wayne joined the fun as they found a hungry school of Kentuckies near the West Sugarloaf Creek Bridge.  When they called me to come down, Glen had promised that the Kentuckies would still be schoolin’.  His mission was to put me into a mess of them and watch them tear my snuff-box reel to shreds.

Once on the lake, Glen thought we could find lunkers bunched up around the old, submerged Lowry Bridge.  He was confident he could locate the bridge despite our lack of electronics because as a child he’d spent summer Sundays just up the creek near the Lowry grist mill and mill pond.  After church, families would walk down the hill and picnic at the pond.  Children pruned their skin soaking in the water and diving from boulders.  Glen’s memory was accurate.  We found the bridge and Shane caught a 3 pound Largemouth on a crank bait.  Apparently, though, that fish was a loner because we spent most of our time clearing lake trash from the bottom with our spoons.

We weren’t in a hurry though, so the boat drifted with the north wind along a wooded bluff that extended 50 feet into the water from the shore.  Glen decided that he would try for some white bass using one of his homemade spinner baits, which he put on his spinning reel with 6 pound test line.  After fumbling with them for five minutes, he threw them to the bottom of the boat in disgust.  The wind was making his eyes water so that he couldn’t see the line.  Shane put on his glasses and eventually tied the lure on.

“Alright, Jeremy.  You ready to see a big bass.  My squirrel-hair spinner’s gonna tear ‘em up!  Bass love squirrel!”  Glen started to cast and retrieve the homemade lure modeled after Dave Hawk’s Gold Bug.  “Hey Jeremy, did I ever tell you about that time Glen Cossey and I were fishin’ on Greers Ferry Lake back when it was almost new?  Well, we were fishin’ near the bank when we saw a squirrel goin’ after a walnut in a crook on a low hanging branch.  Just as the squirrel reached the walnut, a giant black bass shot out of the water and swallowed that squirrel.  While we were still settin’ there with our jaws between our legs lookin’ at each other, we turned back to the branch, and you know what we saw?  We saw that black bass put the walnut back up in the crook of that branch!”

Throughout Glen’s story, his lure was proving him a liar until the north wind pushed us to the mouth of a creek clogged with washed out branches and trees.  “Uh, oh!” Glen warned.  “I got one.  Aww, but he’s just small one.  Ohhh . . . wait a minute!  Wait a minute, he’s growing!  He’s grown up!  Oh my gosh, it’s big ‘un!  Boy he’s really fightin’ now.  How am I gonna get him in the boat with this little 6 pound line?”  Glen guided the Largemouth to the front of the boat.  He reached down trying to manage both the rod and the bass, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got him!  He’s nearly 5 pounds!”  He threw the monster in bottom of the boat.  “Ha!  My squirrel-hair worked!”  He looked at his contraption proudly.  But that would be the last of the squirrel hair.  As we headed back down the creek, he’d caught some trash on his spinner bait, jerked the rod to remove the trash, and watched as the squirrel-hair arm of the lure broke off and disappeared into the murky water!  Glen blamed the north wind.

Glen's Goldbug sans squirrel hair

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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:


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Dr. Todd sent the book to print a few weeks ago.  The physical copies should be ready around December 10.  In light of that I wrote down the story about how the book came about:

If you read the last blog entry, blog entry number 2, then you will remember that I made reference to Mira Kirshenbaum’s book, Everything Happens for a Reason. In it she provides “10 meanings of the events that occur in our lives.”  The list includes some things you would expect such as: “To help you totally accept yourself, To show you can let go of fear, To help you uncover your true hidden talent.”  But the one that struck me the most was:  “To show you how to live with a sense of mission.”  Since that time, my mission to tell Dad’s story and the history of freshwater pro-fishing in the U.S. seemed all the more important.  Kirshenbaum definitely helped me to feel more grounded about why things turned out the way they did for Dad… and for myself.

On a hot summer day in August 2003, I remember lying in bed in my one room cabin that Dad and I built just outside of Lead Hill, Arkansas when I watched Michael Iaconelli reel in the winning fish of the Bassmaster Classic, and shout, “Never Give Up!”  That fish made him a whole lot of money, and as he reeled in the fish, I couldn’t help thinking how much different our lives would be if Dad had reeled in a net full of money along with his winning fish in the ’65 and ’66 World Series of Sport Fishing tournaments.

I moved to Lead Hill in early 2001 when the corporation I was working for collapsed under my feet.  I was living in my Dad’s hunting trailer with only a few possessions and less pride.  Having had a similar experience with fishing, Dad knew what I was going through.  As we built my cabin together, he told me stories of his past successes and failures that I’d heard as a child, and they began to have more meaning.  Only after experiencing life myself did I begin to understand the heights to which my Dad had climbed and the depths to which he had fallen.  I began to find striking parallels between his story and mine.  I began to truly understand him and look to him and Mom to understand more of life’s lessons.

Watching Iaconelli reel in that fish, I became convinced that Dad’s bassin’ legacy should get similar recognition.  The world had to know who he was, how he shaped present day pro-fishing, and the part he played in the history of pro-fishing.

At the time I didn’t know how I was going to do it.  It never occurred to me to start writing it myself until my author friend, Jon Sheppard, encouraged me to.  I must have felt a little like Ray Scott when he concocted the idea of having the first paying bass tournament.  Determination was his only resource and he understood that he needed the help of others to blaze a path toward success.  As it happened for Ray, it too, happened for me by putting one foot in front of the other and realizing that some things had to be accomplished with other people’s help.

Several years of research and traveling all over the Midwest had revealed even more than Dad’s stories disclosed.  Not just that he became the only two-time World Series champ, but also of all the amazing people who helped him and whom he helped along the way – both famous and forgotten.  Dad’s story was monumental.  He was the hub of a wheel that had many spokes and history is amiss without the addition of his name.

Months turned into years, and many hours of boat sitting and deer camp fires reaped many stories of Dad’s humorous hunting trips and fishing adventures.  Eventually, I began to invite other friends to camp just to listen to Dad’s tales of yore.  It was then and there that I finally conceded to start writing.  A couple of years later I asked Jeremy Miller, whom I met while we were both waiting tables at the Olive Garden in Branson, MO, to co-author with me.  He just happened to also be an English teacher and his writing skills were very good.  He developed the story into a real piece of writing.

Thus, An Impossible Cast was born.

Stay tuned to the next blog entry and find out what the great Bill Dance and two-time Bassmaster Classic champ Bobby Murray said about Glen Andrews.

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Thanks to all those who’ve read the blog and commented on it; some of those comments are great stories within themselves and we’d like to see more of that. If any of you who know or know of Glen Andrews and his legacy and have a short story about him then by all means post it here, it will be welcome. You can also contact us by email or phone at:

Shane’s home phone # 479-239-4568

We also ask that you share the blog with anyone you think might be interested – anyone who loves the outdoors, fishing, underdog stories like “Rocky”, and entertaining books. Also check us out on our Facebook page (no subscription necessary) for video, photos, and articles related to the book!

So now, many of you are beginning to ask questions. Who is this Glen Andrews and what is his legacy? Why is he so important, historically? Why haven’t we ever heard of him before?

Perhaps the first two questions are best answered by the Lead Hill School Foundation’s Tiger Hall of Fame nomination letter to which Glen was inducted earlier this year. This hall of fame is just the beginning of what we intend on this mission.

“Glen Andrews was World Champion”

Before Heartland Tournaments, Wal-Mart’s FLW and BASS’ Bassmaster tournaments, the “World Series of Sport Fishing” dominated bass angling competition. It was the most prestigious and largest bass tournament in the world. It produced and made such greats as: Harold Ensley, host of the 48 year outdoor TV show, The Sportsman’s Friend; Joe Krieger, host of the Tulsa based outdoor program, The Joe Krieger Sportsman Show; Virgil Ward, host of the outdoor program, Championship Fishing; and Jimmy Houston of ESPN’s Jimmy Houston Outdoors. In the ten-year run of the World Series only one man could tout the title “World Champ” more than once and consecutively as well. His name is Glen Andrews and he is a native and long-time resident of our tiny yet significant community of Lead Hill, Arkansas.

Glen is not only the only two-time World Series Champ but his contributions to the advancement of the professional fishing society are of paramount. Glen mentored and honed such greats in the pro fishing world as: Pro-Fishing Hall of Famer Bill Dance (holder of 23 national titles, 3-time “BASS Angler of the Year” and host of ESPN’s Bill Dance Outdoors). In a letter Bill reflects on Glen’s influence on his career. He writes, “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… There can be absolutely no doubt that I wouldn’t be doing what I am today had our lines not crossed back then.”

In a 2008 letter of nomination to the Fishing Hall of Fame in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Hall of Famer, two-time winner of the Bassmaster Classic and student of Glen Andrews, Bobby Murray stated, “Glen is probably the greatest angler that no one has ever heard of. However, his influence on modern bass fishing is unparalleled by any other angler.”

Jerry McKinnis, host of the The Fishin’ Hole, which owned a spot on ESPN for over forty years, recently of Glen, “Because of my business you can imagine how many times someone asks, “Who’s the best bass fisherman you ever knew?” My answer is always, “You’re probably not going to know this man, but it’s a guy by the name of Glen Andrews.” I had a wonderful career and I owe a lot of it to Glen Andrews.”

Glen also was inspirational with his ability for story telling and was the author of a syndicated column called, Angler’s World which was printed by the Harrison Daily News among others back in the sixties. He also is credited with authorship of the how-to book called, Techniques of Bass Fishing printed in 1974 when he held bass fishing classes in Rogers, Arkansas.

Glen was the founder and owner of Andrews Lure Company which produced top notch lures whose designs influenced many used today. In Bobby Murray’s words, “Glen was the first true professional bass angler. His insights into seasonal fish migration, structure fishing, lure development and lure presentation helped forge the basis of many of the country’s leading bass fishing authorities of today.”

Glen’s Accolades

1962 Missouri State Champion
1962 Runner-up World Champion
1963 Missouri State Champion
1963 Runner-up World Champion
1965 Missouri State Champion
1965 Arkansas State Champion
1965 World Champion
1966 World Champion

The last question: Why haven’t we ever heard of him before?

For now, allow me to just say that the title of Mira Kirshenbaum’s 2004 book, which greatly helped me to understand Glen’s story, says it all:

Things Happen for a Reason

Tentative Print Date for
An Impossible Cast
November 7, 2009

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