An Impossible Cast

By Shane Andrews and Jeremy Miller

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Updated: February 8, 2010, 1:29 PM ET

Best Bass Fisherman Ever

Jerry McKinnis

 By Jerry McKinnis -

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.

The Best Bass Fisherman

By Dan Basore - Midwest Outdoors

Do you want to start a debate? Just ask any group of bass chasers, Whose the best? And fur will fly. But some of the greatest names in bassin' have no doubt it's Glen Andrews.

Before there was BASS and Bassmaster tournaments the "World Series of Sport Fishing" tournaments were conducted for ten years. It's champions include well known fishermen who hosted television shows including Harold Ensley "The Sportsman's Friend" that ran for 48 years, Virgil Ward of "Championship Fishing", Joe Krieger, "The Joe Krieger Sportsman Show" and Jimmy Houston host of ESPN's "Jimmy Houston Outdoors".

But only one man won the title of "World Champion" more than once, Glen Andrews, and he did it for two years in a row. For the early years as I fished national bass tournaments, and made friends with the nations top bass fishermen, the name Glen Andrews was mentioned by so many as I asked, "Who was the best bass fisherman you ever knew?"

Bill Dance, (23 National wins, three time BASS Angler of the Year), couldn't say enough about how Glen had taught him so much. In a letter to Shane Andrews, Glen's son, Dance wrote, "It's amazing to me how you can meet someone 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".

First and a two time winner of the Bassmaster Classic and student of Glen, Bobby Murray wrote, "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".

As we filmed a segment of the long running ESPN "The Fishin' Hole", Jerry McKinnis not only extolled the expertise of Glen but even pulled out one of his Twin Spin Lures to save the day with some of our best bass of the show while most other fishermen were skunked that day.

Jerry then introduced me to a friend of his that was moving to my area and Gary Clark became like a brother to me. As we fished locally and in exotic locals in other countries we often talked about Glen Andrews wondering what he was doing and even if he was still alive.

McKinnis wrote recently, "In my business you can imagine how many times someone asks, 'Who was the best bass fisherman you ever knew?' Your probably not going to know this man, but Glen Andrews is my reply. I had a wonderful career and I owe a lot of it to Glen".

Ray Scott, the founder of BASS disclosed, "Glen Andrews probably is the best natural-born bass angler that I have ever met. When you've got it you've got it, and Glen Andrews has got it!"

Glen wrote the book, "Techniques of Bass Fishing" in 1974 and authored the syndicated "Angler's World" newspaper column. He also held bass fishing classes.

Of interest to fishers, collectors and fishing historians, Glen was the founder of Andrews Lure Company. His friend Dave Hawk is credited with inventing the plastic worm, "Texas Rig", but the Andrews Bait Company in Rogers, Arkansas, was the first to package, plastic worms, hooks and slip sinkers along with instructions on how to fish them. They also produced several other productive lures.

Some of the ways he worked lures were revolutionary and now mostly forgotten. For example during cold water periods he taught, "Cast my Twin Spin lure to a steep bank or bluff. Let it fall straight down to the bottom about 12 to 18 feet deep. Pull it gently away and allow it to fall on down the bluff continuing till it's about 25 feet deep. Now pick it up and hold it-don't crank it-don't jig it-just hold it and let it swing all the way under your boat.. Most strikes will come about 10 to 15 feet from the bluff, but I have caught lot's of bass after the Twin Spin stopped swinging and was just hanging. So always leave it there for a few seconds."

Glen was a very successful guide for twenty years. The pressure to produce multiple limits for two anglers in the morning and many times two more in the afternoon was much more than catching a big limit himself in a tournament. Glen told me that, "Fishing a tournament was like having a day off."

When it was time to choose between family life and tournament fishing, Andrews decided on his family. We can only guess what he could have achieved fishing bass tournaments.

There's so much more to tell. This article can only introduce you to a small glimpse of Glen's history and his perspective on the history of professional bass fishing that are captured in a new book written by his son D. Shane Andrews and Jeremy Miller and published by Dr. Todd Larson's Whitefish Press. You can order it at

If you can help with our search for more old lures or other fishing history, pre-level wind reels, casting tournament items, manufacturers catalogs, bamboo and wood rods etc., please write Dan Basore, Historical Fishing Display, 3 S 375 Herrick Rd., Warrenville, IL 60555, or call 630-393-FISH, that's 630-393-3474 or toll free 1-800-FISH-LAKe, that's 1-800-347-4525.. You can also e-mail descriptions and jpg pictures to OLLURES@AOL.COM. Thanks for your help and support.

© 2009 Bryan Miller