Raleigh , NC
Competition Team: LA
Member Since: 2018-06-18
2019 National Standings
2019 Division Point Standings
2019 Service Team Standings (American Fishing Tour Only)
2019 Tournament Results
What Truck, Boat and Outboard does Andra run?
What Andra does for a living:
What you should know about Andra:
I love people. I'm always enjoy getting to know interesting new people.
Volleyball and basketball are my first sports, though fishing is quickly catching up. I am proficient with a chainsaw, and if I could just quit my life and go do disaster relief might. I have a cute little doggy. I am active in my church. I accompany a choir and perform regularly at nursing homes singing and playing the accordion.
I want young women to know that they can do and be what they want to with a little motivation and fearlessness. And that being a tomboy doesn't mean you can't put on a dress and heels too.
How Andra started fishing
I think fishing really started long ago growing up in a family in Oregon, where I wasn't limited by my gender. My father expected me to shovel chicken manure just like he did my brother. As a teenager, my Dad taught me to use a chainsaw and sent us to the tree farm to work. My mother, who we lost to cancer when I was just 14, always said, "Do your best." My father remarried a confident and outgoing Hawaiian, Mollie, who I love dearly and who encouraged me in all my activities. The dynamic of my family left me unafraid to try new things and be adventurous. Though we lived just five minutes from Foster Lake in Oregon, and while I did spend time canoeing, my fishing experience as a young girl included only one trip--a completely unsuccessful attempt to catch something with a cheap rod and a can of hominy. I thought fishing was so boring!
Fast forward 20 years to a family reunion in West Virginia at a wonderful farm named Idlewild. One of the farm's main attractions is a small lake/pond, and canoes were provided. A family friend taught me how to tie a fishing knot, and he sent me with an EWG hook and some purple salamanders. I fished all week and caught one fish. You'd think I'd won the lottery, it was so exciting. We fileted that poor bass and ate him (something I would not do now!) The next year, I convinced my in-laws to hold their reunion at the same place, and once again I fished all week. I probably didn't catch many more, but I sure loved trying.
For the next several years, I would take my four children camping at a camp owned by our church--Eagle's Nest in Seven Springs, NC. It has a beautiful little lake, and each time I took my family camping, I would spend most of the time fishing. A sweet couple, Dennis and Sue Langston, lived at the camp--volunteers serving running the camp. One day Dennis came down and offered me a tip. He handed me a couple of Gary Yamamoto Senko worms and told me how to fish them. I was so thrilled to start catching fish, and each time we came back to camp, I would catch more. I fell in love with fishing. I already loved being outdoors--I love to backpack, camp, etc. But fishing was a new kind of exciting. Every time that line went taught, it felt like I was a kid opening a Christmas present--what was on the other end?
Aspirations or goals with fishing
Well, since I'm fairly new at this, my current aspiration is simply to go to the National ABA tournament because it sounds fun.
(But secretly, or not so secretly since I'm writing about it here, I dream of having my own TV show roaming the world like Chasing Monsters.)
Favorite way to fish
My favorite bait is whatever one catches the fish! I love learning about baits and when and why they work. My favorite people are the ones who teach me things about baits--I am the ONLY one in my family who fishes. So I rely on friends to teach me.
Most exciting fishing experience
I was fishing once, and I was pulling back a senko worm to re-cast. Halfway back to the boat, it felt as if the hook had caught on something but the something felt like a fish. I set the hook just out of curiosity, and the fight was on. I had caught an a 15 lb gar just behind the dorsal fin.
How Andra preps for a tournament
Mostly I treat tournaments like anything else. I play the piano and sports like basketball. Fishing is no different. If I practice the piano every day, I improve. If I shoot 100 baskets a day on a basketball court, when it comes time for my game, I make my shots.
That said, I CANNOT sleep before a tournament. Just way too exciting. And with four kids and my various activities, my days are so busy, you often will find me up late the night before a tournament trying to get my equipment put together.
Three favorite search baits
I might need someone to explain to me what a search bait is . . . . ;)
Best tournament finish and what you did that day when you were fishing.
Most challenging part of tournament fishing
It's hard to leave my family and come to the tournaments. I'm so grateful to my husband and kids for supporting me, and to my husband for allowing me to spend the money to do so. I know it's a lot.
Finally, I actually don't care that much about winning. I don't care about the money. But I never want to come back and have someone look at me and assume I didn't catch something because I'm a girl. Currently I mostly care about showing that women can be successful at fishing, and to inspire more women to do be fearless. For many women it would be scary to go to a fishing tournament and be the only woman. I want to set an example for my daughters and other girls and show them that they can. (I have to add that for the most part, the other anglers in the ABA have been absolutely wonderful to me.)
When tournaments don't go my way
Still working on my attitude for this! I'm here to have an adventure.
Advice to give to an aspiring tournament angler:
It's a little scary to come as a non-boater brand new to the ABA, but it shouldn't be. Just come on. :)
Some shared general bass fishing techniques for people just getting into the sport
My tip is this. Learn one thing at a time. Know that it will take time to learn what some of these other anglers have been learning their whole lives.