Sandy Flowers – Experiencing the Outdoors
by John N. Felsher
Get on the water and have some fun
Born and raised in Milton, FL, Sandy Flowers worked in marketing and modeling since 2007. She appeared on numerous magazine covers and pages. She also appeared at shows, special events and in advertisements. However, she always returned to her passion─the outdoors. She lives in Pensacola FL. with her husband, Glenn Flowers. CatfishNow caught up with Sandy recently on a hot night in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta near Mobile, AL.
CN: How did you get started fishing?
SF: I have a passion for being in the outdoors. I enjoy hobbies that help me experience the outdoors in a more intimate way. Whether it’s kayaking, hiking, scuba diving, freshwater or saltwater fishing, I’m ready for the challenge. I started catfishing when I was a young girl, maybe four or five years old. I fished in ponds for channel cats and bream with my grandfather.
Also, my dad was big into saltwater fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Sometimes, we would venture out into the Gulf of Mexico to catch snapper, amberjack and redfish.
My earliest fishing memory was a day spent at my grandfather’s friend’s pond where I caught my first channel cat. We had fished that pond many times together, but this trip was different. I knew I had something on the line much bigger than any bream I had caught. I fought that fish with all my 6-year-old arms could handle — a heck of a battle for someone my size! As the fish came to the bank, I remember barely containing my excitement seeing the “monster fish” I had just caught. Just like the fish, I was hooked. That 21-inch channel cat was a true trophy in my eyes!
CN: If you could fish anywhere you wanted, where would you go?
SF: I try to fish my home waters, the Escambia, Alabama and Yellow rivers, as often as I can. During the past 10 years, I have fished across the Southeast, but would like an opportunity to visit Ohio and fish new areas for different experiences.
My husband and I have always talked about going to Europe to fish for monster wels catfish, which can weigh several hundred pounds. The opportunity to catch such a giant in fresh water sounds like a thrill and experience in itself, but having the chance to visit another country in search of such an animal would be an amazing opportunity.
CN: What is your biggest catfish so far?
SF: The biggest flathead I ever caught was a 42-pounder, caught on July 4 on the Alabama River during a new-moon phase. When he took the bait, he hit like a train, hard and fast. I was barely able to pull the rod from the holder. He immediately tangled the line on some submerged timber below the boat. Luckily, I had heavy braided line and a solid hookset. After some maneuvering and fighting, I was able to untangle him and get him in the boat. All the while, my husband was standing with his arms crossed on the bow of the boat coaching me. After taking a few photos and when my heart stopped racing, I released him back into the river.
CN: What are the biggest influences on how you fish?
SF: My biggest influence regarding catfishing has definitely been my husband, Capt. Glenn Flowers. He’s a licensed fishing guide (850-418-9280/cathunters.net). We met about 10 years ago and have been fishing partners ever since. His passion for the sport and dedication to the industry is inspiring.
In the beginning, he doubted that I would enjoy the type of fishing he was doing, but one day, I talked him into taking me. He could really see I wasn’t some girly girl. I was setting the anchor, grabbing bait from the livewell and tying on hooks. He has shown me new methods and so many other skills needed to be a great angler. He has years of experience on the water and has dedicated his time to spreading that knowledge to other anglers to build a new generation of catfishing.
CN: Do you always fish with your husband?
SF: Although I mostly fish with my husband, I do go offshore fishing with other friends, mostly searching for snapper, cobia or amberjack. I also like to fish some smaller creeks and ponds for bream or bass. Fishing alone does have some advantages and disadvantages. When I go alone, it’s quiet and peaceful. When my husband and I go, it’s an opportunity to make memories together and catch twice as many fish.
When the idea of a guide service first came up, it was just an idea and a short conversation at the dinner table. After a few years of talking and repeated requests from other anglers to take them fishing, the guide service felt like a great opportunity to do something we truly loved while having a chance to teach others about the sport.
CN: What different challenges to you experience as a woman angler?
SF: The challenges of being an angler are pretty much the same for men and women. As a female angler, however, we face a few obstacles that men usually don’t need to worry about such as the wonderful experience of hanging your backside off the boat to relieve yourself. Until you’ve had to do it, it’s not normally an area you remember to coat with insect repellent until it’s too late!
Women also battle stereotypes and false accusations of “there’s no way she caught that fish” or “she’s just there to look pretty and hold the fish for a photo.” How many photos of female anglers holding fish have you seen with a comment like “What fish?” or “Where’s the fish?”
The women anglers I know are truly skilled and know their stuff when it comes to fishing. We put in the work. We sometimes miss huge fish and get disappointed when we come home with nothing to show after a long day on the water─just like the men.
CN: What advice can you give other women who want to fish with their significant others?
SF: My advice to any women who want to learn about fishing is to just go. Even if all you get to do is go for a boat ride, being on the water can be relaxing and fun. Also, be patient and try to learn as much as possible. Remember, it will be a learning experience for your spouse also. Remind him to slow down and show you how versus doing it all for you.
CN: Any final thoughts?
SF: Get out there. Get on the water and have fun. Try a new fishing spot or a new kind of bait and experiment with new techniques. Catfishing, for me, is about learning something new every time I get on the water. Some nights, I come home freezing, soaking wet and tired, only to end up empty handed. I am convinced there is still a monster waiting to be caught by me and that giant is what keeps me coming back every time.
Fans can keep up with the adventures of Glenn and Sandy through their Facebook pages.