Love for the outdoors combined with experience and skill
Tell Sandy Flowers she “fishes like a girl,” and she will probably consider it a compliment.
Born and raised in Milton, Sandy grew up around the water and always loved the outdoors.
“I started fishing when I was about 4 or 5 years old,” she recalls. “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 ever 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, a 21-inch catfish. Just like the fish, I was hooked!”
As Sandy grew older, her passion for the outdoors flamed brighter. She caught much bigger fish, but she still likes to catch catfish.
The licensed massage therapist regularly joined her father on fishing or diving adventures to the Gulf of Mexico.
Equally comfortable in a boat, a professional advertising photo shoot or working marketing events such as boat shows to support organizations, Sandy’s image has graced numerous magazine covers.
What does a dedicated outdoors girl do when she grows up? Marries a man with a passion for fishing that matches hers.
Sandy’s husband, Glenn, owns and operates Flathead Catfish Hunters, based out of Pensacola, and is president of the Cathunters Association of the South.
He guides for many species, but specializes in catching giant catfish.
Sandy frequently accompanies him on fishing trips.
“My biggest influence regarding fishing has definitely been my husband,” she says. “His passion for the sport and dedication to the industry is inspiring.
“When Glenn and I go, it’s an opportunity to make memories together. In the beginning, he doubted that I would enjoy the type of fishing he does. 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.
“Glenn 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 build a new generation of catfishing.”
Glenn and Sandy often fish the Florida Panhandle rivers, and venture into the Gulf of Mexico or elsewhere. One day, they hope to challenge one of the biggest freshwater fish in the world.
“I’ve fished all across the Southeast,” Sandy says. “The biggest flathead catfish I ever caught was a 42-pounder. Glenn and I have always talked about visiting Europe to fish for monster wels catfish, which can weigh several hundred pounds. The opportunity to catch such a giant in freshwater sounds like a thrill. Visiting another country in search of such an animal would be an amazing opportunity.”
Although she mostly fishes with her husband, Sandy sometimes joins friends on fishing adventures.
When the modeling, marketing and other activities on her schedule become too hectic, Sandy likes to slip away beyond cellphone range for a little quiet time fishing alone on creeks and ponds for bream and bass.
“I have a passion for the outdoors,” she says. “I enjoy hobbies that help me experience the outdoors in a more intimate way. Whether it’s kayaking, hiking, scuba diving or fishing, I’m ready for the challenge. When I go fishing alone, it’s quiet and peaceful. Even a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.”
Although women have made significant social progress in recent years, they still battle old stereotypes.
Sandy fights to change that.
“We hear a lot of false accusations like, ‘There’s no way she caught that fish’ or ‘She’s just there to look pretty and hold the fish for a photo,’” Sandy says. “The women anglers I know are truly skilled and know their stuff. We put in the work.
“My advice to any women who want to learn about fishing is to just go. Also, be patient and try to learn something new every time you get on the water. Try a new fishing spot or a new kind of bait. Experiment with new techniques.
“I am convinced there is a monster fish out there waiting for me to catch it, and that giant is what keeps me coming back every time.”
To inquire about excursions through Flathead Catfish Hunters, call (850) 208-4667 or visit www.cathunters.net.