When Adam Andrews was born, the attending nurse said, “This boy’s got him some big hands. My people say that means he gon’ be a preacher!”
That was sixteen years ago. Adam still has big hands. Huge, in fact. Offer him a shake of your hand sometime and see for yourself. And while he enjoys church at the Flora-Bama every Sunday with our family—and though our pastor, Dan Stone, is one of Adam’s best friends—I’m not certain Adam will fulfill the nurse’s prophesy.
Will he become a “fisher of men?” Yes, but perhaps not as a professional… A “fisher of fish” however, might be another story.
Adam is our youngest son. Now entering his sixteenth summer, he fishes longer, harder, and with more intensity than anyone I have ever seen. And of course, Adam catches more and bigger fish than anyone I’ve ever seen as well.
Speckled trout, flounder, bass, catfish—it doesn’t matter how muddy the water is or what the moon phase might be, he fishes. Which is why, I suppose, he “catches.” And this was true when he was a little kid.
Check out this 6.5 pound flounder he caught when he was six years old. During the heat of mid-day. In July. On a Saturday with jet-skis buzzing all around…
Oh, and lest you think the big flatfish was an accident, please know that Adam was actually fishing for flounder. In fact, only a few minutes earlier, he had announced he was after “big flounder” as he tied a massive lure I thought more suited for King Mackerel onto his line. Not a half-hour later, my hands trembled as the kid missing his two front teeth expertly guided a bigger flounder than his daddy had ever caught into the landing net.
Or how about this…when he was twelve, Adam caught an Alligator Gar in an aluminum boat. The beast hit a Strike King Red Shad and twenty-five minutes later, Adam landed him using 12-pound test line.
When he was fourteen, he was catching Jack Crevalle from a paddleboard.
And now this… Last week, one night after dark, Adam took a hook the size of his hand and stuck it through a big grouper head. With an easy grin and several calming “there-ain’t-nothing-to-it” type comments to one of his buddies (Michael Thompson), Adam paid him two dollars to paddle the bait a couple of hundred yards off the beach in a kayak.
Adam had official shark tracking tags from NOAA in his pocket.
Some time later, he “hooked up” and despite it being the middle of the night, a crowd gathered to watch this sixteen year old kid—his feet firmly planted in the sand…land, tag, and “release in good shape”—a twelve foot long Tiger Shark.
As reported to NOAA (according to their official “Apex Predator Length-Weight Relationship Chart”) the shark weighed a bit more than 1,000 pounds.
Adam Andrews, my son, is officially my favorite fisherman!