The path of a man’s life can often find its own way, meandering along without focus or intent. But there are some, like Carter Andrews, who may start that way but quickly decide to pick a path they love and make it happen. But what does it mean to make it happen? You can’t force yourself down a career path, lest you get resistance from those along the way. You must work hard, maintain a willing and humble personality and soak up every morsel of knowledge you can from those around you who have more or different experiences. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be slightly obsessed with it either.
I recently got to spend a little time with Carter Andrews, and I came away with a friendly admiration. He is a shining example of “living the dream”, but I know that dreams take lots of hard work and determination. Carter only credits his mentors who became friends and his wife and family that support him and chase the dream beside him, be it Panama, Wyoming or Florida.
Carter was doing well selling insurance in D.C in his younger days, but during a chance trip to Wyoming, someone happen to mention a job possibility selling insurance there. The attraction was instant because Carter was already obsessed with fishing since his childhood days in Tennessee. He went and talked to the potential employer and was soon offered the job on the spot. He rushed home, gave notice, packed up everything and was off to sell insurance in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Now he was in the heart of fly fishing country, and he felt right at home. Applying his style of working hard and being humble, he was offered a job as a guide by Jack Dennis. He decided to take the plunge and quit his job to chase his love of fishing. Coming from a corporate background, Carter’s Dad told him it was a horrible mistake, but now his Dad is his biggest fan.
He was guiding in this famous fishing setting, and getting to know many of the industry greats as well as many “famous” anglers who frequented the area. The fruits of working hard and giving it your all were growing, and Carter’s reputation began to grow as well. He was introduced to saltwater fly fishing, and was immediately a fan. That soon led to a fifteen-year career fishing in Crooked Island, Bahamas.
Carter admits that he didn’t know too much about saltwater fishing at first, but in places as remote as this, the learning curves were fast because the fishing was so good.
“I was doing fine with the ways I knew, but as boats would visit, I would glean knowledge from the visiting captains and crews.”
There were also visitors to the lodge who would have influences beyond Carter’s wildest imagination.
It was here that he met Jose Wejebe, the famous TV fishing personality from the Spanish Fly and all around excellent fishermen. He took Jose fishing and their friendship took off immediately. Not long after Jose’s visit, Carter received a package that contained one cast net and a livewell. Jose had mentioned pilchards, and their potential, to Carter and here was the net to catch them. Carter appreciated the gift and set it aside as he had no idea how to throw a net.
But then one day, he came across a huge school of the tiny fish that Jose had described. In an excited panic, I learned how to throw the net, rigged up the well and rushed back to fill the well with “natures candy” for fish. He anchored over the same patch reefs that he normally fished, but with the first few handfuls of live chum, he saw the water erupt with frenzied mutton snapper. It was the beginning of a whole new era of inshore reef fishing with baits. He couldn’t wait to get back to a phone and tell Jose what happened.
“There were over one hundred muttons up in the water feeding with wild abandon”
he told Jose. Jose shared the same obsessions as Carter, so upon hearing this, he was on the way.
Next, by chance, Carter came to tap a phenomenal wahoo fishery, just offshore of where he had spent so many hours reef fishing. In short order, he was having days with multiple wahoo over 100 pounds in a day. This drew the attention of the “trollers” who began to visit with new ideas and tactics. One day Black Bart, a famous marlin fishermen and lure maker, came to town to chase wahoo. In one day, they released three wahoo over 100 pounds.
This is off the charts fishing for wahoo, but soon the talk turned to questions about marlin. Carter had never really tried for them. Bart gave him some advice and a couple lures to start with, and before long Carter was beginning to release blue marlin just outside of the wahoo grounds. “ Each time I released a blue marlin, I would save the waypoint on my GPS. Before long there was a string of yellow dots along the edge that we called the yellow brick road,” said Carter. Bart came back to enjoy this new blue marlin fishery and created a lure named Crooked Island Candy, in memory of their amazing exploits. Again, Carter credits the influence of these experienced fishermen for giving him the insights that improved his game.
As careers evolve, Carter found himself taking a job in Panama’s Islas Secas Islands as the director of their fishing program. In these prolific waters, Carter has flourished and ensures his guest have the trip of a lifetime. He has assembled the best of modern equipment and brought it to a remote area where the fishing is still primitive in its abundance. Carter continues this position during the six-month fishing season and is now using the off-season’s downtime to pursue another dream.
While chasing his dream jobs around the world, Carter realized that one aspect of fishing that he loved was to share it with others. He had been on TV with Jose and many others in the past and now wished to share his passion, or better stated his obsession with others. Thus his new show “The Obsession of Carter Andrews” was born. With the help of many others, he is filming around the globe, for his show that airs on the Outdoor Channel.
Carter said, “ My goal for the show is to share my passion with the audience and with my fishing buddies and guests. I fish with people with whom I have deep connections and this bonding carries over.
My first show was with my Dad in Russia. It was an amazing trip and to share it with my hero made it very special to me.”
Carter also made note that his wife and kids are his other main heroes for without their support and willingness to chase fish around the globe, he would certainly not be where he is today. “ I hope that I can set an example for others, especially younger people who have dreams of doing what they love, to go for it. Stick to it, do it, work hard and you can succeed at doing a job you love.” said Carter.
“ I just love fishing of any kind, be it fly fishing, fresh water or offshore. If I’m fishing for black marlin and giant yellowfin everyday in Panama, I find myself dreaming of catching smallmouth and trout back in the lakes and streams of my youth. I just love it all and have been so lucky to do so many types of fishing.”
You can share in Carter’s obsession by checking out his show, or fishing with him in the paradise called Isla Secas. Either way, you can’t help but catch his fever for fishing, great times and good friends.
You can keep up with Carter’s adventures on Facebook.