Written by: Daniel Van Der Post
For the majority of fishermen that travels to the beautiful Norwegian coastal waters each year, the Sandy Andy will for sure already be a well-known lure. For those that do not know about the Sandy Andy, it is a versatile soft lure specially made for Sea Fishing targeting a large variety of species like Cod, Pollack, and even Halibut – and closer to my home in the Netherlands it’s also an extremely effective lure for targeting Sea-Bass.
The Sand Eel is a baitfish that is high on the menu for pretty much every predatory fish in Saltwater in Europe. Sand eel is a common name for several species of fish that are all in the same family with similar looks and behaviour.
When they are not active, they hide themselves on the bottom, digging themselves into the sand with just their heads sticking up – but when they’re active, they are usually found in large groups swimming around the open waters, and this is when fisherman and their predators comes across them.
If you’re fishing from a boat or kayak, and using a fish-finder, you will recognise the sand eels as small dots, which is often taken as interference. This is when it is time to put on a Sandy Andy, which in my opinion, is the perfect Sand Eel imitation.
The Sandy Andy was developed quite a few years back, and through the years, the family has extended in such a way, that there is always a suitable Sandy Andy matching the exact conditions you are facing. Sandy Andy is available in nine different length/weight combinations and with twelve colours to pick there’s plenty choice.
It’s slim body and matching jig head makes it the perfect imitation of a sand eel, which is exactly what it was intended to be.
Besides being a very good-looking soft lure, the slim body and head also gives it some crucial benefits; an extremely fast sinking rate compared to a traditional more round jig-head.
Compared to a normal round jig-head, I dare to say, that the Sandy Andy is down twice as fast and even with a lower lead weight!
A slim profile also means less water resistance, which is why it sinks fast. But this also allows you to fish it with relatively light gear even when using the heavy ones. This will give you great sport when visiting the Norwegian waters, where the size of everything tends to be twice or triple as big.
Through the years it has proven its ability to seduce many different saltwater predatory species in such a way, that it has now conquered a fixed place in my tackle box.
Thanks to its slim shape and the ability to sink quickly, this is an ideal lure for targeting Pollack.
Casting with a Sandy Andy of 42 to 82 gram from the kayak around Norwegian underwater mountains drop offs with preferably a nice stream running by, has often proven itself very successfully during our kayak adventures in Norway the last couple of years.
Ideally, try to target areas up to around 35 meters in depth. Doing this in combination with light spinning gear of +/- 50 grams, will give you extremely good sport, and a really well bent rod!
In my opinion, when targeting Pollack, colours seem to be secondary to the shape of Sandy Andy. I personally like to use the more natural colours, but I have actually caught just as many using much brighter colours. This is always interesting to experiment with, and it will possibly also make a big difference per location.
One situation where the colour is important, is when you fish the lures deep. When letting the lure sink deeply, a colour with a luminescent belly (Robo Cod) seems to attract Pollack faster because it is more noticeable.
Spin fishing with Sandy Andy another effective way of using it - a very good tactic for targeting Halibut. Halibut is a highly listed trophy for many anglers that travel to the beautiful Norwegian waters. It can grow to very impressive sizes and most of all it is a great fighter. Long runs and screaming reels is well known by many Halibut anglers.
This huge flatfish is not hunting only at the bottom, it will chase your lure high up in the water, and sometimes all the way up to the surface! The Halibut is a real predatory specie and not just a flatfish that takes a lure every now and then.
Very often they are to be found at strategic points, where they are waiting for prey that swims by.
When spin fishing for Halibut with the Sandy Andy, it is important you work your lure all the way up to the surface. Strikes can occur in the entire water column and sometimes they hit the lure when you least expect it.
Areas around underwater mountains that have a flat plateau near the base or middle of the mountain seems to be attracting Halibut where they are awaiting for potential passing prey.
Large flat sandbanks where a nice stream is running over, also seems to attract Halibut. Specially at the crossover point between the base of the sandbank and deeper areas.
When there’s some vegetation at some point on these sandbanks, there’s a very good chance that a halibut is waiting in the cover for passing prey like our Sandy Andy.
When Spin fishing for Halibut we rarely fish deeper than 35 meters, and most of the time we actually fish waters between 10 to 20 meters! Quite often they are to be found in way shallower water than you would expect.
When targeting Sea Bass, the Sandy Andy is definitely worth a try aswell, as the sand eel occur in good numbers and form a natural prey for the Sea Bass.
Personally the 12-, 22- and 42-grams version are the most used variant for me, when I am fishing from kayak.
The fast sinking characteristics are ideal for the casting and retrieving fisheries on strong tidal waters, so that Sandy Andy is quickly at the bottom and can be presented hovering just above the bottom with the current.
When you are fishing a heavy structured area and you are ‘’parking’’ to many Sandy Andy jigs at the bottom, it’s a good option to try the Magic Minnow Jig which is equipped with an hidden hook.
That will result in a lesser loss of lures as the Sandy Andy jig have a exposed hook.
You can read more about fishing with the Magic Minnow in my article about that which is availbe here aswell.
Cod, Sea Bass, Pollack & Halibut caught on the Sandy Andy by Daniel Van der Post
''Through the years it has proven its ability to seduce many different saltwater predatory species in such a way, that it has now conquered a fixed place in my tackle box.''
Below is an overview with all Sandy Andy variations so you can find a suitable companion for a variety of situations. Besides the standard package (1 body + jig head + a spare body) there are also packages available that contains only spare bodies and packages with unpainted jig heads.
5 gram - 7 cm
22 gram - 13 cm
82 gram - 19 cm
7 gram - 8 cm
42 gram - 15 cm
150 gram - 23 cm
12 gram - 10 cm
62 gram - 17 cm
300 gram - 28 cm