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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

audrey humphries

Click to listen to the audio version of this article.

Meet Angler, Artist & Soon-To-Be Physician Audrey Humphries

Audrey Humphries At A Glance

AGE: 30

HOMETOWN: Los Gatos, California
Current Residence: Gainesville, Florida

SOCIALS:

Instagram: @reelhapafishing

YouTube: Physicians Gone Fishing

Audrey Humphries didn’t grow up in a fishing family. Her parents are both doctors and are very “academic and scholarly.” But once she met her fiancé in medical school, she got hooked on fishing (pun intended).

Audrey Humphries

H&B: Tell us about growing up in NoCal.

Audrey Humphries: Where I grew up in Northern California wasn’t what most people think of when they think of California with beaches and sun. I was near the redwood forests, so we had a little of everything—mountains, forests, creeks. And while I spent a ton of time outdoors in nature, I didn’t fish until I met my fiancé Steven in my first year of medical school at Virginia Tech. He grew up in Florida, fishing his whole life. I was in my first year of med school, and he was in his fourth year getting ready to finish and go back to Florida. We fell in love, and I went to Florida to visit, and he taught me how to fish. I’ve been fishing for about three years now. I love it—I love being on the water, out in the sun. Now it’s our main hobby, and we try to fish as often as we can.

When did you move to Florida?

AH: I moved to Florida at the end of my third year of medical school. Steven had finished school and started his dermatology residency at the University of Florida, so I moved to Gainesville to be with him. I’m finishing my fourth year of medical school, and I just got accepted to an ophthalmology residency in Miami. We’re so excited to transition to a place where the fishing is even better.

What is your favorite thing to fish for, and where is your favorite place to fish?

AH: I love fishing offshore. I know some people don’t like not being able to see land, but I love deep dropping. My favorite fish are hogfish—they’re big, bright, beautiful orange fish with huge mouths and sharp teeth. They have a beautiful dorsal fin that looks like spines. They have the whitest, most delicious meat. And they put up a great fight in the water. I love the challenge. I also like grouper—they’re so fun to fight. I’ve also done some diving and spearfishing.

Audrey Humphries
Audrey proudly shows off her Gulf Coast flounder (above left) and a beautiful Miami Yellowjack.

What kind of boat do you have? 

AH: We have a 20-foot little bay boat, but we’re hoping to be in the market soon. Since we’re going to South Florida, we want a boat that’s better for going offshore, but being on the Gulf Coast off Crystal River, it’s been perfect. It’s aluminum so it’s better for getting around the oyster beds and for inshore fishing.

What’s your favorite fishing trip so far?

AH: Early in October 2021, before we had the boat, we fished off a Seadoo FishPro. One day we decided to camp and fish. There are spoil islands off the coast from Crystal River, so we took the jet ski out and found a place on one of the islands. It was epic! We set up our camp and went off and fished. That was one of the first times we caught a good number of hogfish, and we brought them back to camp, and we fileted them by the open fire and cooked them up. It was truly an epic trip and so much fun. 

Audrey Humphries
Above L to R: Key Audrey Humphries with Key Largo Yellowtail, playing with Mango, posing with Gulf Coast offshore Redfish.

AH: Another memorable trip was with Steven’s sister and her fiancé. We fished all day, and we didn’t catch anything for hours. We finally started to head back in, and on the way in, fish started blowing up all around us, and we were in the middle of a school of mahi. Everyone started throwing their lines out and chumming them up. We caught so many mahi—it saved the day. We stayed there for two hours until sunset just catching fish after fish.

For my dream trip, I want to go to Panama or Costa Rica to fish. Also doing some spearfishing in the Bahamas would be really cool. 

Do you have a good one-that-got-away story?

AH: With fishing, especially offshore fishing, you can’t necessarily see what’s on. Once you’ve been fishing a while, you can feel it, and sometimes by weight and fight, you can guess what it might be. We went to the Keys for a week in January, and it stormed all week. It was a bummer, but we couldn’t cancel so we stuck it out, and the whole week we only had one or two good fishing days. At the end of the week, we hadn’t caught much, and the pressure was on. We went out, and another storm was coming so we didn’t have a ton of time. I got a fish on, and I was pretty sure it was mutton snapper. It was pulling like a big, heavy keeper. I’m fighting the fish. I was so close to bringing it up, and at the last second it broke off. I was so upset. I was dead silent for 30 minutes. 

If you could go on a fishing trip with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?

AH: There are so many amazing captains out there who just slay who I’d love to fish with and see their process and hear their stories, but I love being on the water with my friends and family. There’s nothing like being out with your people. My dad’s English, and my mom’s Chinese (that’s why I call myself hapa—hapa is the Hawaiian term for half, and I’m half Asian). My English grandfather loved to sail. He had several sailboats—one called the Lady Jane after his daughter, and he would fish. I’d hear stories about how he’d get out and fish off his boat. He died when I was three, so I don’t have much memory of him. But I heard stories, and he was very salty, a classic, rough Englishman. He loved being out on the water, and I wonder if I got that from him. I would have loved to get him to Florida and get him on some big fish. He’s the first person I thought about.

Audrey Humphries
Above left: Audrey with a Key Largo Mutton Snapper. Above right: Showing off a sweet Gulf Coast Amberjack.

You have some of your amazing paintings on Instagram. When did you start painting?

AH: I’ve always loved to draw, but at the end of undergraduate school I decided I wanted to learn to paint, too. I started with watercolors and also use acrylics. I learned from all these amazing artists online watching their techniques. I paint a lot of different things, but recently I’ve been painting fish. It’s something that’s become a hobby, and when I get in the zone, I can shut out the world for hours.

How do you balance your incredibly demanding career in medicine with this fishing hobby that you love?

AH: We put everything into the fishing trips that we take. Some people don’t fish so intensely. We take our trips and our time very seriously. We might be out fishing for 12 hours or more. We get out early and are fishing until the sun goes down. We take full advantage of the time that we have. 

Audrey Humphries

Outside of medicine and fishing, what do you do?

AH: We recently got a new puppy. She was a foster fail. We named her Mango, after the mangrove snapper. She’s a boxer-pit mix, and she’s just the sweetest. But she’s taking up a lot of our time! 

Hannah Barron Noodles With The Best Of ‘Em

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