(Left to Right: Al, Ron, James, and Dan Lindner)
Twenty Questions with Fishing Legends Ron and Al Lindner
This week's “Twenty Questions” guests need no introduction as their last name is synonymous with the outdoors and the world of sportfishing. Ron and Al Lindner, along with their families, have made their passion a lifetime career and have earned the respect of outdoor enthusiasts all around the world. Many anglers young and old have learned how to fish thanks to these two dynamic brothers who live to share, unselfishly, with humor and humility,their knowledge of fishing with the rest of us. Their enthusiasm is infectious and if you've ever seen one of their shows, or sat through one of their seminars, I guarantee you will want to get up and go fishing when it's over.
Al and Ron will be joining us Wednesday night, January 26th at 7PM Central Time in the Walleye Central Chat-room to talk with our Walleye Central readers about anything and everything, so please stop by and say hello, won’t you?
Juls: Who are Ron and Al Lindner? (Answer individually or one of you can speak for the both of you.)
Al: We are two guys from Chicago who dreamed of making a living in the sport-fishing industry and committed our lives to making it happen. We started out in the fishing tackle manufacturing side and guided, and in 1973 we got involved in the media end of the business, which started, with magazine, television, radio, books, DVDs.
(Note: A very modest answer from a very humble man. I took the liberty of going to their site and getting their press info which describes each man and his accomplishments in more detail. Details, that I thought, were worth mentioning!)
Lindner Media Productions
Lindner's Angling Edge Co-Founder
During a long career spanning the most revolutionary years in sportfishing history, Al Lindner ranks among the most renowned leaders in the fishing industry. He continues to fish avidly for all freshwater fish, averaging about 180 days a year on the water, and is hailed as one of the world’s best all-around anglers.
As the host of Lindner’s Angling Edge and Fishing Edge television series, Al remains immensely popular as one of the best-recognized angling authorities in North America. Al, however, has always worn many hats, and even his most avid fans may not realize the extent of his past and present involvement with all aspects of the fishing business, other than finding new and better ways to catch fish, that is.
Foremost among his current efforts, Al is a driving force at Lindner Media Productions, which specializes in producing educational fishing programs and DVDs, national TV commercials, product sales presentations, point-of-purchase product DVDs, shown internationally in sporting goods stores and provide their trademark underwater photography to the sportfishing industry.
In 2007, Al and his brother Ron were both inducted into the Normark Hall of Fame for the indelible mark their involvement has made on the history of the Normark, the angling industry and for their instrumental contributions to the growth and longevity of Normark—perhaps best known to anglers as the distributors of Rapala, Storm, Blue Fox and other fine tackle companies. Al was also inducted into the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, and most recently, was given the Samuel C. Johnson Fishing Journalist of the year award for his contributions to the fishing industry in the fields of journalism, conservation and philanthropic leadership.
Al was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as an Legendary Angler, and later enshrined into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame. He has received countless awards for his contribution to sportfishing and the sportfishing industry. Ron and Al Lindner, co-founders of In-Fisherman Magazine, were honored by the Minnesota Magazines and Publications Association and received the Hedley Donovan Award for their contributions to the Minnesota magazine industry.
Al's long and honored career as an author, host of of syndicated radio and TV fishing shows, video producer, fishing guide, tackle manufacturer, lecturer and champion tournament angler has spanned 35 years of the most revolutionary years in the history of sportfishing. His continuing dedication to teaching youth to fish reached a high point when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used his In-FisherKIDS Camp Fish formula as a nationwide teaching tool. Of all his titles, however, Al prefers that of “Angling Educator,” a lifelong obsession he tirelessly pursues.
Al is a two-time Bassmaster tournament winner. Besides being one of the earliest and more famous participants in professional tournament fishing, he is one of the few fishermen who has successfully fished and won major bass tournaments in the South as well as professional walleye tournaments in the North.
Al played an important part in developing and promoting many angling concepts, procedures, products and language that today’s anglers often take for granted. With his brother Ron, he helped formulate a classification system for categorizing lake, river, and reservoir types. He is also famous for patterning fish response by calendar season.
Al, Ron, James, Daniel and Bill Lindner are the creative forces behind Lindner Media and their wide variety of award-winning productions, and have a long and storied history in the fishing business. Ron and Al Lindner sold their stakes in Lindy Tackle in 1973, and in In-Fisherman in 1998. Today, they focus their efforts on Lindner Media Productions, whose client list includes some of the most respected names in the outdoor industry, including Rapala, Berkley, Lund Boats, Shimano, Blue Fox, Storm, MinnKota, Mustad, Nature Vision, Lindy Tackle, Humminbird, Storm, HT Enterprises, Mercury, Gander Mountain, and many others.
Lindner Media Productions also films, edits and post-produces outdoor television series programming. In addition to Lindner’s Angling Edge and Fishing Edge, they currently produce the highly acclaimed FLW Outdoors Bass Series and Walleye Series Tour, plus the Glorvigen’s Pro’s Pointers series. Lindner Media has supplied video footage from their extensive film library for the History Channels’ series “Modern Marvels.”
In association with Bill Lindner Photography (BLP), they market stunning outdoor photography to magazine publishers, advertising agencies and catalog houses. BLP’s photography has graced the cover of national publications including Outdoor Life, Saltwater Sportsman, Field & Stream, North American Fisherman, Bass West, Sports Fishing, In-Fisherman, and Florida Sportsman. BLP is also the primary sport fishing image source for Windigo Images--a large stock photo supplier of outdoor photographic material.
Ronald J. Lindner
Lindner Media Productions
Lindner's Angling Edge Co-Founder
Over the years, Ron Lindner has become a world reknown sportfishing leader. He continues to fish avidly for all freshwater fish, averaging about 200 days a year on the water each year fishing both freshwater and saltwater and continues to explore the where, when, whys and hows of fish habits and behavior.
Among his current efforts, Ron is actively involved at Lindner Media Productions, which specializes in producing educational fishing programs, educational DVDs, national TV commercials, product sales presentations, point of purchase product DVDs shown internationally in sporting goods stores, as well as providing underwater photography to the sport fishing industry.
In 2007, Ron and his brother Al were both inducted into the Normark Hall of Fame for the indelible mark their involvement has made on the history of Normark, the angling industry and for their instrumental contributions to the growth and longevity of Normark perhaps best known to anglers as the distributors of Rapala, Storm, Blue Fox and other fine tackle companies.
Ron was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as an Legendary Angler, and later enshrined into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame. He has received countless awards for his contribution to sportfishing and the sportfishing industry. Ron and Al Lindner, co-founders of In-Fisherman Magaine, were honored by the Minnesota Magazines and Publications Association and received the Hedley Donovan Award for their contributions to the Minnesota magazine industry.
In pursuing his dream, Ron has worn many hats —professional guide, tackle and equipment designer, inventor (3 patents and 30 unique designs to his credit), tackle manufacturer, professional tournament angler, promoter, writer, publisher, book author, television producer, radio host, professional tournament angler, internet Host, and perhaps most importantly, an indefatigably curious fisherman and consummate innovator.
Ron’s work in angling theory includes co-authorship of 10 books. He also has written hundreds of published articles; produced thousands of radio and TV scripts; developed a comprehensive lake, river and reservoir identification classification system and a fish response calendar; and developed the famed F+L+P=S (Fish + Location + Presentation = Success) formula, described as the algebra of angling. His early scientific approach to the sport (along with other pioneers) provided the foundation, framework, and language for today's modern sport fishing forum. Ron is currently completing on his seminal work—The Probability Tables.
Juls: How old were you when you went fishing for the first time? And, who was it with?
Al: Around 1948…I was about four or five years old at our summer cabin on Grindstone Lake in Wisconsin. The water was really clear and there was one big rock with a smallmouth bass that we would see while swimming. I would wade and stand really still with a fishing rod and night crawler and WAIT for that smallmouth bass. It was the thrill of a lifetime and I would DREAM of that every winter. I couldn’t wait to get to the cottage every summer after that.
Ron: I was only about five or so while on a family vacation on Lake Ripley in Cambridge WI. My parents would take me out in the afternoon in a wooden rowboat (one that tended to leak—a trusty coffee can for bailing water was always onboard!) we used cane poles and bobbers with minnows. That was 1939! We fished for crappies…we then cleaned and fried them. My best memories were always fishing with my family.
Juls: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Al: A simple dream to do what we truly love to do. “FISH”
Juls: What is your most memorable experience while fishing? (Either tournament or fun fishing...doesn't matter)
Al: In the early years, I wanted to show what it was like to fish a tournament on TV. I was fishing a B.A.S.S. event and brought along a camera and it rolled from prefishing to the tournament itself and I WON! What are the odds?
Juls: You're celebrating 41 years in "Fishing Television". What do you think is the most important factor in your longevity in this business?
Ron: Teaching folks how to catch more and bigger fish was our original mission and that remains the same today. We have always stayed on the cutting edge of the sport.
Juls: What has changed in the tournament fishing industry the most since you first came on the scene?
Ron: The camaraderie and sportsmanship seems to have gotten lost along the way and replaced with big money tournament payouts.
Juls: What would you two like to see happen in the sport of tournament fishing that hasn't happened yet?
Al: I would like to see more emphasis on high profile team tournaments where manufacturers would actually sponsor the individual teams with national media coverage. I think this is an opportunity that would grow and benefit, and is an answer to a lot of our long-term challenges.
Juls: What's new in the world of Lindner Media for 2011?
Al: Our focus has always been on raising the bar, how can we do it bigger and better? We are expanding more and more into social media. Communication has changed and we believe that you can’t be into only one element in the business to be successful. Today the mass-market media is a blend and that includes Facebook and You Tube. We also have a long-standing relationships with our marketing partners, many over 30 years.
Juls: Now that it's the "off season" what do you do? Do you have an "off season"?
Ron: There is no off-season for us. Fishing is our passion and its 24/7!
Juls: When did you get your first boat, and what was it? Ron, I'm assuming you had one first since you're older. Did Al get your "hand-me-down" as his first boat?
Ron: A 12’ green aluminum car topper with a Martin Motor from Sears.
Al: I remember that boat!
Juls: What are your plans for the 2011 season?
Al: I plan on fishing more tournaments with my son Troy. The west coast, upper Midwest and Canada for sure.
Juls: Of all the waters you have fished in your lifetime, what are your top five favorites, and, why?
1. Lake of The Woods – The fishing is above average for every specie – Muskie, Walleye, Bass, Crappie, and Lake Trout...it’s got it all!
2. Rainy Lake — Smallmouth is in abundance and it’s my favorite fish.
3. Mississippi River — Peace, solitude and very few anglers. Smallmouth, Muskie and Walleye.
4. Lake Havasu — One of the most unique bodies of freshwater because of the habitat management program. The smallmouth fishing gets better and better and better every year. It’s amazing.
5. The Great Barrier Reef – Awesome and unbelievable.
Juls: Almost everyone who fishes knows who the Lindner brothers are, but when you were young and getting into the sport, who were some of your fishing idols? Who did you look up to when you first got into tournament fishing?
Al: Tournaments? Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro; Bill Dance and Forrest L. Wood.
Ron: For both of us: Buck Perry, the Father of Structure Fishing; Bill Binkleman, founder of Fishing News and later Fishing Facts; Jason Lucas, Fishing Editor of Sports Afield.
Juls: Do you do any kids events? If so, what are they?
Al: Angler Young Anger (AYA), let’s go Fishing!
Juls: What is your favorite presentation to use? What is the most fun for you?
Al: I like to use a jig for most anything that swims. Top water smallmouth fishing is the most fun.
Juls: How do you break down a body of water you've never fished before? How do you do to prepare fishing a new lake or river system?
Al: One of my favorite things to do is to find a body of water that I have never fished before and apply the foundation of fishing knowledge that has never changed – the F + L + P= S. Once you understand how simple that is it becomes programmed. Thinking in those terms eliminates unproductive water very quickly. I also love to experiment with new systems and lure. I know there is ALWAYS a better way. In fact, I just found a new system for catching walleye this past year that is the most exciting walleye fishing I have done in years!
(Juls: Hmmmm...sounds like a good question for our Wed. night chat!)
Juls: What are you most proud of in your life?
Al: That I have been fortunate enough to impact our sport in such a way that many people are able to make a living in various aspects of the industry and fulfill their own dream as I did. To help create and inspire people to live their dream in the industry in some way shape or form.
Juls: If you could only give ONE piece of advice to a new angler who wanted to start fishing tournaments professionally, what would that be?
Al: To be truly successful at tournament fishing you have to more than dedicated. What separates the good from the great angler is simply passion. There are a lot of people whose careers are cut short from greatness and settle for mediocrity and lost that passion and drive. Pursue it for the right reasons and everything else will follow suit.