Al Lindner

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1944 -
2011 Inductee
As a young guide in the early 1960s, Al Lindner was intent on finding better ways to catch fish.  Over the next four decades that remained a priority for the author, radio and TV host, video producer, tackle manufacturer, lecturer, and champion tournament angler.  As Al became one of the sport’s most respected and influential educators and industry leaders, the Lindner name became synonymous with fishing excellence. Al grew up in Chicago, part of a family that loved to fish, and by the time he left for Vietnam he had won a few local tournaments.  When he returned at the age of 22 he opened a guide service in Brainerd, Minnesota, and that same year fished the second B.A.S.S. tournament.  Al didn’t get a single bite the first day but Bill Dance returned to the dock with a huge stringer of bass. Al had fished the same lake, at the same time, under the same conditions.  Clearly he couldn’t make excuses about the fish not biting because the fish were biting.  They were always biting.  And that realization was life-changing. In 1968 Al and brother Ron developed the Lindy Rig which revolutionized live bait fishing.  Lindy Tackle was sold in 1973 but the Lindy Rig remainspopular and productive.  After Al made his first walleye film with Virgil Ward, the Lindners decided they could create their own, so they shot a pilot with a rented camera, took it to the AFTMA show where they found a sponsor by the name of Rapala (a sponsor to this day), and soon had a show running on local TV.  In the early 1970s Al was spending 300 days a year on the road, guiding summers on Minnesota lakes, winters on Sam Rayburn in Texas, and competing in – and often winning – bass and walleye tournaments.  He talked fishing everywhere, to anyone who would listen.  His seminars were especially well-received:  he came armed with drawings, charts and graphs, and folks swarmed around after the presentation, asking how they could acquire these informative materials. In response, In-Fisherman was born.  The first magazine shipped to 10,000 readers in June 1975.  Early issues, called study reports, were technical and rigorous, aimed at hardcore anglers.  Even the title, In-Fisherman, suggested selectivity:  a fisherman who was “in” and privy to insider news. The early days of the magazine were a time of development and experimentation, the beginning of the “how-to” genre of fishing literature.  Within a year a decision was made to adopt a multi-species format, and the company’s motto became: “Teaching North America How to Catch Fish is our Business.” The revolutionary magazine caught on immediately.  It contained a new vocabulary for fishing concepts and scientific principles, and terms now part of the lexicon – like slop, pattern, post-frontal conditions, structure, and presentation – first appeared in print.  Al helped formulate a system for categorizing lake, river, and reservoir types, and for patterning fish response by calendar season.  In-Fisherman’s F (Fish) + L (Location) + P (Presentation) = S (Success) formula worked for any species, anywhere, and was adopted universally.  The magazine wasn’t published on a regular schedule, didn’t have standard features like “Letters to the Editor,” and didn’t carry advertising for the first four years.  And it didn’t make money.  But it kept going.  In-Fisherman‘s 25th publication, the first to resemble a magazine and the first to appear on newsstands, was the June/July 1979 issue. When In-Fisherman, Inc. was sold in 1998 it was a multi-media company consisting of the cutting-edge magazine; TV and radio shows; books and videos; the Professional Walleye Trail (begun in 1990); and, launched in 1997.  The extensive communications network In-Fisherman had become made it possible for Al to share his concepts, techniques and products with millions of anglers.  Hailed as one of the world’s best all-around anglers, Al Lindner remains immensely popular.  In a career that has spanned 45 years, he has been a constant presence on television for an amazing 43 of them.  As host of Lindner’s Angling Edge, produced by Lindner Media Productions, he continues teaching viewers how to catch more and bigger fish by using the absolute latest in tackle, technology and tactics.   Al is the recipient of countless awards and honors for his contributions to the sport and the industry, and is enshrined in the Fresh Water, the Minnesota, and the Professional Bass Fishing Halls of Fame, and the Normark Hall of Fame. For his keen understanding of fish behavior, for his endless enthusiasm for the sport, and for almost single-handedly changing the way people fish in fresh water, the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame honors Al Lindner.