Some legacies will never be forgotten

Ron Lindner and Tim Lesmeister shared some stories at the NPAA conference a few years ago, reminiscing about days gone by. A lot of young anglers were enamored with the tales of those early times.

For my last blog I profiled a man who made a huge impact on the fishing community. Ron Lindner was a giant and his contributions to the world of fishing are why we, as anglers, have evolved to the place where we are today. Let’s look at some examples.

Prior to Ron and his brother, Al, coming onto the fishing scene, most of the outdoors publications printed stories strictly “me and Joe” pieces. The authors would relate their experiences about a wilderness trip or an amazing vacation destination. Back when the Lindner beacon first began to shine there were a few publications cropping up that were how-to oriented, but the Lindners took it to a level that no one had seen before.

They say being copied is the greatest form of flattery. If that is the case the Lindner brothers must have felt well-loved because even the major publications like Field and Stream and Outdoor Life shifted their priorities and began using more how-to articles.

This how-to transitioned to television, too. Shows like The American Sportsman with Curt Gowdy were replaced by In-Fishermen and others where the hosts educated anglers instead of entertaining them with segments of fishing and hunting exploits with celebrities at some remote location in parts of the world most of us would never see.

Competitive angling had taken hold in the south when Ron and Al started building their empire, but those two brought it to the north and transitioned the walleye from a category of fish that never got tossed back into a species now considered a major sport fish.

When the Lindners began to actively promote catching instead of fishing, the entire game changed. Sonars became standard equipment on boats that were designed to get you to the fishing spot quickly and then provide the necessary boat control for optimum results. Today’s anglers take for granted all of that new equipment that Ron and Al pioneered, then shared that knowledge with the masses.

This kind of transparency was unheard of years ago when it came to anglers sharing their knowledge. People who fished were notoriously secretive about their spot and where they were catching fish. The Lindners broke that mold and made it a badge of honor to tell everyone how and where they’d achieved that success. The influx of knowledge was all they needed to generate some interest for those new to sportfishing and this created huge numbers of additional anglers.

A few years ago Ron and I were sitting – just the two of us initially – at a table at the annual National Professional Anglers Association conference reminiscing about the early tournaments, like the start of the MWC and that Lake Minnetonka Championship. Or the Great Plains Anglers bass circuit. We chatted about how BASS began and how the locals were initially tough to beat and how that changed over time. Within a half hour of starting this conversation there were two dozen anglers hovering around the table and two hours of storytelling later (we’re both long-winded) there were about 40 anglers soaking up the tales of days gone by.

Some of us were fortunate to be there when the memories were made that led us to where we are today, and as the second hand keeps ticking on that never-ending clock there will always be more memories made. That is why some legacies are never forgotten.

Categories: Blog Content, Tim Lesmeister

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