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updated: 12/14/2011 2:46 PM

Mike Jackson on the outdoors: Lindner's tales

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  • Ron Lindner is starting to write about the early adventures of people who made significant advances in the fishing industry.

    Ron Lindner is starting to write about the early adventures of people who made significant advances in the fishing industry.
    Photo courtesy of Lindner Imagery

  • Video: Lindner Jiggling Walleye video


Right now I feel as if I'm part of a group of youngsters sitting in front of the fireplace listening to a relative read stories from the past.

All of us "kids" hunger for the next words as the burning logs light up the room. This is not a holiday story, but rather a lesson wrapped in the guise of fishing history.

I can't tell you where the best walleye angling is happening now, but I can relate to you that much of what we use today in the way of tactics and equipment came about as the result of some heavy-duty lessons laid out for all to see and experience.

Former competitors have apparently become allies now.

Ron Lindner, of Lindner's Angling Edge Television and formerly of In-Fisherman, has teamed up with North American Fisherman to produce a poignant piece of writing.

At one time In-Fisherman and North American were vying for readers and viewers. It all goes back -- the Lindner article, that is -- to the late Buck Perry, Carl Lowrance, and Bill Binkelman.

It was in the early 1960s when those three got together on the Fox Chain O' Lakes to prove to non-believing fishermen there were big fish in that waterway.

Perry showed up with a carload of SpoonPlugs and a desire to prove skeptics wrong about local fishing conditions.

Perry had invented the famous SpoonPlug, while Lowrance came out with the first angler's sonar units called Lo-K-Tors. Binkelman was a fishing tackle buyer for the old Boston Store in Milwaukee and was also working on putting together the first issues of "Fishing News," a newspaper stuffed with some of the best live bait tips ever written.

Ron Lindner and his brother Al were on hand as well, along with the late Tom McNally, outdoor scribe for the Chicago Tribune, and Perry follower Terry O'Malley.

Buck went out on the Chain's lakes and trolled his SpoonPlugs. What started out to be a routine day for Perry subsequently became an eye-opening extravaganza with stringers of largemouth bass and northern pike that no one believed existed in the much-maligned Chain. Few fishermen ever returned the sizes of fish Perry brought to the dock.

Perry coined the term structure, which in those early days meant everything from a drop-off to a twig laying on the bottom of the lake. Along with the first models of the Lowrance red box, the pair were responsible for a massive run on Perry's spoons and Carl's fish finder at the old Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago.

As I have said in previous columns, the rest was history.

Those early days helped spawn a couple generations of sharp anglers who picked up the ball and ran with it.

But not everything was rosy.

Even though Buck Perry had a hot trolling item, he didn't have enough cash to help spread the word with major advertising. Although he had a dedicated group of supporters, they weren't able to convince the sit-and-anchor crowd to embrace this new technique of hunting for schooled fish on weed edges.

The brothers Lindner went on to own and operate Lindy Tackle and first made their mark selling the famous Lindy Rig. Binkelman, meanwhile, kept touting Perry's theories and lures. Carl Lowrance and his units changed color to the famous green boxes, and those using them started to become better fishermen based on their experiences with learning how to find drop-offs and schooled fish.

And now Ron Lindner is re-living those early days by recounting the eye-opening adventures of those who paved the way for so many of today's angling educators.

I'll keep you informed as to when the Lindner article will be in print.

• Contact Mike Jackson at, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM.

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