- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Last week, a member of the Potomac River Smallmouth Club had an opportunity that most freshwater anglers would give a fair amount of money to experience.

In a Web site-driven national contest, Bob Forbes, of Vienna, Va., won an outing on the upper Potomac with one of North America’s most famous fishermen, Al Lindner, of Brainerd, Minn.

During the 1970s, Lindner, who is as well known in the South for his skills finding largemouth bass and winning tournaments as he is for hooking walleyes and pike up North, qualified for three Bass Masters Classic world championships - an accomplishment for any professional angler, but even more so when you go up against a Southern cadre of anglers who think that bass tournaments are best handled by the lads from south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

In 2005, Lindner was picked to enter the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, then was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Angler and subsequently was honored by the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame as an angling educator. Over the years he has collected 54 awards for his sportfishing contributions.


Al and his brother Ron were co-founders of Lindy Tackle, as well as In-Fisherman, Inc., which included the In-Fisherman magazine, television programs, radio shows, books, videos, calendars, a Web site and a professional walleye tournament circuit. The Lindner brothers sold their stake in Lindy’s in 1973 and In-Fisherman in 1998, but now head Lindner Media Productions, which includes “Lindner’s Angling Edge” and “Lindner’s Fishing Edge” televison programs.

Last Wednesday, sitting in professional guide John Hayes’ raft, Al Lindner and Forbes float-fished a portion of the Potomac River near Harper’s Ferry, hooking smallmouth bass. The Minnesotan said, “I’m amazed at the quality of the fish in this river. It definitely was not what I expected it to be.”

Lindner and Forbes had 16-inch and 18-inch smallmouths; Forbes also caught an 18-inch walleye and Lindner was impressed with a kind of fishing that he said, “would be considered good anywhere in this country.”

“Lindner is a down-to-earth fellow,” Forbes said. “The fishing could have been better, but Lindner tried different things and we had a fine time.”

The visit by the famous angler was sponsored by Humminbird depth sounders and MinnKota trolling motors. After Forbes’ outing, the Potomac River Smallmouth Club received an electronic depth sounder and a trolling motor from those sponsors.

Another yellow perch meeting - The Maryland Fisheries Service has revised fishing rules on yellow perch, one of the favorites for sport anglers in the spring. The Fisheries Service has developed a new population assessment model that it says defines population status and validates safe fishing mortality targets and limits. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall at the Calvary United Methodist Church (301 Rowe Blvd., Annapolis), there will be a meeting of the Tidal Fisheries and Sport Fisheries Advisory commissions to present refined management options. All interested parties are invited. The commercial netters will show up and recreational anglers ought to do the same.

Lake to be lowered - The 250-acre St. Mary’s Lake south of Leonardtown is being lowered to permit necessary dam repairs. The boat ramps at the park will be closed because of the lower water, but if you can walk through the mud while carrying a canoe or cartopper johnboat to the water’s edge levels, you are permitted do so.

“This temporary inconvenience is necessary to maintain public safety, as the lake at St. Mary’s River State Park is a flood control area,” park manager Christy Bright said.

The top of the dam will be closed to all foot and bike traffic for the duration of the construction. The water level will stay low until construction is complete in April 2009, and natural rain water refills the lake.

Let’s hope it rains in the spring because this is a fine body of water.

cLook for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report every Thursday, only in The Washington Times. Also check out Gene Mueller’s Inside Outside blog on washingtontimes.com/sports.