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Below is a re-cap of our fans' conversation with Al Lindner in March, 2014.

Q: What are some steps that I can take to become a professional bass angler?
Al: First thing is to join a local bass club, start fishing competitively and win on a regular basis. The rest will follow.

Q: Do you ever fish for deep water bluegills?
Al: Yes. Drop shot with small plastics or live bait can be incredible in summer. Deep humps or rocks can be really productive.

Q: Do you ever fish the Twin Cities lakes?
Al: I have fished about every good lake there at one time or another as far as a metro area. The cities offer awesome opportunity for almost any fish, bass, crappie, cats, muskies, walleye, you name it they are there.

Q: Do you prefer lake fishing or river fishing?
Al: I believe rivers are more consistent than lakes. Many times they are just easier to fish and get bit. They are a blast and I try to take advantage of hot river bite any chance I get.

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how to pull walleyes that feed shallow at night in 5-6 feet of water.
Al: Original floating Rapala with a split shot is real good. Also think about adding a flat rap to the mix 4-10 feet. Depth is controlled with the size of the split shot.

Q: Taking 6-year-old triplets on their first walleye trip to Lake Winnie in mid June. Any tips for walleye and crappie?
Al: There should be a good spinner/crawler bite going on then on the main lake humps holding the bigger fish. Winnie is also a good jig lake if the wind blows, especially shallow in 6-10'. Try 3rd river for crappies in the weeds.

Q: Do you have a favorite lake in Wisconsin?
Al: Sturgeon Bay for walleyes and smallmouth. Haven't fished it for muskies yet but there are monsters there. It's a trophy fishery.

Q: Other than fishing lots and lots, what are some other suggestions you can offer to better my fishing game? I seem to have lost my mojo.
Al: You need a change of pace, a different fish in a different environment with a different bait. If you like bass, try cats. If you like walleye, try smallmouth. Nothing is more exciting than going to new water for a fish you have never fished before. It will re-ignite your fire!

Q: What are some steps you take to reduce a lake to a dozen or so potential hot spots?
Al: On a lot of small lakes there aren't a dozen good spots. For a dozen good spots you need to be on a good-sized body of water. Target two good shallow spots, spend some time on the flats, and a little time on fast drops and slower breaking edges. Find the best cover you can and over time the spots will reveal themselves.

Q: Where do you see the sport of fishing going in the next five years?
Al: Right now freshwater fishing on a national basis is as good as I've ever seen it. Especially for smallmouth and muskie. The future is going to be carp! We are seeing more and more interest in North America for carp than ever before. If you have never tried it you are missing the boat!

Q: Why do bass go after Zoom lizards in areas where lizards aren't common?
Al: They're just something big fish like, it's that simple. Don't over-think it, they like lizards!

Q: I have a kayak and no fish finder. How can I locate largemouth bass?
Al: Concentrate on fishing shallow cover and beat the bank.

Q: Being in hte fishing industry as long as you have, what's the biggest thing (equipment, boats, electronics, etc.) that has made the most significant change in fishing?
Al: All of the above, but especially electronics in GPS and mapping.

Q: How do I go about getting some sponsors?
Al: Sell yourself and put together a good package with value for the sponsor.

Q: What type of fishing reel do you think is better to use, spinning or baitcast, and why?
Al: It depends on the fish and fishing situation, and the pound-test of line you want to use: 10-pound and under for spinning, 10+ use baitcaster as a general rule.

Q: Where do all the smallies go in the dog days of summer?
Al: In the dog days of summer look for the running water. They like moving water when it's hot. Top water can be surprisingly good in the summer early and late, and also poppers and jump baits.

Q: If my budget is limited, what technology would someone best benefit from first, depth locators, side-imaging, 360, etc.?
Al: Start with sonar and mapping first, SI and DL second. The other toys will follow.

Q: What is your favorite rod and reel combo for weightless soft plastic jerkbaits?
Al: I use the Smoke PT 7' medium-heavy rod with the Energy PT 25 spinning reel, and 8-lb. fluoro.

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