One of the most recognized names in the fishing magazine business is In-Fisherman. Despite being a multi-species publication, there’s a good chance you probably either subscribed to or purchased the magazine at one time or another, even if you were a hardcore ‘bassin’ only’ kind of guy. The reason for this? Because Al and Ron Lindner, the founders of the magazine, were at the cutting edge of science, baits, and fishing tactics. They simply published some of the best material to ever be put in print, and they did it well ahead of most every other publication out there.
I recently added the first published copy of the In-Fisherman magazine to my ever-growing library, and thought I’d take a moment to share it with those readers who perhaps have not seen it. The magazine got its start in 1975, and this Segment 1, Study Report 1 was 44 pages, all done in black, gray, and shades of orange. Al Lindner graced the cover holding up a pair of big walleye.
Inside the pages, and as you would expect of a first issue, the topics include all the basics that formed their infamous F+L+P=S formula to fish catching and an explanation of what an “IN’ FISHERMAN” is. Also included is the story describing how everything came about, and then a series of articles detailing all the specifics of the system including ‘FISH’, ‘LOCATION’, ‘PRESENTATION’. Finally they include the IN’ FISHERMAN Calendar and their ‘Body of Water Classification’ – classic stuff that’s covered in most every book they’ve put out since.
Reading through the pages, a few interesting things caught my eye, such as this statement by Al:
”The IN’ FISHERMAN lays it on the line. Since we have no ties to advertisers or manufacturers, we are free to honestly and objectively “call a spade a spade” in product evaluations. WE DO NOT ACCEPT ANY ADVERTISING.”
Sure enough, a skim through the pages finds not a single ad in the entire magazine. You won’t ever find that anywhere else again, I imagine. Perhaps not surprisingly, that position didn’t stand by the end of the first year, something I’ll follow up on in a later post.
A couple other “off the wall” things that caught my eye in this first issue.
- One of the aggressive concepts that they mention is a plan that was coming together to complete the IN’ FISHERMAN Underwater Observation Tower. This was supposed to be a 30′ by 5′ reinforced fiberglass cylinder that could be towed to an area on a lake, and once positioned, an observer inside the tube could watch the behavior and movement of gamefish in their natural habitat on ‘wild’ waters through bubble shaped plexiglass windows.
- Most people are aware of the television, radio, and personal appearances made by staff over the years in support of the magazine and its concepts. What you might not realize is they also planned to start a syndicated cartoon series entitled “The Agony and Ecstasy of Angling.” It was supposed to appear in both magazines and newspapers, and while being light hearted as cartoons usually are, it was also going to teach “concrete fishing and safety lessons.”