Lindner’s Success Isn’t Just a Minnesota Thing

Troy Lindner Grabs Wild West Bass Trail Angler of the Year Title

The last name Lindner is a name that goes hand-in-hand with fishing in the Midwest, as Al and Ron Lindner are true pioneers in leading the way in angler education through articles and video.

Al’s son, Troy, spent his summer’s putting his time in at the In-Fisherman offices, doing a multitude of tasks, this laid the foundation for Troy’s strong understanding of fishing and the rigors, both mental and physical that go into being a professional angler.

Following high school Troy headed west to attend Arizona State University, where he received a business degree.  Upon graduating, Troy stayed out on the West Coast where he operated a private fitness training firm called California Complete Fitness (C.C.F.), while beginning to dive into the bass fishing scene in Arizona and Southern California.

This past year, Troy competed on the Wild West Bass Trail in the Arizona division and following the fourth and final event of the year was crowned Angler of the Year, accumulating 22 more points than the runner up.   We spoke with Troy about how his angling upbringing in Minnesota helped him in this year’s tournament campaign, as well as how he prepares mentally for tournaments and things he see’s other anglers do that cause them to fail.

Troy was exposed to all types of fishing growing up, as In-Fisherman was not a sole bass fishing production, from carp to muskie, the Lindner’s fished and covered all species.  “I learned to fish for all species of fish and fished on all types of lakes and rivers, this resulted in a wealth of knowledge that I still tap into today,” stated Troy.  “With every fishing experience, there is a learning moment, and those moments I can relate to situations I face during practice or on tournament day.”

Lindner on stage during his 2016 tournament campaign
Lindner on stage during his 2016 tournament campaign

A prime example of this, is how muskie fishing empowered Troy to learn and be patient for that big bite, this idea correlates over to fishing for big bass with big swimbaits or punching for them in thick mats.  In these situations you aren’t going after numbers of bass, but quality.

The four venues that comprised the Arizona schedule on the Wild West Bass Trail and Troy’s finishes included, Lake Pleasant (9th place), Lake Havasu (14th place), Roosevelt Lake (11th place) and Lake Mead (17th place).  As you’ll see Troy only had one top-ten finish, this illustrates just how consistent Troy fished this season and how stiff the competition is on the Wild West Bass Trail.  “This season was quite interesting, I never had a great practice and was never on a pattern where I could throw big swimbaits to target big bass, which I love doing,” said Troy.

Troy’s mental toughness and focus played a crucial role in his success this season, as two of the four events found Troy dealing with mechanical issues.  The season began slowly for Troy, with zero keepers on day one at Lake Pleasant, followed by his trolling motor batteries not charging the night before day two.  This forced Troy to drift with the wind and use what little battery power he had to control that drift to fish his Rapala Deep Shadow Rap, and resulted in his best finish of 2016.

During the last event of the year, held on the famous Lake Mead, this was a three-day event.  Following the first day, Troy was in 6th place, but noticed something was wrong with his motor.  Following an inspection by the service crews, his motor was found to be very loose on the transom of his boat, all Troy could do at this point was to keep an eye on it and not push the motor to hard.  After the second day Troy, moved up a spot to 5th, but day three wasn’t going to be as kind to Troy.  “My day three started off slow and I was fishless still around noon, and I knew all I needed was one more bass to lock up the AOY title,” said Troy.  “So I took the chance, ran 50 miles to some fish I had been saving, but upon getting near the area, my motor became very loose, so I turned around and got back to near the ramp and about 2:00 I caught my sole keeper of day three and earned the AOY title!”

Troy Lindner accepting the Wild West Bass Trail Angler of the Year Trophy.
Troy Lindner accepting the Wild West Bass Trail Angler of the Year Trophy.

These two tournaments portray Troy’s mental attitude when fishing extremely well.  Troy is a big believer in reading sports performance books, such as the Inner Game of Golf and the Peaceful Warrior.  “Regardless if I’m fishing out here or back home in Minnesota, I see a lot of anglers that would do much better if they took control of their emotions and thoughts,” said Lindner.

Troy offered up some helpful advice on the attitude anglers take to their competitions on the water:

  • “Don’t sweat the boat draw…getting all worked up over something you have no control over isn’t worth your time and just gets your emotions going in the wrong direction. For the most part an angler’s starting spot in a tournament isn’t the spot that will pay off at the end of day.”
  • “Always put things in perspective when you are fishing. If you face adversity on the water, think about the soldiers sleeping in foxholes or someone in a hospital bed, you are on the water…whatever just happened to you, isn’t that bad.”
  • “Fish relaxed! Have you ever noticed how in practice you can catch every bass that bites or land them with ease without a net and then come tournament day, it is a complete 180?  This is because during practice your mind and muscles are relaxed.”
  • “Don’t fish memories. This includes areas or spots on a lake and bait selection, don’t just right up what you used last time on that body of water.”

In terms of angling differences between the water’s Troy fishes now and what he grew up fishing in Minnesota is water clarity.  For the most part, the main sections of the lakes in Arizona are quite clear and you can see 20-30 feet down, which is why light line comes into play.  “For the most part I fished my Rapala jerkbaits (Shadow and X-Rap) on 6 lb Suffix Fluorocarbon this past year and actually fished 5 lb test when I was back home on Mille Lacs,” stated Troy.  “When using this small lb test of line, you really need to back reel on those big smallmouth, it is like dancing with the fish, opposed to against them.”

Getting back to Minnesota each summer is something Troy enjoys very much, as the smallmouth fishing on Mille Lacs is world class and there are weeds here.  “Out west, we don’t have weedlines, you may fish some shallow vegetation on some lakes, but for the most part I don’t get to fish weeds.”