John Baltes is the Chief Editor at USAngler. Born in Hampton Roads, Virginia, his blood is saltier than most. He cut his teeth on croaker, blues, and flounder, and from the bayous of Louisiana to the upper James River, if it has fins, he’s tried to catch it. An avid kayak fisherman, he’s chased largemouth on some of the South’s most storied lakes as well as a secret spot or two where the bass and crappie had never seen a lure before. Now living in Sarajevo, Bosnia, he’s discovered a love of fly fishing on the Una, Drina, and Neretva rivers.
Expertise and interests include ultralight fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and crappie, kayak fishing, and fly fishing in cold, clear streams. He especially enjoys finesse techniques, though he hasn’t seen a crankbait or topwater lure he didn’t like.
In a former life, John was a professor of political theory and a published academic, braving the bad driving of Williamsburg and the freezing winters of Astana. His experience as an outdoor writer includes thousands of articles about fishing, lure selection, technique, and fish biology, and he’s been with USAngler from the very start. He’s also been a ghost writer for an acclaimed futurist, analyzing the impact of bleeding-edge tech on society, unmasking bad science, and charting the future of trends like gene editing, AI, and quantum computing.
John earned a B.A. from Louisiana State University, an M.A. from the same institution a few years later, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.
Among other academic titles, he is the author of The Empire of Habit: John Locke, Discipline, and the Origins of Liberalism, published by University of Rochester Press.
John has yet to hook himself, despite decades of trying. He is not looking forward to the day this run of good luck ends.