Forestville, WI – The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) 2023 Annual Conference is a go for Fort Myers, Florida, January 6 through 8, and the buzz is now hitting fever pitch. That’s no wonder when you consider the incredible slate of speakers scheduled to address business related topics that are paramount to success across the ranks of the recreational fishing industry. The can’t miss event targeted at anglers who make a living fishing will be in tune with the gathering’s laser-focused theme of helping these sport fishing professionals control their own destiny. Driving the latest buzz is news that legendary pro bass angler Gerald Swindle will be headlining the featured speakers list this year.
“We are thrilled to have Gerald lined up for this event,” said NPAA president, Patrick Neu. “He’s a member, a social media icon and a no-nonsense motivational speaker that knows this industry inside and out. He’s true to himself in every aspect of our sport and not afraid to speak his mind, which helps account for his great appeal.”
He’s also enjoyed tremendous success throughout his career. Swindle, 52, from Guntersville, AL, has appeared in 20 Bassmaster Classics, twice been named Bassmaster’s Angler of the Year, broken the magical 100-pound tournament limit twice, and earned roughly $2.5 million in prize money on the circuit. Not bad for, as he describes it, “a dirt road country boy family farmer with little destiny to look forward to as a youngster.”
Swindle says he’ll be telling that story in his seminar – not to pat himself on the back, but to illustrate how you’re in control of your own destiny and he hopes his story will inspire others to take control of their destiny, too. “We’re going to discuss how you get a mindset that won’t take no for an answer, how to push through the tough times, and how to break the chains currently holding you back,” he stated. “If you want to be a winner in the recreational fishing industry, at any level or any job for that matter, you have to develop that hard as steel attitude– and know that your heart is always in the right place at the same time. I hope you’ll be there to hear me because I plan to really bring it.”
“Gerald’s enthusiasm certainly captures the spirit of our Annual Conference,” says Neu, “and those attending will get to meet and rub elbows with plenty of other successful recreational fishing industry pros, leaders and representatives – from the titans, to the small business owners who are the backbone of our sport. It’s that face-to-face networking that makes our conference, and our organization, so valuable.”
Swindle agrees. “One thing this industry really needs to keep growing is to share more information between its professionals, and the NPAA is terrific at promoting that exchange. If you are a fan of any other sport – or any other business – there’s not much opportunity to hear the icons and most successful pros share their marketing strategies, secrets of success, and what they do on a daily basis to control their own destiny. It’s pretty unlikely you’ll get to rub elbows with them at the breakfast buffet or sit down at dinner with a cocktail and ask your questions face-to-face. With this conference, however, NPAA provides a first-class ticket to meet, network, speak with and glimpse the psyche of top professional anglers, industry representatives and sport fishing leaders across the country. This is your chance to see, hear and learn how they do business.”
Neu continued Swindle’s thought process stating, “those are the primary goals of the organization. We strive to help our members grow as professionals by making it easier to enter the sport, offering superior networking opportunities, and providing the tools and education necessary to run a successful business in the recreational fishing industry. At the same time, we’re constantly watching their backs by advocating for the sport from the grass roots to the federal level.”
The NPAA Conference features business related educational seminars, networking opportunities and partner booths in a fun, but professional format. It is a key component of the NPAA platform, which exists to help members grow their professional angling careers and run successful industry businesses. The event will also host a Benefit Banquet for the Future Angler Foundation (FAF), which introduces millions of potential new anglers and boaters each year to the thrill and fun of sportfishing and boating.
Additional seminar speakers will include Jason and Jay Przekurat, MLF Redcrest Champion Bobby Lane, plus a myriad of other angling professionals from top guides to industry veterans, all sharing their knowledge freely in sessions throughout the weekend. Event central is the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport – Town Center, which is 5 minutes from the SW Florida Regional Airport (RSW) and just off I75 in Fort Myers. This newly renovated, 5-star rated hotel, offers a conference center, restaurant/bar, outdoor seating and a pool area all overlooking a 25-acre lake. The hotel and conference center can accommodate 225 attendees and will be a perfect venue for this networking event.
NPAA represents all who make a living in the sportfishing industry. Membership includes everyone from guides/captains, to tournament anglers, fishing department associates and management, manufacturing personnel, engine mechanics, professional rep groups and tackle shop staff. In addition to superior networking opportunities, sportfishing advocacy and promoting entry into the sport, the organization offers a monthly member newsletter, a weekly industry NewsBLAST, and access to significant discounts on gear and services provided by many of its nearly 80 supporting partners.
The NPAA 2023 Annual Conference is selling out quickly, but tickets are still available. Open to members and non-members alike on a first-come, first-served basis, registration fees include all activities, meals, and a ticket for the FAF Banquet. More information on registration can be found on the NPAA Conference Page. (Note: Non-members who pre-register for the Conference and opt to join the association prior to the end of the Conference will receive a $50 rebate on their Conference Registration Fee.)