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Pair of heavy hitters

by National Professional Anglers Association 4 Dec 2022 00:15 UTC January 6-8, 2023
Saltwater legend Mike Frenette to speak at 2023 NPAA Conference © NPAA

The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) 2023 Annual Conference kicks off in Fort Myers, Florida, January 6 through 8. Early registration for this can't miss event ends December 5th, but registration will remain open until all seats are sold out.

To reserve a seat online, visit here To register.

"I can't think of a better way to kick off the new year," says NPAA's president, Patrick Neu. "It's the kind of event you don't want to miss. The theme is 'Controlling Your Own Destiny,' and we're bringing out the big guns for this one."

Indeed, they are. The irrepressible "GMan," Gerald Swindle, is slated to be the event's headline speaker. With 20 Bassmaster Classics, two Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles, and over $2.5 million in prize money under his belt, he'll divulge what it takes to be a true professional, grow your business and enjoy continued success in the recreational fishing industry. "This meeting isn't just for pro anglers," he states. "It's for anyone making a living in the recreational fishing industry - and you don't even have to be an NPAA member to attend because everybody's welcome! We're all going to be talking about how to make money, and that's a topic you need to learn more about whether you are just starting out or already established."

Gerald Swindle alone is worth the price of admission, but now comes news Bobby Lane, the 2022 REDCREST Champion, 2021 General Tires Team Champion, and 2019 Major League Fishing World Champion, will join him, as will pro angler Mike Frenette, owner of Delta Outdoor Marketing and Redfish Lodge of Louisiana, and the Pro Angling family duo of Jay and Jason Prezkurat.

"All five of these featured speakers are outstanding voices with first-hand, in-depth knowledge of what it takes to not only survive in our industry, but to thrive," states Neu. "Bobby Lane's perspective on making a living as a tournament angler will be valuable to anyone aspiring to do the same. As for Mike, running a guide business for two decades is only part of his story. He is one of the most respected saltwater anglers in the industry, making him a perfect choice to speak at this year's NPAA conference. Add in Jay and Jason Prezkurat and their success story as a Pro Angling family and we couldn't be prouder than to have all five of these professionals as headliners for the event."

Already raring to go, Lane is fired-up. "NPAA offers a wonderful opportunity to be involved in the recreational fishing industry," he says. "The organization is focused on improving the lives of those making a living in this community. We're teaching members how to be more professional and maximize opportunities. We're working to bring benefits such as health care options to our members, advocating for our industry, and watching out for the environment. I'll be talking specifically about how to succeed in this business, how to deal with changes year-to-year and day-to-day, and the importance of not burning bridges because you never know who's help you'll need down the line. It's points like these - things you really need to know to get ahead and increase your revenues - that I'll be sharing."

Frenette is also excited for the NPAA Annual Conference to get under way. "This event may be the best place to network for anyone in our industry," he says. "You'll meet real decision makers who can share their knowledge and offer the kind of advice that sets you on a good path."

The trophy redfish expert and fishing lodge owner notes that membership in NPAA provides those working in the recreational fishing industry with a national voice while at the same time helping them acquire the business knowledge necessary to stay afloat and get ahead in this rough and tumble world.

"There's a lot more to being a professional angler, charter skipper, guide, lodge owner, boat mechanic or tackle rep than just fishing," continues Frenette. "The harder work is the building of your profile, reputation and business model. To come out on top, you need to be professional in all aspects, both on and off the water. It's the business end of things over which most people stumble. So, we'll cover how to portray yourself as a professional, build a great reputation, and understand the numbers."

Jason Prezkurat is also excited to be speaking at the conference, and proud to belong to the NPAA. "This organization provides all members of the recreational fishing industry a platform for tackling important issues that affect our livelihoods," he states. "At the same time, the networking opportunities, contacts, guidance and insights you'll gain from being a member can help advance your career - especially if you attend the annual conferences. Many industry leaders make it a point to be there, and it's great to be able to network and to get to know one another on professional and personal levels."

Jay agrees with his father. "I especially appreciate the Annual Conference because of the seminars and chance to speak with successful pros that understand the business side of the sport," he adds. "The discounts from the organization's supporting partners are another great benefit. Simply put, NPAA helps me from personal, educational and financial standpoints."

The Przekurats will outline how they took control of their collective fishing destiny, including how they've managed to fish for a living, run a successful business, and claw their way to the top of the leader board while staying grounded and having fun.

Which brings us back to the conference theme: "Controlling Your Destiny!" With this event 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. The 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.

The NPAA 2023 Annual Conference will be held at the 5-Star rated 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. Conference 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: The special $149 a night room rate at the Holiday Inn expires on Dec. 5th at midnight.)

For more information on joining the NPAA, attending the Annual Conference, and exploring the many benefits membership provides, visit www.npaa.net

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