The National Professional Anglers Association annual conference still has space for members and non-members.  The Jan. 3-5 event will bring hundreds of industry leaders, experts in every aspect of  business, and pro fishermen together to network, learn and become more professional as ambassadors for the fishing and outdoor world.

The Minneapolis conference theme is “Motivate and Inspire.”  It showcases a star-studded line-up of presentations about future angler events, aquatic invasive nuisances, insurance, tournaments, sponsor relations, taxes, winning ways, creating a media presence, and a key note address by tackle inventor, magazine and TV innovator, thinker, fishing legend and Fishing Hall of Fame member Ron Lindner.  NPAA Partner displays (Manufacturers, Tournament Organizers, and outdoor non-profits) and breakout sessions will also take place.

Attendees (members and non-members) may register Friday, Jan. 3 at the Airport Crowne Plaza, from 3 to 7 p.m.  A Meet and Greet party runs to 8 p.m.  Presentations take place Saturday, followed by a Future Angler Foundation banquet at 7 p.m.  The banquet, sponsored by Yamaha and Skeeter, are included in the conference registration fee.

Those unable to attend may watch the Saturday proceedings online by going to and clicking on the “Conference Live” link.  Live streaming runs 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Nancy Koep, who manages the family bait, convenience store and gas station in Glenwood, MN, is a NPAA member and attends the conferences because it is a great networking tool.  She likes meeting new industry contacts, pro anglers and learning about youth activities.  “The NPAA helps me grow in the business.  I also learn what’s new and am able to promote and sell better in our store,” she said.

Koep fishes several local tournaments, but really has a heart for youth, conducting several kids fishing clinics locally, coordinates Let’s Go Fishing youth events, teaches the Minnesota MinnAqua course for nine weeks to 98 fifth graders, takes kids ice fishing, and runs several NPAA “Future Angler” clinics at Cabela’s. She said, “What I learn at the conference, I put into practice almost the next day back home.”

Another young guy in the promotional fishing business, Spencer Deutz from Fargo, ND, said, “Whether in the fishing business to make a living or if it’s a professional hobby, the conference will exponentially increase your chances of success.  This conference will give anglers the competitive edge with promotional and marketing materials to gain partnerships (sponsorships) with companies.  Attendance is vital!”

Bob Luellen considers himself a marine insurance educator, and travels to the Twin Cities from Michigan annually because many NPAA members are clients.  “By talking with them and prospective clients, I can continue to provide the level of service competitive anglers require.  Their needs are so different than a homeowner’s insurance policy covering a boat, that until they meet with me, they don’t know how exposed they are.”  He is a member as well as a Supporting Partner of the association and noted, “Hey, I just bought a Navionics chip via the Members-Only program, and it saved me enough money to pay for my membership.  Anglers need to join and support the NPAA,” he said.

Speaking with his Pure Fishing hat on and a former NPAA executive director, Cody Roswick said, “The conference is one of the best networking opportunities of the year.  I call it ‘Continuing Education’ for professional anglers and those who desire to become pros.”  He also showcases Pure Fishing new products, recruits ambassadors for his dozens of brands, explains promotional fishing programs and gathers as much information on new tournaments and activities as possible.

Logo courtesy National Professional Anglers Association

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