Please select your home edition
Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

American Sportfishing Association to participate in 2024 “Passion to Profession” NPAA Conference

by National Professional Anglers Association 14 Nov 2023 12:50 PST January 5-7, 2024
American Sportfishing Association to participate in 2024 “Passion to Profession” NPAA Conference © National Professional Anglers Association

The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) is proud to announce an expanded relationship with the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) at its upcoming 2024 "Passion to Profession" NPAA Conference in Ft. Myers, Florida, January 5 - 7, 2024. (Discounted pre-registration rates are currently in effect but limited capacity is filling up fast.)

"For all of us working to earn a living in the sportfishing industry, networking is critical, and building the relationship between NPAA's diverse membership and ASA is an effective networking strategy. Individual anglers cannot lobby for the future of the sport on their own. They must become part of this larger network," says NPAA President, Pat Neu.

ASA VP of Government Affairs, Mike Leonard, has been with ASA for nearly 15 years, growing the relationship between the ASA and greater NPAA membership over his tenure.

"I have worked with NPAA President, Pat Neu, over the past 10 years," notes Leonard. "Pat serves on our Government Affairs Committee and is active on our Freshwater subcommittee. His expertise—as well as the entire NPAA network—has funneled up information from the ground level concerning tournament regulations, invasive species concerns, and other issues that impact sportfishing."

Leonard continues: "While ASA works extensively with regional fishery management councils in Washington D.C., the close relationship with the NPAA keeps an ear to the ground to help us identify and prioritize everything from local to far-reaching, national issues. It's been a good partnership, only strengthened through the years as NPAA membership has become more far-reaching and diverse."

ASA speaks in FT. Myers

Looking forward to January in Ft. Myers, Leonard says the ASA is proud to be involved as a sponsor of the NPAA "Passion to Profession" Conference.

"Our current president and past president have spoken at the conference. The in-person relationship has been great. We've learned a lot by attending and have tried to share insights from our side, too," remarks Leonard.

"I will be speaking at the upcoming conference, addressing how NPAA members can increase their voice in ASA work. I oversee the ASA Government Affairs Program so my plan is to speak on why fisheries policies and regulations are so important to the future of our sport - and why we need NPAA members to pay attention and use their voices and networks to educate the larger fishing public on the opportunities to influence policy and regulations that have an impact on fishing access, fisheries conservation, trade and commerce, etc. There's a lot going on and most anglers have no idea how many regulations, policies, and laws affect fishing—and require an organization like ours to manage them to ensure anglers have the opportunity to access the vast amount of public water we have in this country."

Leonard continues: "The NPAA is a powerful organization of people who spend a lot of time on the water and live and breathe fishing every day. From our vantage, we believe it's critical that all sportfishing professionals join NPAA and gain a greater understanding of what's going on regionally and nationally with our fisheries. NPAA membership growth will create an even more influential partnership we can leverage to explore issues impacting us collectively as anglers - leading to better management of our fisheries and resources, which impacts the broader fishing community."

NPAA President, Pat Neu, adds: "Having NPAA represented on the ASA Government Affairs Committee is vital to the future of sportfishing. Having the ability to participate and contribute to the work done by ASA on this committee is probably the biggest intangible that NPAA members have with their membership. It gives them a voice on national concerns and opportunities."

"This is why we're so excited to have Mike Leonard speak at the upcoming conference," says Neu. "Mike will address how all NPAA members can become watchdogs for our sport by monitoring what's going on related to sportfishing in their specific regions."

Neu continues: "For example, if one NPAA member hadn't recently reached out to me to express concern over proposed changes in commercial harvest of gamefish in Michigan, we wouldn't have been able to work with the ASA and other affiliated organizations to lobby against that legislation."

What can you do?

The 1,400-member non-profit sportfishing trade association, NPAA, is asking guides, captains, tournament anglers, industry reps, sales/marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, educators and other recreational fishing professionals to join them in creating a united front as a member of an organization that exists to benefit its members, partners, and the sport.

Become an NPAA member if you aren't already—and pre-register now to attend the 2024 NPAA Conference in Ft. Myers, Florida, January 5 - 7, 2024.For information on joining the NPAA and exploring the many benefits membership provides, visit

Related Articles

NPAA honors members and partners
At the National Professional Anglers Association conference Supporting Partner of the Year Award, Look to the Future Award, and $4,500 for Florida Guide Relief presented at 2023 Annual Conference. Posted on 3 Feb 2023
G-Man shines at NPAA Conference
Bass Legend Gerald Swindle dishes truths on controlling your destiny in the sportfishing industry No doubt about it, the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) 2023 Annual Conference held in Fort Myers, Florida, this January 6 - 8, was a huge success. Posted on 20 Jan 2023
NPAA to livestream annual conference highlights
Bring this can't miss event right to your doorstep The NPAA 2023 Annual Conference rolls into Fort Myers, Florida, January 6 through 8, and the association's members, as well as many others making a living in the recreational sportfishing industry, can't wait to get the show on the road. Posted on 23 Dec 2022
GMAN on earning a living in the fishing industry
Controlling your destiny is focus of NPAA's Conference in Fort Myers, Florida The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) 2023 Annual Conference kicks off in Fort Myers, Florida, January 6 through 8, and headline speaker Gerald Swindle can't wait to get started. Posted on 19 Nov 2022
GMAN to headline NPAA's Annual Conference
Fort Meyer's gathering focused on sport fishing pros controlling their own destiny 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. Posted on 8 Nov 2022
Help support Florida through NPAA's fundraiser
Non-profit organization aims to help both South Florida communities and professional anglers As Florida continues to emerge from the wake of Hurricane Ian, which devastated parts of the state's west coast last month, the recovery effort continues daily. Posted on 25 Oct 2022
NPAA Annual Conference is a “Can't Miss” event
Aims to help recreational fishing-industry professionals control their own destiny Anticipation is ramping up for the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) 2023 Annual Conference to be held in Fort Myers, Florida. Posted on 16 Oct 2022
NPAA's annual conference headed to Fort Myers
Registration set to open for premiere gathering of recreational fishing industry professionals For recreational fishing industry professionals ranging from tournament anglers and guides to tackle shop staff, service crews and industry representatives, the NPAA Annual Conference is a special event that truly delivers on its promise. Posted on 25 Sep 2022
2024 fill-in (bottom)Cyclops Marine 2023 November - FOOTERMaritimo 2023 S600 FOOTER