Immediate Release

NPAA Members Headed To The Classic

Ten NPAA members to participate in this year’s Bassmaster Classic including Jeff Gustafson, Mike Iaconelli, Gerald Swindle and Chris Johnston.

Forestville, WI (March 21, 2023) When it comes to knowing how to represent, members of the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) are at the head of the class. Indeed, that’s what nine of them plan to do at the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic® presented by Toyota. The ultimate title bout of professional bass fishing, the event is scheduled for this Friday – Sunday (March 24 – 26) on the fertile waters of the Tennessee River in Knoxville, TN.

“We are proud to have major representation at ‘The Classic’,” says NPAA’s president, Patrick Neu. “It really speaks to the quality of the membership in this organization. The caliber of the competitors at this event is unmatched in the world of professional bass fishing, and we couldn’t be happier than to see the hard work of our members pay-off when they qualified for the big show. At this level of fishing, anything is possible once you get out on the water, and we like the odds of seeing stellar performances from several of our members.”

Certainly, that’s a possibility this year as Jeff Gustafson has been red-hot all season long, Gerald Swindle has appeared in 20-straight Classics, Jay Przekurat is 2022’s Rookie of the Year and the youngest angler ever to win an Elite Series Event, and Chris Johnston is third in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) rankings.

Check out this brief summary of NPAA members expected to participate, and reasons they should excel:

Jeff Gustafson: Placed no lower than 26th in last six tournaments.

Gerald Swindle: Making 20th Classic appearance; finished 3rd in 2005.

Chris Johnston: Back-to-back Top 10 Classic finishes; Ranked 3rd in Bassmaster AOY standings.

Jay Przekurat: Reigning Bassmaster Rookie of the Year. First, 13th and 12th in last three events.

Cory Johnston: Placed in the money 43 times over 45 B.A.S.S. tournaments; 16 Top 10 finishes.

Greg Hackney: Three-time Elite Series champion and 2014 Toyota Bassmaster AOY.

John Crews: Has 27 Top 10 finishes in B.A.S.S. events.


Cooper Gallant: Qualified for 2023 Bassmaster Classic with only 13 B.A.S.S. events.

Chad Pipkens: Has 28 Top 20 finishes in B.A.S.S. tournaments.

“We can’t wait to see who shows out, who finishes in the money, and who might pull off the victory of a lifetime at the Bassmaster Classic,” says Neu. “Good luck to all of our NPAA competitors. Know that your fellow NPAA members will be cheering along and rooting for your success.”

NPAA represents all who make a living in the sportfishing industry. Membership includes everyone from guides and captains to tournament anglers, fishing department associates/management/shop owners, manufacturing personnel, engine mechanics, and professional rep groups. 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.

For more information on joining the NPAA and exploring the many benefits membership provides, visit


About the National Professional Anglers Association

The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) is a non-profit, member-based association dedicated to sportfishing. The NPAA’s membership is composed of professional guides, tournament anglers, angler educators and sportfishing/marine industry professionals who are passionate about the sport. For more NPAA partner, member and industry news, go to .


Pat Neu

NPAA President/FAF President

(920) 365-6051

Noel Vick

Traditions Media

(612) 708-7339