Like the rest of the country, just about everyone in professional fishing circles and the recreational fishing industry is feeling the bite from inflation and a rising cost of living. The price of gas alone can really cut into your fishing opportunities in terms of the gear you can afford, the destinations you’ll fish, tournaments you’ll enter, and the repairs you’ll undertake – and all of this has a ripple effect on earnings of industry pros.
At the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA), we feel your pain – it’s panging us right in the wallet as well. Which is why we’re never surprised when people ask us to justify the cost of membership. With everyone feeling a little money-conscious during these belt-tightening times, it makes good sense to demand the most for your dollar. That’s why we’re proud to put it all right up front.
The NPAA offers three levels of membership types to suit your needs:
In return for your membership, NPAA offers the following specific benefits, among others:
A grassroots trade association comprised of over 1,400 members making a living as full- or part-time professionals in the angling industry, the NPAA brings a perspective sought out, valued and respected at the highest levels of decision making when it comes to protecting our livelihoods, angling resources and the future of recreational fishing.
As NPAA president Patrick Neu puts it: “Our members have become the eyes and ears for the industry on and off the water. That representation is vital, but any way you slice it, NPAA membership is a value that can help you grow your business in a professional way, allow you to interact with the brightest and the best in the recreational fishing industry, and save you money – not just in the long run, but from the instant you join our ranks.”
Qualifying for NPAA membership may be easier than you think. NPAA’s members include guides, charter captains, tournament anglers, angler educators and industry professionals of every type. In short, if you are earning money in the recreational fishing sector working full- or part-time, or seriously aspire to become an industry pro, joining the NPAA today can help build and sharpen both your fishing and business skills, provide invaluable industry connections, and start your journey toward constant improvement in your level of professionalism.
So, is the $100, $50 or $25 annual fee with all the above benefits worth the investment?
“You bet it is!” says long-time member, professional angler and sport fishing communicator, Johnnie Candle. “I’ve been fishing for a living over 30 years now, and I been an NPAA member since the organization’s inception. I guide in Devils Lake, ND and in Carrabelle, FL. It’s not easy and it isn’t cheap. Anglers think nothing of spending $100 on tackle, lures and bait, yet it amazes me how many in the fishing business balk at spending $100 to stay educated and informed on the changes happening daily in their business environment.”
Candle points out that his yearly dues ensure he learns how to better promote his business, protect fishing resources and his way of life, help keep the recreational fishing industry thriving, and provide an opportunity to network with hundreds of other fishing professionals that put it all on the line day after day. “Spend $100 on gas and bait and all you’ve bought is gone in a few days,” he reminds. “Spend it on an NPAA membership, and you’ll gain a ton of knowledge and further your business immensely by the end of the year.”
BASS Elite Series rookie leader of the year and NPAA member, Jay Przekurat, one of the youngest anglers to ever qualify for the prestigious series, agrees with Candle. “This is a terrific organization,” he states. “As an angling professional, I know that NPAA always has my back when it comes to watching out for things that could affect how I make my living. Through my membership, I have a voice at the table and will be well represented at the highest levels when decisions need to be made that might affect the recreational fishing industry.”
Przekurat also enjoys the social aspect and camaraderie of NPAA membership. “This group welcomes new members, full-time pros, part-time pros and those hoping to put themselves on a professional path,” he says. “They also offer great benefits, including member discounts on NPAA partner products. Their leadership is passionate about our sport and are laser-focused on helping it grow. Membership is also one of the best ways I know to learn more about fishing, and the business of fishing.”
There are more benefits of NPAA membership, of course, including the chance to rub elbows and converse with fishing industry legends at the annual conference, and the opportunity to share business wisdom and make life-long friends as you interact with other members.
“With so many benefits to offer, and the active support of its membership, the question in regard to NPAA membership price should actually be: “How can you afford to not to join?” sums up Candle.
Neu thinks that’s right on point. “I’d argue it’s a bargain – and a great one at that,” he states. “The moment you join, your membership starts paying dividends – and the longer you remain a member, the bigger the potential payout,” he states. “Simply put, an NPAA membership is a solid investment in your future. After all, with this organization, ‘It’s all about the sport!’”
For information on joining the NPAA and exploring the many benefits of membership, visit www.npaa.net.