New and Renewing NPAA Members Speak

Category: npaa

 Apr 30th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 30th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

National Professional Anglers Association president Pat Neu challenged members in January.   “I want every member to recruit one new member.  That is occurring, and it’s great to see the support from throughout the fishing ranks.”  Membership grew 20 percent last year, and Neu wants growth to continue.

New NPAA member Terry Filkins fishes most of the local tournaments near his home in Lake City, on the Minnesota shores of Lake Pepin.  “It’s a hobby now, but I want to get serious,” he said.  After fishing the co-angler side of the FLW tour and several FLW league events as a boater, Filkins feels he’s gaining confidence in his decision-making.  He will earn his ca ptain’s license this year, and will include the Mississippi River in his guiding plans.  “The NPAA will give me the edge I need to succeed,” he said.

Long-time promoter, guide, author, seminar-presenter, fishing tackle innovator and recent inductee into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame Tom Neustrom, Grand Rapids joined.  “I’ve been in this game for more than 30 years, and feel I can bring guidance to the young guys, show them how to work with sponsors, teach them how to become better guides, and aid the growth of the NPAA.”

Dwight Niemi, Woodbury, MN, re-joined.  He was a member until 2004, when finances forced him to stop competitive fishing.  However, he wanted to help support the NPAA so the organization that helped him in his amateur and early pro-years could continue to make a difference in the fishing world.  “I still fish Lake Erie for two weeks every year with my 90-year old uncle, and also hit the Minnesota lakes,” he said.

Oakdale, MN angler Mark Tipler suffered a job loss in 2002, and was forced to drop out of the NPAA.  “I’m back, because we all need to work together to involve kids and get them on the water.  I need help with sponsorships, and have gained valuable information about appearances, seminars, performance for sponsors and other matters from NPAA executive director Cody Roswick.

Tipler fishes about 10 to 15 tournaments per year, does a charity event for a burn center and camp, guides regularly, and feels he can become more effective gaining exposure and sales for his sponsors.  “The NPAA can help all of us by working with the young guys who do free promotions – they knock the legs out from under us,” he said.  “I am one of the odd ones.  I’m a bass guy, and I hope more bass fishermen jump in.  The NPAA is for all pro anglers.”

 Lance Valentine, Flint, MI, has been a member since the beginning.  “I make my living 100-percent in the fishing industry and consider myself a pro angler, even though I’m not a tournament angler anymore,” he said.  Valentine would like the organization to encompass all promotional anglers and those in the “fishing public eye.”  He is a guide, writes, conducts schools, does videos and seminars, and gets paid to fish.  “I have called NPAA board members about publicity and other advice.  T hey always shared their experiences,” he said.  Valentine would like to see the NPAA become a clearing-house for sport show speakers and establish criteria that pros must meet.  “There are huge opportunities for this organization to promote their members,” he said.

 Forms to join NPAA, industry and organization news, member updates and more can be found at www.npaa.net.  The NPAA is an organization open to all anglers and dedicated to improving and bringing professionalism to the sport, increasing fishing participation, conducting youth events and promotions.  NPAA supporting partners who share the same goals include Northland Fishing Tackle, Navionics, Mercury Marine, Evinrude Outboards, Lund Boats, Ranger Boats, Off-Shore Tackle, Fin-Tech Tackle, Berkley, Walleye’s Inc., Greater Insurance Services, Bartness Industries, Anglers Insight Marketing,  Masters Walleye Circuit and FLW Outdoors.

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