The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) has created a fundraising campaign to support relief efforts following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in South West Florida, US.
The association also plans to continue with its annual conference, registration to which begins on October 5.
“Our organisation knows how catastrophic this storm has been to the fishing community, especially the guides, charter captains and fishing businesses like tackle shops and marinas,” said NPAA President, Pat Neu, whose condominium in Everglades City was under three feet of water after the storm. “The fishing community is tight knit. We’re all in this together.”
The NPAA is lobbying its membership to contribute to the local relief fund and to support fellow angling professionals.
Neu had some words of comfort following Ian, saying that fishing recovered quickly after Hurricane Irma in 2017 and that fish soon occupied new habitat created by the storm.
“Don’t immediately cancel your fishing plans,” he said. “Now, more than ever, Florida’s coastal communities need the tourism revenue. There will be places to stay very soon and guides and charter captains are very resourceful. They are already taking steps to be back on the water.”
The NPAA’s conference venue, the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport, did not sustain any major structural damage and expects to reopen quickly. The conference will be held from January 6 to 8. Members-only registration begins on October 5 and continues through to October 6. Open registration begins on October 7.