More than 4 million new anglers took the bait in 2013, adding almost 1 million to the ranks, according to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and the Outdoor Foundation’s “2014 Special Report on Fishing.” According to the report, there were 4.1 million newcomers to fishing in 2013, an increase from the 3.5 million average new anglers per year between 2007 and 2012. Additionally, women, children and Hispanics showed increases in participation.
“We’re happy to see new, diverse and young audiences take up fishing at historic rates,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “These numbers reinforce our initiatives to engage and retain first-time and Hispanic anglers, and validate our overall efforts to increase fishing license and boat registration sales, which contribute to state fish and wildlife conservation efforts.”
The sixth annual report details fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geography.
Among the report’s top findings:
- Almost 42 percent of first-time fishing participants were female.
- Hispanics average 24.4 days on the water a year; almost five days more than the average for all fishing participants (19.7 days).
- Parents, siblings and friends remain the largest influencers to the introduction of fishing; specifically, parents introduce 81.8 percent of 6- to 12-year-olds and 76.6 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds. The report also confirms that fishing as a child leads to continued adult participation, as 83.7 percent of adult anglers fished as a child.
- More than 83 percent of fishing trips involve more than one person.
- Freshwater fishing remains more popular than saltwater fishing, at 38 million freshwater anglers, almost three times the number.
- Among fly-fishing enthusiasts, 14 percent were new to the sport.
- Most fishing trips are spontaneous or planned within a week of the trip (79 percent), though more than a quarter of anglers-27 percent-do not purchase a fishing license.
The full study is available at TakeMeFishing.org/Corporate.