New Report Reveals the Lure of Recreational Fishing Remains Strong

Written By: Dan Bacher, July 18, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA - The lure of recreational fishing remains strong, according to the 2014 Special Report on Fishing released on July 16 by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and the Outdoor Foundation at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show (ICAST) in Orlando, Fla.

The report reveals 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. Hispanic fishing participants average 24.4 days on the water per year; almost five days more than the average for all fishing participants (19.7 days).

"We're happy to see newcomers are taking up fishing at historically high rates, and pleased that we continue to see a more diverse audience participating in the sport," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "These numbers fortify 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 are key sources of funding for state fish and wildlife conservation efforts."

"Fishing and boating represent two critical outdoor activities that are key to keeping Americans involved in the outdoors," said Christine Fanning, Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation. "We're thrilled to partner, once again, with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation on this important research project."

The sixth annual report details fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geography.

TOP 10 REPORT LEARNINGS:

• Women anglers - Almost 42% of first-time fishing participants are female

• Number of outings for Hispanic participants - Hispanic fishing participants average 24.4 days on the water per year; almost five days more than the average for all fishing participants (19.7 days)

• Youth - Fishing participation as a child has a powerful effect on future participation - 83.7% of adult anglers fished as a child

• Influencers - Parents, siblings and friends continue to be the largest influencers to the introduction of fishing; specifically, parents introduce 81.8% of 6-12 year olds and 76.6% of 13-17 year olds

• Social - Over 83% of fishing trips involve more than one person

• Most popular - Freshwater fishing remains the most popular type of fishing (almost 38 million), with more than 3x the number of participants as saltwater fishing

• Fly fishing - 14% percent of fly fishing participants were new to the sport

• Spontaneous - Most fishing trips are spontaneous or planned within a week of the trip (79%)

• Reasons to fish - Catching fish and enjoying the sounds/smells of nature. Over 80% of participants report catching fish during their last fishing trip

• License purchase - 27% of fishing participants (of license-buying age) are not buying fishing licenses, which means revenue used for conservation is being left on the table

The full study is available online at TakeMeFishing.org/Corporate, http://takemefishing.org/uploadedFiles/Content/General/About_RBFF/Research_and_Evaluations/2014SpecialReportOnFishing_FINAL.pdf

About the Outdoor Foundation & Outdoor Nation: The charitable arm of the Outdoor Industry Association, The Outdoor Foundation is taking the lead nationally to inspire and empower a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts through its signature program Outdoor Nation. Launched in 2012, Outdoor Nation is the only national initiative that is engaging, empowering and investing in next-gen outdoor champions and outdoor projects - ensuring the future of outdoor participation.

About The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation's aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ campaign to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing helps boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign's general market website, TakeMeFishing.org , and the Hispanic market website, VamosAPescar.org, feature tips and how-to's that can be used all over the country, tools to compare different styles of boats, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and interactive state-by-state maps that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.

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