New report reveals the lure of recreational fishing remains strong

Category: press release

 Jul 21st, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 21st, 2014 at 12:00 AM

The lure of recreational fishing remains strong, according to the 2014 Special Report on Fishing released today 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.

“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.


    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.

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