Fishing Reels in 46 Million Participants

Fishing Reels in 46 Million Participants

Fishing remains among the most popular outdoor activities for adults, according to the 2016 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 that more than 2.5 million people had their very first fishing experience in 2015, and a total of 45.7 million Americans (15.6 percent of the U.S. population) participated in fishing.

“We are pleased to see many positive trends in this report such as increases for first-time, youth and Hispanic participants,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “Previous research tells us 126 million people have tried fishing, but with only 46 million actively participating, we have a big opportunity in front of us. The insights from this research will help RBFF and the fishing/boating industries ensure future growth for the sport, and the state conservation efforts that rely on it.”

“Recreational fishing is an essential piece of America’s outdoor tradition, often leading children to a love of the outdoors and a healthy, active lifestyle,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “We hope this report will help the fishing industry — and the entire outdoor industry — engage young fishing participants and ultimately create the next generation of passionate outdoor enthusiasts.”

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

REPORT KEY FINDINGS:

  • Newcomers –
    • 2.5 million people had their very first fishing experience in 2015 – up 4% from 2014
    • 44% of new participants are youth ages 6-17; 46% are female

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  • Popular –
    • Fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity for adults ages 25+, behind running/jogging/trail running.
    • 76% of fishing participants ages 6+ participate in fishing and another outdoor activity
    • Freshwater fishing remains the most popular type of fishing – almost 38 million people – and also had the highest rates of female (34.4%) and youth participants (33%).

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  • Family-Friendly – Adults with children in their households participated in fishing at higher levels than those without (18.7% vs. 13.3%).

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  • Youth –
    • Youth participation saw a 2% increase overall in 2015, with 6.7 million participants, ages 6 to 12, and 4 million participants, ages 13 to 17.
    • Almost 83% of participants fished as a child, making youth participation a powerful motivator for future participation.

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  • Hispanics –
    • The number of Hispanic fishing participants increased 3% in 2015 to 3.4 million.
    • Hispanic participants spend 6.2 more days per year fishing than their general market counterparts.

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In addition to overall trends in participation, the report also looks at barriers, motivating factors and preferences of key groups, along with opportunities for engaging new audiences.

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™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, TakeMeFishing.org, and VamosAPescar.org, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.

About The Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and community grant-making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Outdoor Foundation has invested $4 million into 500 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,000 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90Ac of every dollar goes directly into this critical work.

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