More people are getting into fishing, or at least trying out the sport, according to a recently-released report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and The Outdoor Foundation.
The “2012 Special Report on Fishing and Boating” said that, for the first time in the history of the report, fishing added more participants (8.8 million) than it lost (8 million). By that calculation, it brings the total number of Americans who fished to 46.2 million—roughly 16.2 percent of the population.
That’s good news for fishing and fishermen alike.
“We’re extremely pleased to see for the first time in several years, more people coming into the sport than dropping out,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “This indicates our efforts are positively influencing participation, enticing newcomers and past participants to get out on the water.”
Key Findings From The Report
In 2011, 46.2 million Americans participated in fishing (an increase from 45.4 million in 2010). While 8 mllion participants stopped fishing, 8.8 million former or new participants joined the sport, netting an increase in overall participation.
Although the number of fishing participants increased, the number of fishing outings decreased (average of 18.2 days fishing in 2011 compared to average of 20.4 days fishing in 2010).
Females and youths ages 6 to 12 added the most new fishing participants.
Adults 18 and older with children in their households participate in fishing at higher levels than adults without children.
The findings also indicate that fly fishing has the greatest amount of interest among newcomers, while saltwater fishing holds the interest of participants from youth through adolescence.
Hispanic American Fishing Participation
• 3.1 million Hispanic Americans participated in fishing in 2011—a slight decrease from 3.4 million in 2010.
• Freshwater fishing is, by far, the most popular type of fishing among Hispanic Americans.
• Hispanic Americans fish most often out of any fishing category or demographic group, averaging 20 fishing days per year.
Youth Fishing Participation
• Typical of outdoor activities, fishing participation rates peak between the ages of 6 and 12 and then decrease during the adolescent years from 13 to 17.
• 81.8 percent of fishing participants ages 6 to 12 are introduced to outdoor activities by their parents.
• Almost 44 percent of youth fishing participants ages 6 to 17 also participate in boating.
• The average number of outings per boater increased from 13.2 annual outings in 2010, to 14 annual outings in 2011.
• Fishing from a boat is the most popular activity among males over the age of 16 with 64 percent participation.
• Multi-species boats (26 percent) surpassed bass boats (16.3 percent) as the most popular boat type.
• The social aspect of boating is notable, with 63 percent of boating participants reporting they get on the water with friends.