Reports Show Fishing Participation Hold Steady

A recent study has shown that over forty million Americans, or 15.8 percent of the U.S. population ages six and older, participated in fishing last year. The 2015 Special Report on Fishing released by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) details the state of fishing participation throughout the country in 2014. The report offers detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region.

Forty-six million Americans, or 15.8 percent of the U.S. population ages six and older, participated in fishing last year according to the 2015 Special Report on Fishing released today by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show (ICAST) in Orlando, Fla. Produced in partnership with the Outdoor Foundation, the report details the state of fishing participation throughout the country in 2014, offering detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. 

"We are pleased with the findings of this report, including the 2.4 million newcomers who tried fishing for the first time in 2014," said RBFF President and CEO, Frank Peterson. "Fishing remains a popular outdoor activity and with increasing numbers of newcomers, we look to growing overall participation in the future, securing critical support for state conservation efforts."

Now in its seventh year, the report provides a comprehensive look at overall trends in participation. The report also looks into barriers, motivating factors and preferences of key groups while also identifying opportunities for engaging new audiences. As both foundations look to tap into the growing youth and Hispanic populations, special attention is paid to these segments of the U.S. population in the report. 

"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."

REPORT KEY FINDINGS: 

  • Outdoor Activity - Among adult outdoor participants, fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity 
  • Newcomers - More than 2.4 million people, had their very first fishing experience in 2014 
  • Women anglers - Over 47% of first-time fishing participants are female 
  • Social - Nearly 82% of fishing trips involve more than one person 
  • Youth - Fishing participation as a child has a powerful effect on future participation - more than 85% of adult anglers fished as a child, before the age of 12 
  • Future Participants - Almost 4.3 million youth (11%) would like to try fishing, a growth opportunity for the industry 
  • Number of outings for Hispanic participants - Hispanic Americans fishing participants average 25.8 days on the water per year; over six days more than the average for all fishing participants (19.4 days) 
  • Spontaneous - 81% of fishing trips are spontaneous or planned within a week of the trip 
  • Motivation - Spending time with family and friends continue to be the largest reason to participate in fishing, specifically, 72.2% for ages 6-12 and 66.8% for ages 13-17 

To download the report, as well as an infographic detailing the top findings, visit the Take Me Fishing Resource Center.

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.