1.5 Million More Americans Lured by Fishing, New Study Reveals

With 1.5 million more participants than the previous year, fishing now has more than 47 million Americans hooked. That’s the key finding of the 2017 Special Report on Fishing, now available from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF).

“There’s a reason fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity for adults in the nation,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “It’s a pursuit for people from all walks of life to enjoy—whether for getting exercise, being with family and friends, enjoying nature, escaping the usual demands of life, or experiencing excitement and adventure.”

Created in partnership with The Outdoor Foundation, the annual report provides one of the most comprehensive looks at the state of U.S. fishing and boating participation. Amassing data from more than 24,000 respondents, the results uncover a breadth of trends and insights. Key findings from the 2017 report include:

  • Americans took 855 billion total fishing trips, or 18.8 trips per participant, in 2016.
  • 2.5 million new participants tried fishing for the first time. New participants accounted for 5.3 percent of total participation, and they tended to be young and female.
  • 3.8 million Hispanics participated in fishing, an 11-percent increase. Hispanic anglers went on six more outings per year than the general market average.
  • 11 million youth participated in fishing, a 3-percent increase.
  • 83 percent of fishing trips resulted in a catch.

“The insights from this report give me incredible optimism for America’s thriving outdoor tradition,” said Ivan Levin, deputy director of The Outdoor Foundation. “More than one in seven Americans participate in fishing, an activity known for leading people to other outdoor pursuits. Ultimately, more people fishing means more outdoor stewards to care for our country’s natural resources.”

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