Fishing is a trendy thing to do
According to a survey I saw on the Internet, Americans (when you add us all together) check our cell phones more than 8 billion times a day. I’m a part of that number because I find myself using my smartphone to watch the weather reports, get fishing reports, purchase new fishing gear and set up fishing trips with my friends.
Evidently, there are other fishing fanatics like me boosting that number as well since a different report I saw on the Internet said fishing as a recreational pursuit was up nearly 2 million anglers in 2017.
I don’t necessarily believe every report – nor much of the news I see on the Internet – but the report on fishing participation comes from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s 2018 Special Report on Fishing. The RBFF is a long-established group dedicated to increasing the number of fishermen, fisherwomen and fisherkids in the USA. They’ve been running basically the same poll to judge fishing participation for over a decade and the results have seldom been so upbeat.
The last time the survey measured anything like this upsurge in participation was in 2009, when the most recent recession was throttling the U.S. economy. Thoughts then were that people were turning back to more traditional pastimes (like fishing) because less traditional recreational activities (like playing polo) were cost prohibitive. Or, perhaps, high unemployment allowed would-be workers the opportunity to go fishing.
This time it’s likely a reverse of those reasons. The booming economy has given people the relief and money to allow them to go fishing instead of keeping their nose to the grindstone. That and 2017’s inexpensive energy prices relative to the high fuel prices during the recession. Remember when you thought $3.75 per gallon was a bargain?
More than 49 million Americans took to the water to cast a line in 2017. These are exciting figures. Getting more Americans to spend time outdoors is a crucial part of protecting our natural resources for future generations. Anglers and boaters help protect our natural aquatic places and the wildlife that lives there through fishing licenses, boat registrations, fishing gear, boat fuel sales and much more.
Some takeaways and bullet points from the survey:
- One in every six people in the U.S. went fishing in 2017.
- Most went several times. In fact, most went a lot – the survey said each recreational angler fished, on the average, 18 times.
- Nearly 6 percent of the 49 million people were rookie anglers, and the majority of the first-timers were youths. Woo-hoo!
This certainly bodes well for the fishing industry and is overall good news for the outdoor industry in general since fishing is recognized as a gateway activity often leading to participation in outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, camping and others.
So check the weather, click up the latest fishing reports and call a friend.
Go fishing – it’s an American trend.