Young anglers, female anglers and fishermen in urban areas are most likely to go years without fishing regardless of where in the country they live, a follow-up report commissioned by Southwick Association (ASA) has revealed. The report, developed from a study on angler churn rates performed by Southwick Associates, does however highlight some regional differences in today’s anglers.
>Fishing participation is growing in roughly one-third of all states. Between 2004 and 2013, 17 states saw angler numbers climb, while the rest experienced declines or remained steady.
>More people travel to the West to fish, with 29 percent of non-resident angling licenses sold.
>Anglers in the Northeast and Midwest are more likely to remain active, with more than 20 percent of anglers buying a license 5 out of 5 years.
>Regionally, the rate of not renewing fishing licenses is highest in the Southeast (53%) and lowest in the Midwest (28%). “We know the primary reasons why people fish is to have fun with friends and family in an outdoor setting.” Rob Southwick, Southwick Associates’ president said, “This latest research shows that, with some regional differences, younger anglers, women and urbanites are more likely to find other ways to achieve these benefits besides fishing. If fishing participation is to grow, we need to ensure fishing provides these benefits conveniently and competitively.”
By identifying those groups most apt to sit out of fishing for a year or more, the opportunity exists to craft programs to get them re-engaged with fishing and/or improve their fishing experiences.
Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association noted that after buying a license one year, approximately 15 million people, almost half of all anglers, do not buy one the following year. He says it’s important to improve access, fishing quality and convenience in order to entice more anglers to buy a license every year.