The Face of Fishing & Boating is Changing

2020 was an extraordinary year for boating and fishing, with millions of new participants getting out on the water.  This shift has resulted in younger and urban audiences seeking out activities outdoors that are close to home. Identifying New Anglers & Boaters and Determining Tactics for Retention is a comprehensive study of America’s newcomers to the water and how the face of outdoor recreation is changing.

Key findings from the report include:

  • New anglers and boaters are younger, more urban and more diverse. They are also highly socially connected.
  • Three key elements of fishing and boating are main motivators to these new anglers and boaters: social connection with loved ones, the challenge of the activities and the connection to nature they offer.
  • The biggest barriers faced by new participants include balancing other priorities, not having the proper equipment or not knowing about affordable options, not having enough experience and not having a fishing or boating companion.

90% of new anglers and 94% of new boaters wish to continue these activities in the future. Necessary actions that fishing and boating organizations can take to retain this new audience include reminding newcomers of the great fishing and boating experiences they had in 2020, highlighting convenient water access, providing beginner educational resources, emphasizing the social aspects of fishing and boating, and recommending cost-effective equipment.

Read the full report and download infographics with key findings for the fishing and boating industry.