10 Facts About America’s Newest Anglers and Boaters

Americans from all walks of life discovered fishing and boating as ways to recreate responsibly during COVID-19. How can the fishing and boating industry engage and retain this new audience in 2021 and beyond? Here is your roadmap.


#1 They Are Driving Growth In The Sport

Millions of projected new & returning anglers & boaters took up the activities during the summer of 2020. Now the challenge is how to engage and retain these newcomers for years to come.


#2 They Are Changing The Face Of Fishing & Boating

The new audience who took up fishing & boating in 2020 is younger, more urban, and always looking for opportunities to create memories and share them on social media. It is essential to consider this audience while working on your marketing and communications plans for 2021.


Make sure your fishing & boating photography includes diverse participants. Promote your best local places to go fishing and boating with the family that are within a 1-hour drive from urban centers and promote videos along with inspirational content on your social media channels.


 #3 They Started Participating Due To Key Motivators

People had a lot of extra free time in 2020 due to the pandemic, and it is still uncertain how much this will remain in 2021. That said, the fishing and boating industry need to keep fishing and boating top of mind by reminding people about all the great experiences they had on the water in 2020, so when schools are back in session, or mom and dad need to go back to the office, they are likely to return.


One reason people went fishing and boating in 2020 is because it was a safe, social-distanced activity. This will likely still be relevant in 2021, so be sure to communicate this great benefit on your company website, in email blasts, and social media content.


Wellness is also a priority in new anglers’ and boaters’ lives. Make sure to communicate with them the peace, relaxation, and mental health benefits of spending time on the water.


#4 They Like Fishing & Boating

Research shows kids are asking their parents to take them fishing and boating. What an excellent opportunity to promote your products and services that cater to kids and families! We got them hooked, so now let’s keep them.


Parents are also looking for ideas to spend one-on-one time with their kids. Sharing with them resources such as Take Me Fishing’s Angler Academy which includes games and activities for the whole family is one of many ways to help parents to be successful.


#5 They Value Three Benefits Of Fishing & Boating

Now more than ever people are craving social interactions. Newcomers to the sport in 2020 mention that fishing and boating give them the camaraderie and nostalgia feeling that they need. Help your customers find local fishing and boating clubs where they can meet up with other like-minded enthusiasts and share with them fishing and boating events taking place in your area.


#6 Their Fishing & Boating Trips Include A Variety Of Outdoors Activities

What about cooking your catch by the campfire? Or going for a swim while taking a break from wake surfing? The fishing and boating industry has many opportunities to partner with other businesses and organizations to show how fishing and boating can be easily integrated into other outdoor activities.


#7 They've Overcome Previous Barriers To Participation

How-to videos have been essential to support newcomers with little to no experience fishing or boating. Providing information and tips about where to find affordable equipment is a great way to engage and retain this audience.


#8 They Plan To Continue Participating

Over 90% of respondents said they want to keep fishing and boating in 2021. Still millions may not return! Make sure to stay connected to your new customers through regular communications to help guarantee they will return to the water, and your business.


#9 They Are Eager To Build Their Skills & Continue Enjoying The Water

Cleaning and cooking fish, improving rigging and casting skills, learning more about boat operation and maintenance. These are just a few examples of how we can offer relevant content to our new consumers.


#10 They Want To Keep Engaged

New anglers and boaters enjoyed their time on the water in 2020, and they want to return. Help ensure that happens by helping them master the basics skills they gained in 2020, recommend cost-effective beginner fishing & boating equipment, emphasize the social aspects of fishing & boating in your communications, and highlight convenient and local fishing & boating access and seasonal ideas to hit the water!


For more ideas and to download plug-and-play content you can use in your communications, check our assets on the current retention tool kit and sharable content.