For the 12th consecutive year, RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation partnered to provide a comprehensive look at fishing participation in the U.S. The 2022 Special Report on Fishing explores participation trends alongside insights into motivations, barriers, and preferences of key groups identified as essential for future growth.
As previously revealed, over fifty-two million Americans age 6+ went fishing in 2021, supporting a six-year upward trend.
While 3.7 million first timers and 8 million reactivated anglers went fishing, 14 million participants lapsed. That -18% churn rate resulted in an overall participation decline of 4%.
Shrinking Gender Gap
Women composed 37% of fishing participation in 2022, the highest level on record.
The participation rate among girls ages 6-12 and 13-17 grew 5% and 10%, respectively. With these increases, the difference in participation rate between boys and girls has shrunk to less than 4%.
A Family Affair
Over half of participants tried fishing thanks to an invitation from their friends or family.
78% of anglers associated fishing with spending quality time with family or friends.
Growth Amongst Decline
While overall participation fell slightly from the historic high in 2020, African American participation increased almost 11% year over year.
In addition, over 300,000 more Hispanics went fishing in 2021 than in 2019.