With 8 million participants between the ages of 6 and 12, fishing grew tremendously amongst children in 2021; but the future of fishing relies not just on the industry's ability to attract young anglers but on creating a welcoming, comfortable environment which retains them. According to the 2021 Special Report on Fishing, 88% of active anglers started fishing before the age of 12, emphasizing the importance of introducing fishing at a young age in order to develop lifelong participants who contribute to conservation and grow the industry.
To create an enjoyable first experience and subsequent entertaining excursions, the industry should focus on removing barriers, promoting family time, and education. Simple tactics include:
- Adults with children ages 1-17 were more likely than adults without children to go fishing in 2021. Promoting family fishing outings is a key way to introduce younger people into the world of fishing. These outings create a calm and enjoyable experience while distancing fishing from feelings of boredom and stress.
- 21% of lapsed anglers listed cost as a top motivation for stop fishing. Affordable and simple fishing products aimed at younger, beginner anglers can help lower the financial barrier of entry for families and reduce frustrations as youth participants are learning to fish.
- Help your customers dive into fishing at little or no cost by sharing information on Free Fishing Days and First Catch Center events.
- 29% of lapsed anglers felt they had limited access to waterways or had to travel too far to fish. Adding our embeddable Places to Boat & Fish Map to your website can show your customers they don’t need to devote a whole weekend of travel for a fishing trip, rather they can take their children fishing at nearby stocked bodies of water.
- Take Me Fishing™ provides blogs, videos, and more to teach newcomers everything they need to know to get started. Sharing these resources with your potential customers can help empower them to get on the water and begin.
Finding ways to introduce young people into fishing should be a main focus across the industry due to its impact on the future of the fishing. With tactics focused on showing the simple, fun and affordable side to fishing, a comfortable and welcoming environment can be created for youth participants and their families.