Who is Today’s Angler?

From looking at participation numbers, I’m on the bandwagon to get more folks out fishing, and to figure out where we’re at I read a lot of research done by some very smart folks.  I just finished a report conducted by Take Me Fishing and the Outdoor Foundation, and I learned some interesting facts that I didn’t know.  Here is a link to the study and here are a few interesting statistics with my take aways.

Who Are We?

1.   34.4% of anglers are women.
2.   65.6% of anglers are men.
3.   Our overall number of anglers remained about the same…

The Top 5 Reasons People Participate in Outdoor Activities:

1.   Get exercise 65.0%.
2.   Be with family/friends 58.3%.
3.   Be close to nature 52.7%.
4.   Enjoy the sounds/smells of nature 50.1%.
5.   Observe scenic beauty 48.2%.

The Top 5 Best Things About Fishing:

1.   Catching fish, men – 40.2%; women – 29.2%
2.   Enjoying the sounds and smells of nature, men – 31.4%; women – 30.4%
3.   Getting away from the usual demands of life, men – 30.2%; women – 35.1%
4.   Being close to nature, men – 26.8%; women – 21.1%
5.   Spending time with family or friends, men – 24.4%; women – 33.9%

The Top 5 Reasons Newcomers Tried Fishing:

1.   Experience excitement/adventure 49.4%.
2.   Spend time with family 47.1%.
3.   Ease of access to fishing 37.6%.
4.   Try catching my own food 29.4%.
5.   Solitude 28.2%.

How old is Our Group?

1.   37.7% of anglers are 45+ years old.
2.   29.9% of anglers are between 25-44 years old.
3.   9.6% of anglers are between 18-24 years old.
4.   8.1% of anglers are between 13-17 years old.
5.   14.7% of anglers are between 6-12 years old.

What do We do when We’re not Fishing?

1.   48.9% participate in fitness walking. 28.2% participate in running, jogging or trail running. They’re a very active bunch.
2.   22.9% enjoy watching wildlife.  It could be birds, deer, gators, you name it.  They like to be in nature and they like to watch animals.
3.   20.6% like to hunt. 

Where do We Fish?

1. Most anglers fish in fresh water. It’s the most popular type of fishing.
2. 90% of freshwater anglers fish within a 4 hour drive of their homes.

Time for me to make a few calls and see about getting some old friends back on the water.  I hope you’ll do the same.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.