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RBFF Hooks Nation with 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat

RBFF Hooks Nation with 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat Earlier this month, RBFF announced the release of its 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat. The list of exciting locations is bolstered by endorsements from celebrities and fishing pros, and the help of federal and state representatives. The Announcement helps kick off the weeklong celebration of on-the-water activity that is National Fishing and Boating Week (June 3 – 11).

New this year, an exciting group of distinguished contributors and experts have sourced the list, sharing their favorite family-friendly fishing and boating spots. Country music star Luke Bryan headlines this year’s contributors, alongside fellow musician Justin Moore, pro football player Alejandro Villanueva and a host of industry experts.

The full list of 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat, which RBFF will leverage to gain recognition and press coverage for these amazing aquatic resources, is available at and highlights include:

  • Percy Priest Lake, Tenn. – Country music star Luke Bryan admits “a good fisherman never shares his best spot,” but still offers up his favorite place to escape his fast-paced world for some relaxing time on the water. Known for “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day,” Bryan’s favorite spot near Nashville is a natural addition to this year’s list. Bryan has a clothing line of the same name available at Cabela’s, and fans can catch the country music megastar on his HFE tour this summer.
  • Presque Isle Bay, Pa. – Professional offensive lineman and former Army Ranger, Alejandro “Big Al” Villanueva, picked this popular spot on Lake Erie, and knows a thing or two about the importance of good tackle and a strong line. When he’s not protecting the quarterback, Al says, “I spend a lot of my free time fishing and really cherish any time on the water.”
  • Degray Lake, Ark. – Having grown up in nearby Poyen, Ark., country music singer Justin Moore often frequented Degray Lake as a young boy, and passed down his love of fishing to his own kids. He remembers, “watching my oldest daughter catch her first fish all by herself has to be my favorite moment out there.”
  • Texas City Dyke, Texas – Professional angler Cindy Nguyen added this spot, noting, “I grew up fishing in Texas City Dyke and the surrounding areas. It’s still one of my favorite places to bring the family.”
  • Central Park, N.Y. – Host of South Bend’s Lunkerville, Michael de Avila, better known to his fans as Mike D., picked an unexpected fishing oasis in the middle of the nation’s largest city. Central Park offers three unique family-friendly spots at the lake, the pond and the Harlem Meer.
  • Webb Lake, Fla. – Women’s sportfishing advocate and outdoor writer Debbie Hanson loves the fishing at wildlife at Webb Lake. “Not only is Webb Lake great for numbers of largemouth bass and bluegill, but there are also some fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. I've spotted sandhill cranes, great blue herons and white-tailed deer on my visits.”
  • South Padre Island, Texas – Pedro Sors, professional angler and Mexico’s most popular fishing TV show host, chose this popular spot for its ability to provide him and his sons with “a sense of freedom and a way to connect with nature and myself.”
  • Buckeye Creek, Calif. – Chelsea Day of the Someday I’ll Learn blog, fondly recalls memories at this picturesque spot in the eastern Sierras. “Our oldest son caught his first fish at this spot, and it was really special to be able to cook it right up and serve it for dinner at the campsite. Such a sense of accomplishment for him!”

“This year we decided to ask some of our friends and partners where they like to go fishing, and the response has been overwhelming,” said RBFF President and CEO, Frank Peterson. “While the locations are as diverse as the people who shared them, some key themes emerged. Fishing and boating are easy ways to escape life’s tensions, and you’re never too far from a quality body of water. So whether you’re getting over a stressful week at the office or simply trying to cut back on screen time, this is the year to get out on the water together to help conserve and restore our nation's aquatic natural resources.”

Thank you to all the state and industry stakeholders who helped to shape this list of incredible fishing and boating locations. Be sure to share the list with your consumers. Promotional materials are available. Please contact David Rodgers, Communications Manager for details.

Share the Excitement of National Fishing and Boating Week

Share the Excitement of National Fishing and Boating Week National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW) helps kick off summer with events and activities during the week of June 3-11. Join RBFF and its Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns in inviting families to get outside and find their new favorite fishing hole or boating spot. National Fishing and Boating Week includes the following opportunities families will enjoy:


  • #ReelFun Fishing Events – Educational events will be hosted June 3-4 at more than 1,600 Walmart® stores across the U.S. All ages and skill levels are invited to learn fishing tips from expert anglers, purchase a fishing license and test their casting skills, all while grabbing everything they need to enjoy a day out on the water.
  • Free Fishing Days 2017 – Most states offer free fishing days for everyone to fish on public bodies of water without a fishing license. With several taking place during NFBW, these are perfect opportunities for beginners to try fishing for the first time.
  • Fish Personality Quiz – Are you a feisty and spirited rainbow trout or a mysteriously alluring walleye? Starting June 5, discover your true inner swimmer by taking our interactive Fish Personality Quiz and entering for a chance to win prizes like a trip to Yellowstone National Park (including hotel and fishing excursions) and gift cards from Sierra Trading Post to help get outfitted for the trip.
  • #FirstCatch – Create and capture moments fishing and boating with family and friends, then share them with others online using #FirstCatch. As Take Me Fishing’s initiative to help anglers come together and revel in the joys of fishing and boating, #FirstCatch encourages anglers to share their first fishing and boating memories – first catch of the day, first fish of the season or even the first catch of a lifetime.
  • 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Boat and Fish – a collection of publicly accessible gems sourced from celebrities such as country music star Luke Bryan and professional football player Alejandro “Big Al” Villanueva, as well as professional anglers and industry experts.

“By providing events and resources during National Fishing and Boating Week, we hope everyone from curious beginners to experienced anglers and boaters will feel inspired to get out on the water,” says RBFF President and CEO, Frank Peterson. “It’s already been a great year for fishing and boating, with big growth in participation among young people, and we want to keep that momentum going and reach our goal of 60 million anglers by 2021.”

RBFF’s “School of Influencers,” partners who will be sharing their adventures on the water, will help celebrate NFBW, and will promote fishing and boating throughout the summer. Among other activities, influencers will be testing some of the 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Boat and Fish.

Are you hosting any events during NFBW? Be sure to add them to our Event Listings on NFBW is all about celebrating the joys of fishing and boating and sharing the fun with others. Make sure you share the good news of NFBW with your consumers!

Tide Rising for Fishing Participation

Tide Rising for Fishing Participation Great news: two separate reports by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Outdoor Foundation show positive signs for fishing participation!

The latest fishing license sales data from the USFWS shows a 1.79% increase in license sales. This increase was enough to bring the 10-year change in fishing license sales to 4.26%. Even more encouraging is that it marks the third consecutive year of increases in fishing license sales after a long period of stagnation.

Additionally, the Outdoor Foundation has released its 2017 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report, which includes plenty of positive news for the sport of fishing:

Highlights –

  • Fishing is again the number two most popular adult outdoor activity, but is closing in on the number one activity, jogging
  • Saltwater fishing participation increased 4% over the past three years
  • Fly fishing increased 6% in 2016 and 9.8% over the past three years
  • Kayak fishing increased 4.6% in 2016 and 31.8% over the past three years

Youth participation –

  • 15.6 million, or 19.5% of youth (ages 6-24) participated in fishing
    • Up from 14.8 million participants in 2015

Adult participation –

  • 31.5 million adults (ages 25+) participated in fishing
    • 14.6% of the adult population

RBFF’s 2017 Special Report on Fishing, which will be released in full this July, includes additional information on fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. A first look at the data shows increases in Hispanic participation, youth participation, and female participation, in addition to an overall increase in participation nationwide. These trends give us plenty of momentum as we continue on our path to 60 in 60, something the entire industry should celebrate.

Stakeholders can utilize RBFF’s research, marketing and event planning materials to recruit more new participants, retain existing customers, and reactivate lapsed participants, helping keep this positive trend going.