May NewsWaves 2018

Table of Contents


Women Making a Splash in 2018

As you may have already heard, RBFF is capitalizing on the trend of strong female fishing participation by welcoming this audience to the water and helping them feel as they are a part of the angling community. However, RBFF is not the only group empowering this audience. Companies like Simms Fishing Products are also encouraging female fishing participation with initiatives like the Chica de Mayo event and more. Diane Bristol, Senior Director of Employee & Community Engagement at Simms, has been with the company for 30 years, working in various capacities to advance the Simms brand and to promote fishing participation among groups such as women and families. More recently, Diane joined the RBFF Board of Directors where she brings a welcomed enthusiasm to programs like our women’s initiative and consumer campaign. Let’s hear from Diane on how Simms is working to make a better future for fishing:

Tell us about Simms’ Chica de Mayo event. Why was it created?

Why do you think women are important to fishing participation?

What trends are you seeing in female fishing participation?

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned in marketing fishing to women?

Be sure to check out our new “Women Making Waves” mantra video, part of our 2018 consumer campaign. All campaign digital assets will drive to our new landing page,, where you can find all the information you need to be a confident angler and see social images of female anglers directly on our webpage.

Fun Events and Promotions Help Kickstart Fishing and Boating Season

National Fishing & Boating Week (NFBW) and Great Outdoors Month are knocking at the door. It’s time to kick off the season and get consumers excited about the joys of fishing and boating! Here’s how NFBW and Great Outdoors Month (with RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson at the helm) are energizing current and would-be anglers and boaters across the country:

  • Top Mom-Approved Places to Fish & Boat – RBFF will promote a list of “mom-approved” places to fish and boat.
    • RBFF partnered with state fish & wildlife agencies to determine the best 5-10 nominees from each state.
    • An online Google survey of moms across the nation was used to determine the top 50 spots (one for each state) in the country.
    • A sweepstakes will encourage consumers to vote on their favorite spot, thereby generating a ranking of the 10 best spots.
  • Satellite Media Tour – On June 6, RBFF will host a Satellite Media Tour in New York City with a celebrity spokeswoman. Here, we will generate excitement about NFBW and introduce the new Top Mom-Approved Places to Fish & Boat.
  • #ReelFun Fishing Events – Over 2,000 events will be held at Walmart stores across the country during the two weekends of NFBW.
    • Fishing League Worldwide pro anglers will be on-hand to talk with consumers and give pro tips.
    • Consumers can test their casting skills right in the store.
    • Free items will be given away.
  • Great Outdoors Month – events like Kids to ParksTM Day, Bike Travel Weekend, National Get Outdoors Day, National Marina Day, the Great Outdoors Day of Service, the Great American Campout and more will encourage people of all ages to Escape the Indoors and discover new ways to have fun with family and friends. Learn more at the newly-redesigned Great Outdoors Month website.

RBFF is utilizing the impact of these events and promotions to generate excitement for fishing and boating season, and will continue to draw participants to the water with our 2018 consumer campaign and promotions. Need help organizing your own events and promotions? RBFF is here to help with free resources.

Fishing Participation is Up for Second Straight Year!

Our 60 in 60 goal is gaining momentum. Participation in fishing has increased for two years in a row now. Topline numbers from the soon-to-be released Outdoor Foundation Outdoor Recreation Participation Report and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Historical Fishing License Sales Data both show growth in fishing participation.

Highlights –

  • Fishing participation rose 4% to 49.1 million total participants in 2017
  • Fishing license sales increased 1.3% in 2017, making for a 4.3% increase over the last 10 years

Youth participation –

  • 11.6 million youth (ages 6-17) participated in fishing
    • Up 5.4% from 11 million participants in 2016

Female participation –

  • Increased 3.1% to 17.1 million participants

First-timers –

  • 3.0 million participants had their first fishing experience in 2017
    • Up 21% from 2.5 million in 2016

Hispanic participation –

  • Increased 11% to 4.2 million participants in 2017

“As we continue to move closer to our 60 in 60 goal, news like this is incredibly encouraging,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “It’s obvious that the work RBFF and the industry are doing is working. More and more consumers are realizing the joys of fishing, and with fishing being the number one activity done from a boat, the entire industry has plenty to celebrate. Perhaps most importantly, all this leads to more funding for critical conservation programs across the nation.”

Set for release in the coming days, the Outdoor Foundation’s report highlights participation and trends across the entirety of outdoor recreation, including fishing, hiking, biking and more. The 2018 Special Report on Fishing, which will be released in July and includes additional information on fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region, will be available for download in RBFF’s Resource Center, along with previous years’ reports. Additionally, the USFWS issues an update on license sales data each year, including tags, permits and stamps, as well as the gross cost of fishing licenses sold.

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.