More than 2.4 million people enjoyed their first angling experiences in 2014, while 46 million overall went fishing, according to the recently released 2015 Special Report on Fishing.
"Recreational fishing is an essential piece of America's outdoor tradition, often leading children to love of the outdoors and a healthy, active lifestyle, said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, which co-authored the report with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF).
"We hope this report will help the fishing industry--- and the entire outdoor industry--- engage young fishing participants and ultimately create the next generation of passionate outdoor enthusiasts."
Reflective of how important it is to take kids fishing, the report revealed that more than 85 percent of adult anglers were introduced to the sport before age 12. Additionally, 4.3 million youth said that they would like to try fishing.
While running/jogging remains the most popular outdoor activity for adults, as measured by total participants and total number of annual outings, recreational fishing remains a strong second.
Other findings include the following:
- More than 47 percent of first-time participants were female
- Nearly 82 percent of fishing trips involved more than one person
- 81 percent of fishing trips are spontaneous or planned within a week of travel
- Hispanic fishing participants average 25.8 days on the water per year, six days more than the average for all fishing participants (19.4 days)
- Spending time with family and friends continue to be the largest reason to participate in fishing
"Fishing remains a popular outdoor activity and with increasing numbers of newcomers, we look to growing overall participation in the future, securing critical support for state conservation efforts," said Frank Peterson, president and CEO of RBFF.