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Entries in RBFF (5)

Tuesday
Dec052017

Better Bass Fishing Is About More Than The Know-How That You Accumulate; It's About What You Pass On

With the remaining hot dogs consumed, we spread out our sleeping bags and relaxed, ready to watch the meteor showers that were predicted for after midnight.

We talked about bass fishing and building fires and other “guy things” until the first fiery arrow streaked across the sky. The wattage of the moon probably stole much of the light show from us. But we counted a dozen or so before Ursa the Devil Dog cuddled up to Jesse. He put his head next to hers and both slept the sleep of the innocent.

As I watched for more of nature’s fireworks, I thought about another child, decades before, and how lucky he was to know generous adults who made the time to take him fishing.

My father didn’t fish, but a co-worker of his did, and he took me frequently to a farm pond. One fall day, a 3-pound bass exploded under my Hula Popper, a moment frozen in time that still causes my heart to pound when I recall it.

And there were others: A neighbor took me fishing in a boat for the first time. A family friend invited me along on an overnight camping and fishing trip. I’ve been fishing thousands of times since then, but those generous acts still are as vivid in my mind as the day they happened. I feel the sun as it warms the orange lifejacket that I wore. I look down and see the purple worm with the propeller harness tied to the line on my Johnson spincast reel. I smell the coffee brewed over a fire and see the mist at sunrise on the tailwaters of Bagnell Dam.

I hope that Jesse will have the same type of memories of our trips when he is an adult. And, when he comes of age, I hope that he will share the sport that we both love with someone new.

You should do the same. Better bass fishing is about more than the know-how that you accumulate. It’s also about what you pass on.

Once upon a time, fathers did a good job of doing that. In a survey of anglers, 67 percent said that their fathers took them on their first fishing trips. But 87.8 percent of those respondents were age 35 or older. Of those under 35, just 12.2 percent said that they were taken by their fathers.

“If dad has a diminishing role in introducing new anglers today, and others don’t step in, how will fishing be passed to future generations? And how will those who miss out even know what they’ve missed?” asks the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, which sponsors Anglers’ Legacy, an angler recruitment program.

Without participation, without a strong constituency, we will lose it all: funding for fisheries research and management; access to lakes, rivers and oceans; an innovative industry that constantly improves our boats, tackle, and equipment.

As my eyes grew heavy, the meteors faded as the eastern sky lightened and a hidden sun painted delicate clouds a soft rose. I slept, but only for a few minutes. The angler in me would not allow for more.

I woke Jesse in time for the topwater bite.

Excerpt from "Tonight and Tomorrow" in Better Bass Fishing, available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday
Sep172017

Sports Fishing Strengthened by Increases in Participation, Spending

Fishing participation is up nearly 20 percent during the past 10 years, according to the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), citing the recently released 2016 National Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation national survey from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Conducted every five years in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, the survey also shows that anglers increased their overall spending by 2 percent during the past five years.

“Dedicated efforts by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), state fish and wildlife agencies, the recreational fishing industry and independent programs have made increases in recreational fishing possible,” said Glenn Hughes, vice president of Industry Relations for the ASA.

“Thanks also goes to ASA’s Government Affairs team and our partners who helped ensure that legislation and policy decisions were in place to provide access, clean water and fisheries conservation, which anglers need for a successful day on the water.”

Overall, fishing participation increased 8.2 percent for individuals 16 to 65 years of age during the last five years. This is the highest level of participation since 1991. Revenue from equipment purchases to all trip expenditures  increased from $45 billion to $46.1 billion during the same time.

“This report absolutely underscores the need to increase public access to public lands across the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

“Hunting and fishing are a part of the American heritage. As a kid who grew up hunting and fishing on public lands who later took my own kids out on the same land, I know how important it is to expand access for future generations. Many folks east of the Mississippi River rely on friends with large acreages or pay high rates for hunting and fishing clubs. This makes access to wildlife refuges and other public lands more important."

Encouraged by the findings, RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson said, “We’re excited to see the fruits of our efforts to increase fishing and boating participation validated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s latest report –  a true benchmark of the industry.

“The results of this report show that RBFF has had a positive impact on participation since its inception, and we only plan to build upon these numbers.”

 ASA has developed tools and materials for the recreational fishing industry to further assist in the effort. The emphasis is on effectively reaching anglers through recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) practices. Several state agencies and industry partners are already implementing these R3 practices to help achieve 60 million anglers during the next five years.
 
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources

Friday
Nov062015

Who Fishes and Why?

The overall number of fishing participants remains quite stable from year to year, at around 33 million, but not because most anglers are avid. Rather it’s because about the same number of people joins and leaves the angling population each year.

Younger, female, urban dwellers are more likely to be among the ranks of newly recruited anglers compared to retained anglers, who are much more likely to be male, rural residents, and over 35 years of age. Yet over the long term, there has been limited shift in the overall angler population towards those newcomer demographics due to the higher churn rates among them.

More than 80 percent of recruited anglers reported having fished previously in their lives, typically when they were quite young. They are frequently prompted to fish by family and friends, who also serve as their most common source of fishing information and instruction.

These and other findings related to motivational factors tend to reassert previous research from the American Sportfishing Association and Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. However, this report reveals significant differences between new anglers’ intentions and their actions; while the vast majority think they will fish every year, only a small proportion actually do.

Other highlights include:  

Women make up one-third of new anglers. When it comes to recruited anglers, 65 percent are male and 35 percent are female. However, only 18 percent of retained anglers are female.  

Newcomers are younger. More than one-half of recruited anglers are under age 35, compared to 28 percent of retained anglers. Conversely, only 12 percent of recruited anglers are between the ages of 55 and 64, compared to 22 percent of retained anglers.  

Recruited anglers tend to live in more populous communities. The largest portion of recruited anglers, about 47 percent, lives in suburban neighborhoods. However, the proportion of recruited anglers between the ages of 18-24 years is greatest in rural areas while the proportion of recruited anglers between the ages of 25-34 years is greatest in urban areas.  

Recreational togetherness is a strong appeal. The top three reasons people fish are to spend time with family and friends, to relax, and for the sport or recreation. For new recruits, the opportunity for relaxation is a strong driver while avid anglers tend to be in it for the excitement.  

Age of introduction matters. More than 80 percent of recruited anglers in the survey year reported it was not the first year they’d ever fished. Among those, more than a third tried the sport when they were five years old or younger. In fact, more than half of anglers who fish year after year say they first started fishing when they were five years old or younger.

Thursday
Oct152015

Fishing Leads Children to Love of Outdoors, Active Lifestyle

 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.

Friday
Jul172015

Fishing Remains Among Most Popular Outdoor Activities

 Fishing remains among the most popular outdoor activities for adults, according to the 2015 Special Report on Fishing released recently by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) at  the Outdoor Foundation at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show (ICAST) in Orlando, Fla. The report reveals that more than 2.4 million people had their very first fishing experience in 2014, and a total of 46 million Americans participated in fishing.

"We are pleased with the findings of this report, including the 2.4 million newcomers who tried fishing for the first time in 2014," said RBFF President and CEO, Frank Peterson.

 "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."

"Recreational fishing is an essential piece of America's outdoor tradition, often leading children to a love of the outdoors and a healthy, active lifestyle," said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation.

"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."

The sixth annual report details fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geography.

 

Overall Participation – 46 million Americans (15.8% of the U.S. population ages 6 and older) participated in fishing in 2014

Women Anglers – More than 47% of first-time fishing participants are female

Outdoor Activity – Among adult outdoor participants, fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity

Newcomers – More than 2.4 million people had their first fishing experience in 2014

Social – Nearly 82% of fishing trips involve more than one person

Youth – Fishing participation as a child has a powerful effect on future participation – more than 85% of adult anglers fished as a child, before the age of 12

Future Participants – Almost 4.3 million youth (11%) would like to try fishing, a growth opportunity for the industry

Number of Outings for Hispanic Participants – Hispanic fishing participants average 25.8 days on the water per year; over six days more than the average for all fishing participants (19.4 days)

Spontaneous – 81% of fishing trips are spontaneous or planned within a week of the trip

Motivation – Spending time with family and friends continue to be the largest reason to participate in fishing, specifically, 72.2% for ages 6-12 and 66.8% for ages 13-17