It seems the fishing industry is discovering what the firearm industry has already learned: Women are a significant growing segment of their market base.
According to new research from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Southwick Associates, female anglers pose a significant revenue opportunity for the fishing industry. The research, which was conducted to learn more about the financial impact of increasing female angler participation, found a 10 percent increase in women's participation in fishing could provide an additional $1.0 billion in revenue for the sportfishing industry. This means each additional female participant is worth nearly $1,000 in annual revenue for the industry.
“We know through research that recruiting and retaining female anglers is critical to growing fishing and boating participation overall,” said RBFF President and CEO Dave Chanda. “The bottom line is, increasing female fishing participation is also good for business, and the industry stands to benefit greatly from focusing more on this growing audience.”
The research shows an opportunity to focus efforts geographically:
—Women in the South and Midwest regions both spent around $3.5 billion each (over $7 billion total) on fishing.
—In the Midwest, female anglers each spent an average of $1,106 annually.
—In the South, female anglers spent an annual average of $796 per person.
Additional key findings:
Despite the strong female angler representation in the Midwest, saltwater fishing has emerged as a driving force behind the financial stimulus female anglers bring to the industry. In 2021, female saltwater anglers spent more per capita than female freshwater anglers ($3.7 billion versus $6.6 billion, respectively).
Women spent relatively more on special equipment including vehicles, boats, real estate, and more for saltwater fishing compared to freshwater fishing (35 percent compared to 22 percent, respectively).
RBFF recently launched the research-backed Take Me Fishing “Find Your Best Self on the Water” campaign to help women uncover the life-changing benefits of fishing and boating. Rooted in extensive research, this integrated marketing program aims to create awareness of fishing and boating among diverse new audiences and motivate participation.
For more information on RBFF’s research-backed campaign, visit news.takemefishing.org/findyourbestself.