Female Fishing Participation on the Rise

Women now account for 37 percent of anglers in the U.S., the highest level on record according to the Special Report on Fishing announced at ICAST 2022 by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) in collaboration with the Outdoor Foundation. 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021, an 8% increase in fishing outings since 2019. 1.6 million female participants were first timers. The total number of fishing outings for females in 2021 was 288 million.

To attract and reengage women and families to the sport of fishing, Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing focuses on attracting women to fishing through educational hands-on programs with networking and fishing as well as online events and promotions. In 25 years the organization has generated more than 9,000 new female anglers, not including the others they bring to the sport. Their motto is: “Bring the women, get the whole family!”

Fishing industry overall 2021 statistics:

52.4 million Americans ages 6 and over went fishing in 2021, an increase of 4.15% over 2019. The sports of fishing and boating flourished during the worst years of the pandemic due to lack of school and professional sports, concerts and other activities involving crowds. People flocked to fishing and boating as a way to participate in a sport with lower risks of infection and to bond with family or friends to experience the outdoors together. 

The sport of fishing is now challenged with how to keep these new participants. The good news is, according to the report, 99 percent of participants plan to continue fishing this year.

Fishing Industry focuses on females – and Florida

The fishing industry contributed 49.8 billion dollars to the US economy in 2018 (most recent report available). That spending contributed $63.5 billion to the National GDP and total economic impact, including all multiplier effects was nearly $126 billion in 2018 according to this report https://asafishing.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Sportfishing-in-America-Revised-November-2018.pdf

Female anglers spend billions of dollars each year, creating tens of billions in economic impacts.

Florida data for fishing:

Florida ranks number one for numbers of anglers. One out of every four trips in the U.S. occurs in Florida and 60 percent of recreational fish caught in the U.S. are caught in Florida. 

The highest region for female participation is the South Atlantic. Its share has the strongest three-year annual growth rate overall. 

Female Participation over Time

While female fishing participation fell slightly in 2021 from its 2020 all-time high, in 2021 there were 2.8 million more female anglers than five years prior, and 3.8 million more than in 2011.

Fishing Industry statistics from 2021 or most recent available according to the Special Report on Fishing:

54.4 million Americans ages 6 and over went fishing

  • Women now account for 37 percent of anglers in the U.S.
  • 3.7 million were first-time participants, of that number, 43 percent were women
  • Nearly 41 million Americans ages 6 and over freshwater fished
  • 13.8 million fished in saltwater
  • 19.4 million female anglers fished
  • 2.8 million more female anglers than five years prior, and 3.8 million more than in 2011.
  • 1.6 million female participants were first-timers
  • 7.9 million children ages 6 to 12 fished
  • 5 million adolescents ages 13 to 17 fished
  • 4.7 million Hispanics ages 6 and over fished
  • 17 percent of the American population went fishing
  • More Americans fish then play golf and tennis combined in 2016, no new data available

Income brackets, females participating in fishing:

  • 25% Income of over $100,000
  • 24% income 25K to $50K
  • 19% $50K to 75K

Fishing and the economy:

Fishing contributed 49.8 billion dollars to the US economy in 2018 (most recent report available). That spending contributed $63.5 billion to the National GDP and total economic impact, including all multiplier effects was nearly $126 billion in 2018 according to this report https://asafishing.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Sportfishing-in-America-Revised-November-2018.pdf

Female anglers spend billions of dollars each year, creating tens of billions in economic impact dollars.

About Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing

The Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing Foundation (LLGF) is a national charitable 501C3 organization dedicated to attracting women and families to fishing and encouraging conservation and responsible angling. LLGF promotes networking among women anglers and emphasizes mentorships. Founded in 1997 by Betty Bauman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, LLGF has over 9,000 graduates and is the largest organization in the world whose objective is to introduce women and families to fishing. In addition to fishing education and hands-on practice, most events offer a fishing experience depending on venue, from charter boats to land-based fishing. The mission is supported by sponsors and donors. Both Bauman and the University series – dubbed “The No-Yelling School of Fishing” – are known nationally in the fishing and marine industries. The organization has earned rave reviews from media including Inside Edition, The Early Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS, Good Morning America, Outdoor Life Network, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Southern Living and more. 

ABOUT Future Angler Foundation

The Future Angler Foundation (FAF) is an incorporated 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation formed in April of 2012. The FAF’s mission is to “Create New Anglers and Boaters” through its support of angler education and boating safety programs hosted by passionate, knowledgeable volunteers throughout the U.S. and through its “Getting Families Fishing” initiative, a series of free source digital educational programs developed to engage young anglers and boaters as they educate them about angling in an exciting, informative, and effective manner. More information about the FAF can be found online at www.futureangler.org.