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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Love for Outdoors Drives Anglers

The excitement of a suddenly taut line and the thrill of battling a fish in its element is an experience epically captured in print by Ernest Hemingway in his Pulitzer Prize-winning Old Man and the Sea. It is also a thrill experienced each year by millions of Americans—more than 33 million of them according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. But while the challenge and excitement of fishing leaves an indelible impression on those who experience it firsthand, neither the adventure nor the chance to eat their catch are the top factors motivating many of them to take to the water with rod and reel in hand. For most anglers, the simple opportunity to get outside and experience the outdoors is the biggest motivator, this according to a recent AnglerSurvey.com poll.

When asked to note all of the reasons they like to fish, 88 percent of survey respondents cited “I like to spend time outdoors.” It was the most selected response. That was followed by “I like to spend time on or near the water,” which was noted by 84 percent. The challenge experienced when fishing, selected by 80 percent of respondents even paled to simple “fun,” which was selected by 83 percent. Most see fishing as a social activity with 71% citing spending time with friends and family as a key motivator. Only 50% cited eating their catch as a primary reason to fish.

“Many people love to spend their free time on the water with friends and family,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. “Fishing offers a lot of recreational benefits, but one of the biggest is the chance to simply get outside and enjoy nature. Angling is the preferred way to achieve the overall outdoor experience.”

The expectation of catching fish is an overarching reason why fishing is chosen as the way to spend time on the water with friends and family. “Without a reasonable expectation of catching fish, people will turn to other outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and more,” Mr. Southwick reported. “Maintaining healthy waters and great fishing opportunities is critical if people are going to continue choosing fishing as their preferred recreation.”

For more insights into why people fish, recent trends, who fishes and boosting participation, check out new research recently released by the American Sportfishing Association and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.

To help continually improve, protect and advance hunting, shooting and fishing, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the bi-monthly surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and/or AnglerSurvey.com. Every other month, participants who complete the surveys are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

About AnglerSurvey.com, HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com: Launched in 2006, AnglerSurvey.com, HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. Survey results are scientifically analyzed to reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States. Follow them on Facebook at http://facebook.com/huntersurvey and http://facebook.com/anglersurvey or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/AnglerSurvey and https://twitter.com/#!/HunterSurvey.

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