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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