We all would agree that not many good things came from the COVID pandemic. From masks, to vaccines, to social distancing, we all have seen our daily lives change in drastic ways. Thankfully, most of that is behind us now and we can move on and learn from the past. One silver lining from all of this has been a resurgence in outdoor recreation, specifically in fishing.
For the last decade, leading groups, manufacturers, and influencers have teamed up and created the R3 Initiative (Recruit, Retain, Reactivate) in an effort to increase participation in fishing and hunting, but the numbers continued to decline. The rise of internet, social media, video games, and digital entertainment has taken a significant toll on outdoor recreation. Trends were not headed in the right direction.
Enter COVID-19… Our nation found itself quarantined and isolated from regular daily life. With extra time on our hands, many turned to fishing as a means to pass the time in a safe and healthy way. For the first time in over a decade, the participation numbers began to rise and as of last year, nearly 15 million new people went fishing for the first time (nearly a 40% increase). And what was one of the largest segments of new participants? Women...
While women are still not as numerous as men in the ranks of anglers, their numbers are growing in the U.S. According to recent figures from the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), about 67 percent of anglers in the U.S. are male, and 33 percent are female. However, 47 percent of first-time fishing participants are female. That's a powerful indicator of women's increasing presence on the scene.
Fishing companies are responding to what their new customers want. Clothiers are developing entire new lines of fishing clothes for women and tackle companies are offering additional colors for their gear. Outfitters and resorts are tailoring adventure trips and accommodations for women with families and for themselves on their own, and women are starting their own adventure travel outfitting firms to cater to their customers. Even boat builders are taking women's interests into consideration when designing boats. After all, as women's economic clout and earning power has grown, so has their say in how they spend their own and their families' money.
And remember that nasty "Social Media" we talked about earlier and how it has kept many from getting back outdoors? On the flip side, social media has also been seen as one of the major factors in making women more comfortable in trying fishing for the first time. With their social media accounts, women anglers are able to portray themselves in the public eye as the independent anglers they are, capable of handling all the aspects of rigging, fishing and traveling to enjoy the fishing life. The leading female social media figures involved in fishing, such as April Archer, Maddie Brenneman, Dawn Freeland, etc. can completely control their actions and their images, which is exactly what their audience wants–not the babes in bikini holding fish pics of the old days.
So whether you are for, or against, social media (we can debate that all day), one thing is certain, more and more women are trying fishing for the first time. FishVault would like to join others in our industry and welcome all newcomers to the family. If you have any questions, or are looking for the latest tips and tricks, feel free to contact our team. From beginners to pros, men to women, young to old, the FishVault fishing subscription box offers tackle and gear for all anglers.