Some anglers more than others come and go

Posted on: December 31, 2015 | Bob Frye | Comments

Woman fishingFemale anglers are less likely to hit the water year in and year out than are men, according to some new research.

It’s not true of everyone that once they become a fisherman, they’re always a fisherman.

But it’s apparently more true some places than others.

New research done for the American Sportfishing Association found that anglers in the Northeast and Midwest are more avid – i.e., less likely to drop out of the fishing ranks — than their counterparts in other regions of the country. More than 20 percent of anglers in the Northeast and Midwest bought a license every year out of five, compared to 16 percent in the West and 8 percent in the Southeast.

The information was compiled by Southwick Associates, a Florida-based research firm.

Interestingly, though anglers come and go, the overall number of people fishing in a particular season is remarkably similar year to year. According to Southwick, while close to half of all fishing license buyers in any given year do not renew their licenses the following year, the number of anglers nationwide is consistently about 46 million.

That’s because “about the same number of people both drop-in and drop-out of the sport from year to year,” its report reads.

Southwick also determined that some people are far more likely to miss entire seasons than others.

The “churn rate” is highest among highest among young anglers, women and urban anglers. That’s true in all cases regardless of region of the country, the company said.

The West, meanwhile, attracts the most nonresident anglers, followed by the Northeast and then the Midwest and Southeast.

Overall, participation in fishing is up slightly in about one third of states, Southwick said. It reports that growth as largely occurring in the West and Southeast.

“The new report underscores some of the challenges we already know about, but it also gives us more specific information to help pinpoint factors that keep people fishing, and that’s what we need going forward,” said Mike Nussman, the Sportfishing Association’s president and CEO.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.