That’s an increase from 46.2 million in 2011. Furthermore, 4.5 million newcomers tried fishing last year. That’s the highest number of new participants recorded.
“Fishing and boating are among the most important gateway activities that lead people, especially youths, to pursue other recreation experiences,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation.
The report said Americans made 1 billion fishing outings last year, averaging 21.3 fishing days per person. Forty-one percent of first-time anglers were female. Women and girls now comprise more than 30 percent of American anglers. Fly fishing attracted 20.5 percent of the first-time anglers.
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