RBFF Study Offers Insights for Retaining New Boaters and Anglers

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recently released findings of a major national research study in partnership with global market-research firm IPSOS to provide the industry with insights for retaining and engaging new boaters and anglers. The study, titled Casting a Wide Net: Identifying New Anglers and Boaters and Determining Tactics for Retention, projects millions of new and returning anglers and boaters to the sport and supports the industry in understanding who these new participants are and how best to engage with them.

"Throughout 2020, fishing and boating have provided Americans with much-needed encouragement," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, engaging with these newcomers will be an integral part of our industry's continued success, and with that in mind, this new study provides data-backed insights to help fishing and boating organizations retain these nontraditional new audiences."

Key findings from the report include:

  • New anglers and boaters are younger, more urban and more diverse. They are also highly socially connected. 
  • Three key elements of fishing and boating are main motivators to these new anglers and boaters: social connection with loved ones, the challenge of the activities and the connection to nature they offer.
  • The biggest barriers faced by new participants include balancing other priorities, not having the proper equipment or not knowing about affordable options, not having enough experience and not having a fishing or boating companion. 
  • 90% of new anglers and 94% of new boaters wish to continue these activities in the future. Necessary actions that fishing and boating organizations can take to retain this new audience include reminding newcomers of the great fishing and boating experiences they had in 2020, highlighting convenient water access, providing beginner educational resources, emphasizing the social aspects of fishing and boating, and recommending cost-effective equipment.

Download the full report along with accompanying infographics providing other key takeaways for fishing and boating organizations at www.takemefishing.org/WhosOnBoard.