The growth of traditional outdoor leisure activities, such as fishing, has been unprecedented during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, 54.7 million people went fishing at least once as individuals, and families turned to the outdoors for a respite from pandemic restrictions. That’s the highest number since tracking began in 2007.
Among them were 4.4 million people who had never picked up a rod and reel before, lifting the fishing participation rate to 18 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation 2021 Special Report on Fishing.
The report’s findings show that 19.7 million female anglers accounted for 36 percent of total participants, their largest share ever. That is an increase of 1.8 million women over 2019, a 10 percent increase.