Percentage of Female Anglers Soars to 37%: Strong Growth

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Women fishing feature image

Women now account for 37 percent of anglers in the US – the highest level on record.

That’s the finding of a new report based on data from 2021 released by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation in collaboration with the Outdoor Foundation.

The percentage of anglers who are women has increased steadily from 32% in 2010.

The Special Report on Fishing found that 19.4 million women in the US went fishing in 2021, an 8% increase in fishing outings undertaken by women since 2019.

That was the second-highest number since participation tracking began 15 years ago (only 2021 was higher).

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Of these 19.4 million female fishers, 1.6 million were trying the sport for the first time. The total number of fishing outings for females in 2021 was 288 million.

Women fishing feature image 1
Women fishing feature image 1

In other data from the report:

  • 52.4 million Americans ages 6 and over went fishing in 2021, an increase of 4.15% over 2019.
  • The sports of fishing and boating flourished during the worst years of the pandemic due to lack of school and professional sports, concerts and other activities involving crowds.
  • People flocked to fishing and boating as a way to participate in a sport with lower risks of infection and to bond with family or friends to experience the outdoors together.
  • 99 percent of participants plan to continue fishing this year.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water.