Fishing Can Lead to New Customers

Publish date:

Retired Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight had a plaque over his office door that I’ll never forget. It read: “Everyone should believe in something; I believe I’ll go fishing!”

Apparently, there are a lot more believers these days. I’m referring to the good news that 354,080 fishing licenses were sold in Minnesota from mid-February through the first week in May — a 45 percent increase over the comparable period last year. It’s also the highest in two decades.

Similar good news comes from Vermont. Through April, the Green Mountain State saw fishing permits up 57 percent, to 21,270.

Meanwhile, officials in Missouri took a different but even more encouraging action by waiving the license requirement, so residents could experience a great diversion from the coronavirus pandemic and experience family angling.

If these bigger numbers can mean anything, they could be pointing to increased boat sales.


“If there’s a bright spot in this horrible covid-19 tragedy,” says Bass Pro CEO Johnny Morris, “it’s the unprecedented interest from fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles to take their family out to enjoy nature.”

This jump in fishing license sales appears to mirror a national increase in fishing interest. A recent Harris poll found that 24 percent of respondents with children under the age of 18 said they would be interested in fishing during the pandemic.

Moreover, there’s evidence that the national Take Me Fishing program by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation — along with the promotion by the industry’s Discover Boating campaign — are both having a positive impact.

With programs like these, literally thousands of families could be getting their first taste of the joy of fishing, which can lead to a desire to do more angling from one’s own boat.

Although many states are slow in reporting their fishing license and boat registration numbers annually to RBFF, it will be interesting to see how this trend plays out on a national scale. And, to go even farther, crunch that data with boat registration numbers, even identifying first-time boaters.


Mercury’s Impact on the Local Economy

A new study shows that the manufacturer has a more than $5 billion annual impact on the Fond du Lac, Wis., community.

Lippert Posts Record Q1

The quarter marked a “watershed moment” for the component supplier, as net sales hit $1 billion.

Rollick Reaches 100th OEM Customer Mark

Customers that use its Aimbase marketing technology represent 65 percent of U.S. marine unit sales.

Safe Harbor Adds Lauderdale Marine Center

The Florida superyacht facility was acquired in a deal worth $340 million.

Don’t Throttle Back Now

As pandemic restrictions ease, folks will be getting back to leisure activities that often compete with boating.

IBEX Announces In-Person Dates

The show returns to the Tampa Convention Center Sept. 28-30 after being held virtually last year.

Brunswick’s Aine Denari Joins CSP Board

The Center for Sportfishing Policy, a coalition of advocates for recreational fishing and boating, also announced that The Billfish Foundation is a Sustaining Member.

Malibu Reports Record Q3

The company reported a 50 percent increase in net sales and a 47.2 rise in net income for the fiscal quarter.