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Welcome Women, Win the Whole Family


Heading into what many see as period of uncertainty regarding boat sales, dealers should continually be on the lookout for new sources with which to fill their sales pipelines. If a special report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing holds any water, dealers should consider adopting a new catchphrase: “Bring in the women, get the whole family.”

This refrain is reflected in the results of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s 2022 Special Report on Fishing, which was released at this year’s ICAST sportfishing show in July. The report researched the role women are playing in recreational fishing’s growth and also includes fishing participation data for youth and Hispanics.

Dealers that use the data to their advantage by recognizing and playing to the large audience of female anglers can potentially boost long-term boat sales. Check out these persuasive facts:

- People flocked to fishing during the Covid-19 pandemic, and women led the charge to get outdoors to enjoy safe, wholesome family angling.

- Some 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021, up significantly over 2019 and the highest number since participation tracking began five years ago. Women in 2021 made up 37% of total fishing participation, the highest level on record. Some 2.8 million more female anglers hit the water in 2021 than in the five years prior — and 3.8 million more than a decade ago.

- Women anglers in 2021 undertook a total of 288 million fishing trips.

- Women are more likely to introduce their children to fishing than men. Specifically, 63% of daughters participated in fishing with their mothers, compared to 45% who participated with their fathers. Moreover, women are often the decision-makers. Even in households with two parents working full-time, 54% say moms do most family activity planning.

- The participation rate among girls ages 6-12 and 13-17 grew by 5% and 10%, respectively. With these increases, the difference in participation rate between boys and girls has shrunk to less than 4%.

- Moreover, RBFF reports that 99 percent of participants indicate they will continue fishing thanks to organizations such as “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing,” which has created thousands of new female anglers over the past 25 years.

- Overall, anglers currently make up 17 percent of all Americans. That’s more people using fishing poles than swinging golf clubs and tennis rackets combined.

So, developing dealership programs that appeal to women is crucial to nurturing future sales.

Think about hosting fishing seminars, ladies’ fishing days or tournaments or ladies-only tackle drawings and giveaway days. Consider using social media to post photos of dealership customers and their catches. You can also leverage your sales database to create a ladies fishing club and/or start a ladies fishing e-newsletter.

Bottom line: Women in general and lady anglers in particular should be considered as much prime sales prospects as men, and dealerships should have gender-aimed initiatives.

“Boaters Helping Boaters” Funds Available

A tip of the cap to the Annapolis and Fort Lauderdale boat shows for garnering significant contributions to the “Boaters Helping Boaters” Hurricane Ian Relief Fund, which has now surpassed $60,000 in donations. Both held campaigns at their shows and many other marine companies and individuals have stepped up to help friends and co-workers overwhelmed by the storm.

In partnership with Florida’s iconic Old Salt Fishing Foundation, the effort is spearheaded by the Marine Industries Association of Southwest Florida & Tampa Bay. Applications for assistance are now available for anyone who makes their living on the water directly impacted by Ian.

“It’s a simple application,” explains John Good, MIASWFTB executive director. “Reviews will be a quick process and checks will be sent with as little delay as possible. Minimum payments of $500 will be made to individuals applicants approved by the committee.”

While Ian’s destruction may no longer be on the evening news, the Boater’s Helping Boaters relief effort is far from over, as recovery enters and extended rebuilding phase challenged by shortages of materials and unresolved insurance settlements. Therefore, donations from businesses and individuals still are badly needed. To that end, both the Ft. Myers Boat Show and St. Petersburg Boat shows slated for January will stage fundraising efforts.

Tax deductible donations can be made here. You can also send a check payable to Old Salt Fishing Foundation (Hurricane Ian Relief in the notes) to Old Salt Fishing Foundation, P.O. Box 8564, Madeira Beach, FL 33738. For additional information, contact John Good by phone at 954-570-7785 or via e-mail at



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