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Work, health, family getting in the way of fishing, survey says

April 04, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • Kirk Beardsley with a largemouth bass. Anglers say life is getting in the way of their hobby, survey finds.
Kirk Beardsley with a largemouth bass. Anglers say life is getting in the…

The actor Lee Marvin used to say he made movies only to finance his fishing.

But the sport of fishing is on the decline and longtime anglers say work and family obligations, as well as health issues are the top reasons why they have less time to cast a line, according to a new survey.

Over the last three or four years, several reports on sales of fishing licenses and fishing equipment have shown a gradual decline in the sport across the country.

The top reason given by anglers who have cut back on fishing is a lack of free time because of work, school or family obligations, according to a survey of more than 4,000 anglers by Southwick Associates, a Florida-based outdoor survey company, on behalf of the American Sportfishing Assn.

Of those anglers who have cut back on fishing, nearly 40% said they don't have enough time to fish, almost 20% said their age or health keeps them from fishing, and about 15% said the sport takes away from their time with family, according to the survey.

Less than 5% said scaling back was because they don't catch enough fish.

But the survey also found that if anglers were invited by a friend or family member to fish, more than 70% said they would find time for the activity.

As a result, the survey suggests a simple way to boost participation in the sport:

"Of all potential tactics identified to increase fishing participation, encouraging active anglers to invite their friends and family to go fishing is perhaps the simplest and lowest cost way to increase fishing participation."

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