The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the retail industry at-large, with the lockdown forcing many brick-and-mortar retailers to close up shop. The subsequent widespread shift towards eCommerce and social commerce is also being experienced within the fishing sector. Fishbrain, a popular fishing app with some 9 million users, recently revealed that sales within its in-app and web store have surged since mid-March.

According to company officials, sales of items including baits & lures, rods, boat accessories, and reels, increased 93% from February to March, and then soared by 307% from March to April, showing demand from consumers who are turning to Fishbrain Shop to purchase their fishing gear.

Fishbrain Shop, available on mobile and web, allows users to find and purchase the best fishing gear from some of the world’s most respected brands. Speeding up the process of purchasing tackle, users are able to visit a centralized marketplace without having to leave the Fishbrain app, providing a seamless buying experience.

“This is, of course, a hugely concerning period for everyone,” said Fishbrain CEO and co-founder Johan Attby, “But the increased popularity of Fishbrain Shop data should come as a welcome boost to the fishing sector. Rather than letting store closures get in the way of their next fishing trip, anglers who are abiding by state regulations are instead turning to digital platforms to get their gear, meaning that not only are they getting their hands on the equipment they need, but also that the world-class brands we have partnered with are still able to sell their products to consumers.”

There are currently 80 brands selling a total of 30,000 products on Fishbrain Shop. Charleston, South Carolina-based Toadfish Outfitters is among them, and CMO Thor Rhodin says he’s seen strong online sales from within the app.

“As a company with coastal roots, Toadfish understands why Americans are turning to rivers and oceans to find peace of mind while social distancing,” adds Rhodin. “Fishbrain has been a fantastic sales channel for us. Our products have been flying off the shelves, and getting our products in front of Fishbrain’s millions of users, while spreading our mission of coastal conservation. Fishing is one of the few sports that we can still enjoy responsibly, so we are proud to be able to continue making Toadfish products easily available via online platforms like Fishbrain. Millions of anglers use Fishbrain each month, so it makes sense for us to work together to keep as many families, as is safely possible, on the water.”

Across the industry, it’s no secret that online sales have been a silver lining amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to in-app stores like Fishbrain’s, other internet driven stores like Tackle Warehouse and Tackle Direct are seeing strong sales figures as consumers shift from in-store browsing to home delivery. Smaller, independent tackle dealers are likewise gearing up to adapt to the new climate, as curbside pickup rises in popularity even as some states relax shelter at home orders.