Fishing: The Key to the Economy

The economy right now is down; it doesn’t take a Harvard degree in economics to see that. Turn on the nightly news and you will see more stories about the economy than you will want to. Some of you have stores that also deal in firearms; I am sure right now you feel that guns are a better bang for the buck right now than tackle. In the short term you are right, but for longevity tackle is a key economic factor.

American Sportfishing Association, the people who manage ICAST every year, commissioned a study on sportfishing in America compiled by Southwick and Associates. The numbers will amaze some of you, but will validate what many of you believed before reading the report. The report is titled Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation, and is available for download from the ASA website. When you look at the report that ASA commissions every five years, it is easy to see how and why so many of us make our living from the sportfishing industry, and how there is room for growth in everyone’s business.

The numbers do not lie; in any given year there are approximately 46 million active anglers, counting both fresh and saltwater. How many anglers is 46 million – if you took every person who attended every NFL game in 2011, that wouldn’t be even half of that number. If you took all of the money spent by anglers to support fishing-related sales, and gave all of that profit to one company, that company would rank as 51st on the Fortune 500™ list. One of the reasons this number is as high as it is, is because retail sales have grown over 16 percent in the last five years alone. As retailers, these facts alone should make you smile. I am sure your store is getting a fair piece of that, right?

If your store is not getting what you feel is a fair share of what anglers are spending to pursue one of the most popular activities in America, maybe you need to take another look at what you are doing and what your competition is doing. It is not shocking that internet-related sales have had an impact on many local retailers. Hopefully this is something that is corrected under the current administration.

Fishing Tackle Retailer Magazine, and our online site have produced numerous articles on gaining the competitive edge over your competition, and will continue to make that commitment to you and your business. We will also continue to bring you the latest news from the retail world. If you have a subject you would like to see us cover please let us know on our Facebook page and we will be sure to cover it.