Numbers from the ASA Summit

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — The ASA Summit is where the fishing industry gathers to assess the year about to end and to make plans for the one around the corner. In meetings and seminars, certain words keep popping up no matter what room you’re in or who’s talking — recruitment, participation, conservation, lifestyle, youth, million, billion, engagement, retention.

But sometimes numbers tell an even bigger part of the story, and they certainly tell it faster. Here are some of the most interesting numbers coming from the Summit. All are courtesy of Southwick Associates and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.

• 46 million Americans participated in fishing in 2014. That’s 15.8 percent of the population over the age of 6 and more than twice as many people as attended every NFL game last season combined. What’s more, for every American who fishes, another wants to go fishing.

• Only 4 percent of licensed anglers purchased a fishing license every year over the last 10 year period.

• Nearly half (46 percent) of all anglers do not renew their licenses from one year to the next.

• 78 percent of new anglers predict they will buy a license for each of the next five years … but only 9 percent actually do.

• 65 percent of American anglers fish in freshwater only; 20 percent fish in saltwater only; 15 percent fish in both fresh and saltwater.

• 47 percent of first-time anglers are female.

• 85 percent of adult anglers fished as children — before the age of 12.

• Nearly 82 percent of fishing trips involve more than one person.

• More than 2.4 million people had their very first fishing experience in 2014.

• Fishing tackle sales grew over 16 percent in the past five years.

• More than two thirds of young anglers (6-17 years old) say spending time with family and friends is their motivation to go fishing.

• Among adults, fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity … behind jogging.