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  • Dealernews
  • Jul 20, 2021


The Motorcycle Industry Council’s Ride With Us campaign kicked off this past weekend in conjunction with the IMS OUTDOORS tour. It is intended to cast a wider net for more customers for all of us. First-timers, re-entry riders, youth… we want it all! How do we achieve this goal? Perhaps we can check the fishing industry’s creel? 

According to the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) it is “fish on” when it comes to hooking new fans. A recent FBFF study found first-time fishing participants jumped to 4.4 million in 2020, a surge of 42% year-over-year. Sounds pretty similar to the spike in motorcycle sales caused by the COVID closures, doesn’t it? As with other outdoor activities, fishing reached a new audience as people picked up the sport as a remedy for COVID-19 stress and anxiety.

In fact, more than 54.7 million American fished at least once during 2020, the highest number recorded since participation tracking began in 2007. Penetration of fishing rose to 18% of the U.S. population, the highest rate in more than a decade. As for diversity, RBFF found 7 million females went fishing in 2020, up 10%; 13.5 million kids ages 6-17 went fishing; 5 million Hispanic Americans went fishing; and African Americans had the highest participation rate in the past three years, with a 7.4% increase in participation and 14.6% growth since 2019… gone fishing applies to everyone. 

“Last year was definitely unique, but this increased interest in fishing is a trend we’ve seen in the making for a while,” said Stephanie Vatalaro, SVP of marketing and communications for RBFF. “First-time fishing participants climbed to 4.4 million in 2020. This 42% increase is phenomenal, and as the data shows, these new participants are more diverse than ever, helping to confirm that the water is open to everyone.”

Anyone with ATV/UTV/PWC product can land some of these first-time fishing enthusiasts since the bulk of them are into freshwater fishing… freshwater fishing attracted 42.6 million participants in 2020, 3.4 million more than in 2019. RBFF says Americans were motivated to fish to escape life demands, to be close to nature while social distancing and to catch fish… in that order. Powersports already offers everything but cleaning the fish. 

Best of all, there are no limits for poaching potential customers! Ride With Us to your favorite fishing hole! 


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