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Study: Fishing benefits women psychologically

Study: Fishing benefits women psychologically

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) this week announced new research that shows fishing provides positive psychological benefits for women. Conducted in partnership with global market-research firm Ipsos, the research reveals female anglers were more likely to have a positive outlook on life, higher levels of perseverance and a greater self-worth. These insights come after the 2022 Special Report on Fishing revealed women now compose 37 percent of all anglers, the largest share on record.

“While we’ve known being near the water provides mental health benefits, this study demonstrated the significant, rewarding effects of fishing specifically for women,” said RBFF Senior Director of Marketing Rachel Piacenza. “Their experiences on the water foster confidence, patience and determination that they can rely on in other areas of life.”

The research shows active female anglers demonstrate greater perseverance and grit, meaning they’re better able to face setbacks and handle adversity. It also reveals women continue to face adversity and under-representation in the fishing community. Almost half of female anglers do not feel respected by the angling community, and 77 percent do not feel represented in advertising for fishing gear and apparel.

“Understanding both the advantages and problems for women who fish can help the industry better recruit and retain female anglers,” explained Stephanie Vatalaro, RBFF’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “As we fight to plug ‘the leaky bucket’ of participation loss, these insights are the first step to creating a more appealing and supportive environment for women who represent a significant opportunity for increasing participation overall.”

Additional results from the study will be released Jan. 11 during an industry-wide webinar where RBFF and partners will dive deeper into these insights and provide recommendations on how the fishing and boating community can continue to recruit, retain, and reactivate female anglers of all ages. The webinar will cover:

> Why women start, continue, and stop fishing
> How fishing contributes to female anglers’ mental wellness and quality of life
> What hurdles female anglers face on the water and in stores
> How the industry can improve women’s fishing and boating experiences and foster a sense of community

For further information, contact Bruna Carincotte at or call (202) 743-9894.

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