A couple of weeks ago Page, our Director of Business Development and an avid angler, commented to me that she sometimes feels alienated as a woman angler. After listening a bit and asking a few questions, it seems that a particular bait shop/outfitter she frequents, on the west coast of Florida, routinely overlooks her when she makes a morning bait stop…. and notices that male customers are often treated quite differently than herself.

While this could very well be the result of a single, short-sighted shop owner, it’s worth discussing how retailers in the fishing and other outdoor industries need to keep in mind that their target audience isn’t solely male. Or at least shouldn’t be.

In a recent report entitled 2015 Special Report on Fishing, a partnership project of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation along with the Outdoor Foundation, there are some very interesting numbers regarding gender and age demographics related to fishing:

  • Females make up 34.4% of all fishing participants and a whopping 47.4% of NEW fishing participants
  • We are losing female fishing participants at a higher rate than males
  • Fishing is a leading gateway activity to other outdoor participation – only slightly behind running
  • Of women who do not currently fish, 45.7% are interested in starting and the majority of those are over the age of 45 with incomes typically well over $50k
  • And one last statistic….over 30% of those who fly fish are female.

Those numbers are certainly impressive and, whether you’re a fishing retailer or good manufacturer, you should take notice. Women simply shop more – both online and at the retail store level. PLUS, they engage more readily with retail email marketing and social media as a whole. In fact, 35% of women, as opposed to 28% of men, are likely to recommend a product or brand over social media… OR NOT!

So, when thinking about buying for your retail store, how you market online, and how you present your brand – keep our lady anglers in mind. Answer their questions, help them out when asked, and encourage them in our great sport as you would their male counterparts.

Not only is it good for your bottom line, but it makes our sport more diverse and stronger as a whole.

And let’s not forget that women are typically more conservation-minded than men! And that speaks for the health of our fisheries for generations to come.

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