Fishing More Popular Than Golf

The American Sportfishing Association recently released its "Sportfishing in America" report for freshwater and saltwater angling, indicating that anglers annually generate $45 billion in retail sales.

More people fish--about 40 million--than play golf (24.4 million) and tennis (10.4 million) combined. About 30 million of the anglers are age 16 and older.

The three states with the most anglers are Florida (2.77 million), Texas (2.52 million) and California (1.73 million), while the top three states in terms of jobs supported by sportfishing are Florida (75,100), Texas (59,000) and Minnesota (43,100).

Not surprisingly, the most popular gamefish is the largemouth bass, pursued by one out of every three U.S. anglers. Flounder is the most-targeted saltwater fish.

By no means is fishing confined to male rural residents, as 45 percent of anglers come from cities with populations of 1 million or more and 25 percent of all anglers are female.