Study Shows What People Fish For and Where
Bass and trout fishing are the focus of two reports developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Black Bass Fishing in the U.S.” and “Trout Fishing in the U.S.” include information on demographic characteristics of bass and trout anglers as well as participation levels and how they compare with other freshwater fishing statistics.
The new reports highlight information specifically related to bass and trout fishing. This information is compared to the number of anglers who participated in any type of freshwater fishing; how many days they spent angling; and their age, gender, and education and income levels. The reports also include breakdowns of anglers by geographic region and population density. All data in the bass and trout reports represent freshwater anglers sixteen and older in the United States.
Black bass (including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass) appealed to more anglers than any other fish the survey covered. Of the 30 million freshwater anglers in the United States, 12.9 million, or 43 percent, fished for bass. Overall patterns show bass anglers tend to be male, have above average incomes, and live in southern and urban areas.
More than 9 million, or 30 percent, of freshwater anglers fished for trout. Patterns for trout anglers show they also tend to be male, have above average incomes, and most often live in the western or northeastern regions of the country.
Eighty percent of bass anglers and 77 percent of trout anglers were male. For freshwater fishing overall, 8.4 million women fished, representing 27 percent of all anglers.
Anglers fished for bass on more than 158 million days for an average of 12 days, while trout anglers fished on more than 81 million days for an average of 9 days. This means bass were sought on 37 percent of all freshwater fishing days and trout on 19 percent.
Bass fishing was most popular in Florida, Maryland, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Delaware. In the South, bass fishing is pursued most often in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas. Trout fishing was most favored in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.
Bass and trout anglers’ participation rates increased with their education levels. Anglers with up to eleven years of education participated in bass fishing at a rate of 37 percent; those with twelve years of education, 43 percent; those with one to three years of college education, 45 percent; and those with four or more years of college, 45 percent. For trout fishing, anglers with up to eleven years of education participated at a rate of 23 percent; those with twelve years of education, 23 percent; those with one to three years of college education, 34 percent; and those with at least four years of college, 35 percent.
Overall, freshwater anglers had higher annual incomes than the national average of about $30,000. Fifty-four percent of bass anglers and 55 percent of trout anglers came from households with incomes above the national average.
The participation rate of freshwater anglers in bass fishing was highest for the $25,000 to $29,900 income bracket (46 percent), while the highest participation rate for trout fishing was in the $75,000 or more income category (39 percent).
People in rural areas participated in freshwater fishing almost twice as much as urban residents. However, bass fishing was about the same for all population density categories, which included rural, small city or town, or big city or urban area. The popularity of trout fishing, as judged by participation rates, was similar for rural and small-city residents but much greater among urban dwellers.
On Worms: To Catch a Trout
Excerpted from The Compleat Angler, published in 1676 by Izaak Walton
The Trout is usually caught with a worm, or a minnow, which some call a peek, or with a fly, either a natural or an artificial fly.
For the Trout, the dew-worm, which some also call the lob-worm, and the brandling, are the chief; and especially the first for a great Trout, and the latter for a less. There be also of lob-worms, some called squirrel-tails, a worm that has a red head, a streak down the back, and a broad tail, which are noted to be the best, because they are the toughest and most lively, and live longest in the water; for you are to know that a dead worm is but a dead bait, and like to catch nothing, compared to a lively, quick, stirring worm. And for a brandling, he is usually found in an old dunghill, or some very rotten place near to it, but most usually in cow-dung, or hog's-dung, rather than horse-dung, which is somewhat too hot and dry for that worm. But the best of them are to be found in the bark of the tanners, which they cast up in heaps after they have used it about their leather.
Whatever kinds of worms you fish with, are the better for being well scoured, that is, long kept before they be used: and in case you have not been so provident, then the way to cleanse and scour them quickly, is, to put them all night in water, if they be lob-worms, and then put them into your bag with fennel. But you must not put your brandlings above an hour in water, and then put them into fennel, for sudden use: but if you have time, and purpose to keep them long, then they be best preserved in an earthen pot, with good store of moss, which is to be fresh every three or four days in summer, and every week or eight days in winter; or, at least, the moss taken from them, and clean washed, and wrung betwixt your hands till it be dry, and then put it to them again. And when your worms, especially the brandling, begins to be sick and lose of his bigness, then you may recover him, by putting a little milk or cream, about a spoonful in a day, into them, by drops on the moss; and if there be added to the cream an egg beaten and boiled in it, then it will both fatten and preserve them long. And note, that when the knot, which is near to the middle of the brandling, begins to swell, then he is sick; and, if he be not well looked to, is near dying.
And note, that in a very dry time, when you are put to an extremity for worms, walnut-tree leaves squeezed into water, or salt in water, to make it bitter or salt, and then that water poured on the ground where you shall see worms are used to rise in the night, will make them to appear above ground presently. And you may take notice, some say that if you put them into your bag with your moss and worms gives them a strong and so tempting a smell, that the fish fare the worse and you the better for it.