Getting a line on bass and trout anglers

ON THE OUTDOORS

February 16, 1997|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Two new studies by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have categorized the demographics and participation levels of bass and trout fishermen, compared them with other freshwater fishing statistics and found that black bass appeal to the largest number of anglers in the country.

The studies were designed to complement its National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Asssociated Recreation, which is issued every five years. The last national survey was released in 1991.

The two new reports -- Black Bass Fishing in the U.S. and Trout Fishing in the U.S. -- ascertained the number of participating anglers, how many days each angler fished per year, age (16 and older), gender, education and income levels. Angling groups also were categorized by geographic areas and population densities.

Of more than 30 million freshwater anglers in the United States, the studies found, 12.9 million, or 43 percent, fished for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass). Bass anglers tend to be male (80 percent), have above average incomes and '' live in southern and urban areas.

Some 9 million, or 30 percent, of freshwater anglers prefer trout (including rainbow, brown, brook and lake trout). Trout anglers also tend to be male (77 percent) and have above-average incomes. Trout anglers most often live in the western or northeastern regions of the country.

According to the studies, 8.4 million freshwater anglers are women, and they represent 27 percent of all anglers.

Bass anglers averaged 12 fishing days per year, and trout anglers averaged nine, which, according to USFWS, means bass were sought on 37 percent of all freshwater fishing days and trout were sought on 19 percent.

Overall, freshwater anglers had household incomes over the $30,000 national average, with 54 percent of bass anglers and 55 percent of trout fishermen exceeding the national average.

Among bass fishermen, the participation rate was highest among anglers in the $25,000 to $29,000 income bracket, while for trout fishermen participation rates were highest among those with incomes of $75,000 or more.

The study also found that participation levels for bass and trout angling increased with education levels, with the greatest percentage of bass and trout fishermen having four or more years of college.

The highest percentage of bass fishermen lived in the South Atlantic Census Region (Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida).

The greatest density of trout anglers was in the Pacific Census Region (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii).

RV heaven

The Maryland Recreational Vehicle Show opens today at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium, with an array of the best and newest motor homes, travel trailers, campers, van conversions, gear and equipment on display.

The show runs daily through Wednesday and then reopens for lTC three more days, next Sunday and Feb. 24-25. The show opens at 11 a.m.

Admission is $6 for adults, with children under 12 admitted free.

Saltwater fishing tips

The popular and informative Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association fishing seminars will be held Saturday at the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts in Annapolis from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost for the day is $35 per person. For ticket information, call (410) 768-8666.

The seminar schedule:

Bay Trophy Fishing taught by Capt. Richard Novotny, Oh Thank Heaven; Light Tackle Fishing, Capt. Richies Gaines, Pintail Point Farms; Fly Fishing, Jim Gilford, Fenwick Fly Fishing School; Winning Tournaments, Walt Donaldson, Dale Dirks, J. R. Keith, captains of the year; Offshore Fishing, Capt. Jim Swagler, Reel Blast; Lower Bay Fishing, Capt. Tom Ireland, Patience; Bait Rigging, Calcutta Baits.

More saltwater tips

The Salt Water Sportsman Magazine national seminar series will be held Saturday at John M. Clayton Hall, University of Delaware in Newark from 9 a.m to 4 p.m.

Instructors for the fast-paced teaching sessions are TV host Mark Sosin, SWSM senior editor George Poveromo, Capt. Billy Verbanas, Russ Wilson, Mitchell Roffer, Capt. Brion Babbitt, Capt. Butch Davis and rockfish specialist Keith Walters.

Sessions include choosing tackle, terminal gear, casting, presentation of live or artificial baits, hooking and landing fish, trolling, bottom fishing, jigging, downriggers, kites, electronics and understanding fish behavior.

Tickets are $40 per person, and admission includes textbook, a subscription or renewal to the magazine and a water temperature/species chart.

For reservations, call (800) 448-7360.

Pub Date: 2/16/97

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