Fish and Wildlife Economics and Statistics
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Smartphone App Use and Today’s Angler

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL. -With technology affecting every aspect of our lives, from the way we work and live at home and even to the way we recreate, it’s no wonder it’s also making an impact on old-time American pursuits such as recreational fishing. But that impact may be a little slower in coming for many—but not all. Results from a recent survey at AnglerSurvey.com reveal that while 85 percent of active anglers own a smartphone, only 25 percent of those anglers use apps related to fishing.

With so many owning smartphones, not making better use of helpful apps such as Solunar tables, weather and tide charts would seem at odds. However, the number one reason cited for not using fishing-related apps is that most, 56 percent, simply don’t recognize the need for one or haven’t realized how apps can help improve their time on the water. Others, 46 percent, also cited the desire to leave technology behind when fishing, seeking a more basic experience outdoors. Other top reasons cited included wanting to keep their hands free (20 percent), not realizing fishing-related apps even existed (19 percent) and the fear of losing or damaging their phone (12 percent). Respondents could cite more than one reason in the survey.

But of those 25 percent of anglers who have discovered the benefits of using fishing-related apps, the top choices include Fishing and Hunting Solunar Time (19 percent), Navionics (19 percent), Fish Brain (16 percent), Tide Charts Near Me (11 percent), Fishidy (9 percent) and Tides Near Me (9 percent). Other popular options included Windy, Onx Hunt and iBobber. More than 39 percent cited “other” as their favorite apps weren’t listed.

And when were most of these apps used? Seventy-one percent of app-using anglers use them prior to hitting the water, while 53 percent use them while fishing. Only 14 percent make use of them after they are done fishing for the day.

“While the overall number of anglers may not embrace fishing-related apps, trends would suggest this usage will grow over time as more recreational fishermen discover their benefits,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at AnglerSurvey.com, HunterSurvey.com, and ShooterSurvey.com.

To help continually improve, protect and advance hunting, shooting and other outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the bi-monthly surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and/or AnglerSurvey.com. Every other month, participants who complete the surveys are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.