Buying Fishing Gear According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service report, there are 44 million Americans over the age of six go fishing. That’s one out of five that buy bait, lures, fishing hooks, spinners, and flies. Almost twice as many people fish, as play golf. The average fisherman is between 42 and 46 years old. Anglers are of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Seventy percent are married, about a third are women. Perhaps most tellingly, the typical angler has a larger annual income than the average US citizen. Which means that anglers spend a lot of money on fishing gear. Official sources confirm that in the last year, they spent $20 billion on boats, trucks, licenses, and other fishing-related products and services; nearly $15 billion on fishing trips, and over $5 billion on equipment. Californians lead spending on retail sales of freshwater fishing equipment, at just under $1.5 billion, while Floridians lead retail sales of saltwater fishing equipment, at almost $3 billion. The industry monitors sales of all fishing tackle, rods, reels, and combos, fishing line, lures, accessories and marine equipment. All sectors report healthy year-to-date sales when compared to the same month last year. "Rods, Reels and Combos” are the only industry sub-sector that shows a decline in monthly sales compared to the same month last year. In addition to following sales data, the industry also tracks other indicators that correlate with sales. The amount of rainfall is a top indicator of fishing activity, and the sale of fishing licenses is an indicator of overall fishing participation trends. The association doesn’t just monitor anglers’ economic activities; it actively promotes them as well. Leading industry trade events include ICAST, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, which will next meet in July 2007 in Las Vegas. ASA also sponsors an annual Sport fishing Summit that will next meet in October 2006 in San Diego. Finally, ASA sponsors National Fishing & Boating Week every June. For more articles by this author as well as other fishing and outdoor information visit the fishing recource center at http://www.NassauFishing.org. Visit the outdoor and sporting directory to find more quality fishing, camping and outdoor sites and resources.