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Boost for trade in China as youngsters flock to fishing


A major influx of young anglers is proving a huge boost for the tackle industry in China.

Fishing has become the latest trend for millennials and Generation Z as those from their teens to their thirties flock to a sport once considered the pastime of older age groups. Young enthusiasts targeting both urban and rural fishing are ‘taking the fishing world by storm’, reports The China Daily.

Fishing enthusiasts under 18 now account for 12% of the country’s 140 million anglers, says the China Angling Association, and those between 18 and 24 make up a further 10%.

The number of anglers under 26 has increased four-fold in the past four years, according to a recent report by e-commerce platform, JD. Even those who do not fish themselves are visiting video platforms to watch fishing films – a trend called cloud fishing – and could become a likely source of further participation growth.

And as fishing has become more trendy, the market for gear is booming, with lure fishing in particular showing a significant increase in popularity.

“Young people are more willing to spend big money on the hobby, which has given rise to a billion-dollar business covering everything from tackle to apparel,” Wang Yu, the owner of a tackle store in Tianjin said.

“An increasing number of them are turning to fishing with lures, which often involves fishing with lightweight tackle and is considered more eco-friendly than traditional fishing. Artificial baits also free people from the trouble of using natural baits.

“Lure fishing was a new addition to our business in 2019 and now accounts for over 60% of our total sales thanks to the passion of young anglers. It’s not unusual for someone in their 20s to 30s to spend millions of yuan on lure fishing equipment.

“We have formed partnerships with five or six locations in Tianjin and sponsor multiple lure fishing competitions to tap the growing market. The fishing industry is constantly evolving, with changes in fishing styles and techniques and recent product updates.”

The low cost of entry into fishing is also a big attraction to the younger generation, with an investment of just a hundred yuan or so ($14) needed to take the first step.

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