2013 Recreational Bait and Tackle Economic Survey


Achieving high quality fisheries involves more than just managing fish. The marine recreational fishing industry is economically important to coastal communities throughout the United States. NOAA Fisheries recognizes that the decisions we make have impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods.

Survey Overview

NOAA Fisheries conducted the Recreational Bait and Tackle Economic Survey to better understand the economic contributions of saltwater bait and tackle stores. This study focused on independent retail stores that sell bait and tackle to marine recreational anglers in coastal communities located in 23 U.S. states on the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific coasts, including Alaska and Hawaii. Over the course of the summer of 2014, selected stores received mail surveys asking about their business’ costs and revenues, employment, and structure.


Results from the Recreational Bait and Tackle Economic Survey showed that independent bait and tackle shops generated an estimated $854 million in original sales of saltwater bait, tackle, and other fishing-related equipment.  Collectively, these sales supported total economic contributions of approximately $2.3 billion in total sales output, $796 million in income, and over 16,000 full and part-time jobs across the United States.


This information will help us to better understand and minimize impacts on coastal communities from changes in fishery regulations and recognize the effects of natural disasters and economic downturns.

Additional Information

It should be noted that because the study focused on independent retailers, and excluded national chains and web-based retailers, it captured only a subset of the entire bait and tackle industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy.  NOAA Fisheries captures total bait and tackle purchases by saltwater anglers through its national expenditure survey of saltwater anglers. In the Recreational Bait and Tackle Economic Survey, the Agency wanted to focus on the local independent retailers who have the closest ties to coastal communities and are most dependent on saltwater fishing.

Resources (*NEW*)

  • Final Report | The Economics of Independent Marine Recreational Fishing Bait and Tackle Retails Stores in the United States, 2013
  • Fact Sheet | Marine Recreational Bait and Tackle Economic Survey
  • Poster | Independent Bait and Tackle Shops By the Numbers

Survey Timeline

survey timeline


Cliff Hutt | cliff.hutt@noaa.gov | 301-427-8210

Regional Survey Versions