But in recent years, the number of fishing licenses sold to females has steadily risen, showing an increased interest in the sport—and for good reason. Not only can the activity have real physical and psychological benefits, but companies and organizations are also making it easier for women to fish by providing educational opportunities and female-specific gear that hasn't been available in the past.
There's no better time than the present for women to join their male counterparts on the water, shore or bank. And if you need a little more convincing, consider these reasons to get outside and cast your first line.
To learn more fishing tips, visit TakeMeFishing.org. To find out more about fishing licenses in your area, visit ReserveAmerica.com.
1) To Get Away From It All1 of 11
Ever heard the phrase, "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work?" Unless your job involves taste-testing chocolate or petting puppies all day, even a fishing trip with zero line tugs can easily beat a day stuck in the office.
All fishing trips—regardless of the number of catches—involve nature, water, quiet and a general lack of stress. That beats any day on the clock.
From work deadlines and demanding bosses to family and social commitments, life can quickly get overwhelming. A perfect way to deal with such stresses is to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle.
Whether you're a saltwater or freshwater fan, most fishing spots are somewhat removed from the rush of the city, allowing for peace, quiet and a high-quality dose of Mother Nature's natural stress remedy.
2) To Learn Boat and Water Safety2 of 11
There's no way around it: If you go fishing, you're going to deal with water. Experts even suggest that water has calming effects not found elsewhere and can help you become more creative.
But large bodies of water can also be dangerous. No fishing trip should ever lack the necessary safety equipment, including life vests, flares, fire extinguishers, radios or cell phones and first aid kits. Taking a water and/or boat safety course will not only help you on fishing trips, but the skills might also come in handy during a day at the pool.
3) To Spend Time with Family and Friends3 of 11
While the act of reeling in a monster fish is frequently a solo effort, a significant number of fishing trips also include your closest family and friends. From catching up between bites to snapping a photo of your prize catch, the most unforgettable moments of a fishing trip often happen in the company of loved ones.
4) To Learn Basic Knots4 of 11
There's a lot more to knots than tying a line to a hook. You can use knots to hang artwork or hammocks, work safely around the home and garden or even create your own piece of jewelry.
We recommend the following knots for the beginner fisher(wo)man: Palomar knot, Improved Clinch knot, Surgeon's knot, Fisherman's knot and the Arbor knot.
5) To Eat Healthier5 of 11
From food to clothing (and even diapers), organic trends are just about everywhere these days. And there's no better way to eat organic than to do the work yourself.
Unlike purchasing filets from your local grocery store, catching your own meal ensures the food you eat has lived in a natural, organic environment. Mass produced fish are often farm-raised in not-so-healthy conditions, while wild-caught fish are less likely to carry contaminants and PCBs (a cancer-causing chemical).
While catch-and-release is another option, fishing is also a great way to fill your diet with healthy, organic and sustainable food. Not only are fish one of the best sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, they also help you reach recommended daily levels of protein and vitamin D. Studies show that women who eat little or no fish have more heart problems and three times the risk of disease than those who eat fish at least once a week.
*Women who are pregnant should exercise caution when consuming fish with higher mercury levels, such as tuna and salmon. We recommend visiting your doctor regularly to monitor these levels.
6) To Experience the Thrill of a Fish on Your Line6 of 11
There are few things in life that mimic the feeling you get when you have a fish on your line. The adrenaline and excitement of being thisclose to landing the fish of a lifetime (or any fish, really) is hard to match, and can benefit your health.
Need a little excitement in your life? We recommend big game or deep-sea fishing, where the stakes are higher and the fish are bigger. Typically, the bigger the fish, the harder they are to catch. But the reward will be immeasurable once you've landed a monster.
7) To Challenge Yourself7 of 11
While fishing can be an incredibly relaxing activity, it's not always a walk in the park. A successful fishing trip can mean hours of planning, including studying tide charts, maps and weather outlooks. And none of that even guarantees you a bite.
From knowing proper casting technique to experimenting with different baits and lures, fishing is more than just throwing a hook and worm in the water. What caught you a lunker in one spot doesn't (and probably won't) work for another, and fish continually change their feeding habits from day to day.
Sometimes it's pure luck, but your best bet to repeat success is long days on the water figuring out what works and what doesn't.
8) To Contribute to Conservation Efforts8 of 11
Each year, anglers contribute millions of dollars to conservation efforts through the purchase of fishing licenses, boat registration fees, fishing gear and more.
Like the Pittman-Robertson Act that excised a 10 percent tax on firearms and hunting gear in 1937, the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 did the same for fishing gear. The Wallop-Breaux Act followed in 1984, enacting similar taxes on boat fuel.
In recent years, revenues from these taxes have totaled upwards of $600 million on an annual basis. These funds are used to protect and conserve marine habitats, promote ethical fishing practices and educate the community on boat and water safety.
9) To Reverse Gender Stereotypes9 of 11
There's a Brad Paisley song where his lady gives him a choice between her and fishing...and he picks the latter. (But he's gonna miss her.) But wait a minute...why wasn't a couple's fishing trip on the table? Come on, Brad.
Everywhere you look, TV shows, jokes and movies all display men escaping their screechy, preachy female halves by taking to the water with a rod and reel. Even the word fishermen excludes the ladies.
So what's stopping gals from casting a line alongside the men—or better yet, even by themselves or with other ladies?
There are a host of women-only fishing clubs and tournaments popping up across the country (which is awesome, by the way), so there's really no reason not to get your fish on—with or without your man.
10) Because Why Not?10 of 11
If you still need a reason to go fishing, just ask yourself this question: Why not?
While the health benefits of fishing on your heart, brain and body could probably convince anyone to cast a line, we can't help but wonder who wouldn't relish the opportunity to log a little R&R (Rod & Reel).
With dozens of companies and organizations catering to the female outdoors enthusiast, women are set to dive into the fishing world headfirst. With the removal of barriers and stereotypes, female fishing participation has risen significantly in recent years, and women are reaping the benefits.
So ladies, grab your poles and hit the water—because there's really no reason not to.