Gone Fishing? More Americans Did in '09

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More Americans are going fishing these days, according to a report commissioned by the Outdoor Foundation.

The report found the peaceful pastime saw an increase of 1.6 percent, or 630,000 anglers, last year. That ended a decade of decline in fishing, especially among young people.

"We've seen a fairly large surge in single mothers who are trying to get their kids out fishing," said David Matagiese, education director for the International Game Fish Association.

"To do real basic fishing, fishing from the shoreline, it's fairly cheap," he said. "All you need is a rod and reel, find some water; bait's easy to come by."

The increase came as big-time sports from the PGA to the NFL took a hit from the economy.

"The most exciting thing that happened out of this whole economic nightmare that we're in is fishing license sales nationwide have gone up," said Skeet Reese, one of the country's top professional anglers.

"For a family experience, people can't travel, they can't go to Disneyland, they can't go to Mexico," he said. "They can't afford to go to these places, so they go, 'Let's just go camping this weekend.'"

The Outdoor Foundation reports almost 41 million Americans fish.

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