Wind the clocks back to 2008 when most industry sectors experienced a huge downturn in business and the sentiment driving it. Retail, housing, international travel, the share market and the general outlook was dire and with this came a general media driven narrative that the world was imploding and no industry would be spared.

Now focus specifically on our industry in isolation, 2008 was a strong year for tackle sales in general and in most cases it was a better year for most. The reason for the issues of 2008 was a collapse in financial markets on the back of the banking sector in the US.

Some of the positive reasons why our industry was strong in 2008 were

  • Fishing was affordable
  • Fishing was a great fall back to traditional family holidays
  • Fishing takes us away from the media

Some of the negative reasons why our industry was strong in 2008

  • International travel became stagnant
  • People lost jobs resulting in having more time on their hands
  • Government was forced to stimulate the economy
  • The media drove the story of doom and gloom and people needed an affordable escape.

Wind forward to the current day and much of the above is still very much relevant except the cause is a human virus versus a financial virus but the net result is very much the same.

The media and more specifically, social media has a strangle hold on everything we do and the exaggeration one can extract from it can create fear in the best of us regardless of how resilient we are. If we look at the positives that made our industry strong through 2008 we can now apply a multiple of new factors to this in 2020.

Some of the positive reasons why our industry will be strong in 2020 if we want it to be are

  • Fishing is affordable
  • Fishing is a great fall back to traditional family holidays
  • Fishing takes us away from the media but more specifically social media which can drive irrational fear.

The multiple new factors we can drive in 2020 as an industry are

  • Fishing and camping is clean and healthy fun for the family
  • It’s a great way to get away from the digital world that consumes our thinking
  • Fishing doesn’t rely on anything apart from the angler jumping in a car and heading to their favourite destination and we all know the excitement of the trip is half the fun



It takes a combined effort to drive our industry story against the noise of every other industry that won’t be as lucky as us.

  • The fishing media and fishing influences all need to drive the positives that fishing creates in this current environment.
  • The media need to create content to support the industry and what positives fishing can bring to all
  • Government and Fisheries need to help with this and drive supportive short term policy.
  • The sales teams that visit stores and buyers need to drive the positives and work through solutions with stores.
  • Stores and chains need to develop their own media and communication plans so they are sending out a strong and unified message
  • Stores need to promote affordable options for all customers to participate and help get away fishing. Focus on making it family friendly

If we occupy the minds of our angling community which includes all of us in the industry then we will change our industry story. When we start to control our own narrative we will see our industry defy the trend. If we let the mainstream media control our story then we remain trapped in it for as long as they want us to be in it.