Why swarms of post-90s youngsters are getting hooked to fishing

(People's Daily Online) 17:39, October 21, 2021

China is home to a total of 2 million post-95s youngsters who buy fishing products every year, indicated statistics disclosed by Tmall, a Chinese online retail marketplace. Among them, Gen Zers and youngsters in smaller cities are more willing to pay for fishing equipment.

Anglers take part in a competition in the city of Wuyishan in southeast China's Fujian province on Sept. 16, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)

Statistics from Nielsen, a global data company, showed that China's leisure fishery market exceeded 110 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) last year.

A survey also found that in a social media chat group for fishing enthusiasts consisting of 2,000 members, the number of those born in the 1990s reached 1,004. Fishing, a slow sport that requires patience, has gained increasing popularity among a younger generation of lively enthusiasts.

Why do more and more young people like fishing? This topic intrigued hundreds of online users on China's biggest knowledge sharing platform Zhihu -- most netizens believed that fishing is a sport that can effectively balance excitement and leisure, while others reckon that since you never know what kind of fish will be landed next, the process of fishing brings a sense of control and satisfaction. Furthermore, some added that it is also particularly relaxing and stress-free as you can enjoy the natural scenery outdoors.

However, where to go fishing has become a new problem that young people from different regions have to face. Zhou Yang, who lives in Beijing, finds it difficult to find a suitable place to go fishing. Every time he goes to a suburban reservoir or a commercial fish pond, he has to pay a considerable amount of money.

Although post-90s fishing enthusiasts are relatively rational in their purchase of basic fishing equipment, such as rods, lines, and hooks, they also have their own consumer tastes. For instance, hi-tech fishing equipment is highly sought after by younger anglers. "I am happy to try out hi-tech equipment, which can not only satisfy my curiosity, but also improve the efficiency of fishing," explained a consumer who bought a fish detector.

In addition to the money and efforts involved, fishing also requires time to do a lot of prep work, which is daunting for young anglers with busy work schedules. On the banks of the Tonghui River in Beijing, there is often a group of onlookers next to the anglers.

"I think fishing is very interesting, but it needs a lot of prep work. So I gave up, just coming to the shore instead to see others fishing or watching live streams,” said Hu Yu, an onlooker.

In fact, apart from going fishing themselves, many young people take great delight in watching programs on fishing online. Statistics released by Douyin, China's version of TikTok, showed that fishing is one of the most popular leisure sports watched by its users, with fishing-related videos garnering a total of more than 800 million likes.

A typical fishing-related live streaming activity is often watched by hundreds of thousands of online viewers at any one time. "Although most of the time, I can only watch tranquil images of people sitting still while fishing, I'm curious what type of fish they can land next. The unknown is very attractive to me", said Hu. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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