Pete Santini has seen a lot while running his tackle shop, Fishing Finatics, in Everett for nearly 30 years. But he’s never seen a fishing season like the one he just went through.

“Of course no, no way," he said. "Nothing like this.”

Over the past few months, as people have been stuck at home because of strict restrictions on gatherings in Massachusetts, they’ve looked for new hobbies that could still be done safely.

One activity that’s fit that mold perfectly? Fishing. Outdoors, usually done alone or in small groups, and something that can fill plenty of time, fishing may have been the hot trend of the summer.

Between 2017 and 2019, the state issued an average of just over 104,000 freshwater fishing licenses to residents through the end of August. The total this year for the same period is 138,000 — a 32 percent increase, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

For recreational saltwater licenses issued to residents, the three-year average was 110,000. That number has risen to 134,000, a 31 percent increase.

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