Free Fishing Weekend Begins In Arkansas

CENTERTON (KFSM)-- Starting at noon on Friday (June 8), people all over Arkansas can fish anywhere for free without having to get a fishing license or trout permit.

As a part of this event, hatcheries around the state will hold a free fishing derby for kids.

All week hatcheries like Centerton's Charlie Craig State Hatchery have been getting ready for the over one thousand kids they usually see.

Joe Adams, the manager of the hatchery, said they have been stocking two ponds with plenty of catfish for the kids.

He said its almost a guarantee that these young anglers will catch something at the event.

This year they have done something different for their fishing derby.

Instead of allowing kids twelve years and younger, Adams said they changed it to fifteen years old and younger.

"We’re just trying to reach a little bit broader audience," Adams said. "Try to get kids who are past that twelve years but not quite old enough to be required to buy a fishing license. Try to get them out here and get them into some fast paced, good fishing."

The derby begins Saturday (June 9) at nine in the morning and ends at two.

Others out fishing Friday afternoon said they are just happy that this weekend is offered.

Kyle Stabenow was out fishing in Cave Springs with some people from work.

He started fishing as a kid with his grandfather and said the free fishing weekend was a perfect way to get people involved.

"We have a gal out here who just caught her first fish today," Stabenow said. "She was really excited. Knew nothing about it, didn’t know how to cast, didn’t know anything and then I brought her one of my extra fishing poles and it worked out perfect. It started off real slow and then all of a sudden one fish catch, one bite and she’s hooked."

The free fishing event will last until midnight on Sunday (June 10) night.