For one weekend a year in Arkansas, folks 16 years of age and older aren’t required to have a fishing license or trout permit to fish The Natural State. Arkansas’s annual Free Fishing Weekend will run from noon Friday through midnight Sunday night. Children under 16 don’t need a license anytime to fish, but this special weekend is a perfect time for adults and kids to get out together on Arkansas’s water sources.
If you’re looking to get the kids on a near sure-thing fishing experience, Ben Batten, the AGFC’s assistant chief of Fisheries, suggests visiting one of the AGFC’s five fish hatcheries from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The hatcheries will be holding derbies for anglers 12 and under. Each child must be supervised by an adult. Kids may catch and keep up to three catfish (or three trout at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery). In addition to fishing fun, participants also will be able to compete in casting contests and win prizes for fish caught.
Check out this video about Arkansas’s Free Fishing Weekend
Some of the regular contributors to the weekly Fishing Report who keep everyone up to date on the state’s trout fishing opportunities also provide the chance for trout novices or anyone else who wants to expand their horizons to learn how to fish for trout and to learn to tie flies for casting on the trout waters. One of those is Greg Seaton of Little Red Fly Fishing Trips, who has a free fly-fishing class set for February.
Seaton says the four consecutive weeks of classes begin Thursday, Feb. 16, and will run each Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs. The class is open to all beginning and novice fly-fishing enthusiasts (older youths and adults). Younger youths are welcome if accompanied by an adult. No fishing tackle is required, but if anyone has a question about their personal rod, reels or flies, bring them to the class and Seaton will answer any questions. The class will be held at church’s Family Life Center.
Those planning to attend should contact Seaton in advance (call 501-690-9166 or visit his website) to reserve a spot. If you cannot attend all the classes, Seaton still urges you to register and feel free to attend the classes you can. There is no cost for the classes.