Gov. Asa Hutchinson proclaimed June 11-13 as Free Fishing Weekend in Arkansas. We’ve come to expect this special weekend every year on the second full weekend of June, but it’s not official until it receives a governor’s proclamation. What it means is that from noon Friday until midnight Sunday (just before it becomes 12:01 a.m. Monday) anyone in Arkansas can fish without a fishing license. It’s free. Get out there and cast a line. Keep what you catch (though you will have to observe whatever slot restrictions and limits are in place at whatever fishery you’re visiting, and observe all other limits and other fishing regulations as though you were fishing with a license. And if you have a license, take someone out who doesn’t and give them the experience.). This free weekend INCLUDES being able to fish for trout without needing a trout permit.
Also, occuring in conjuction with Free Fishing Weekend is the annual free fishing derbies that are held at AGFC state fish hatcheries (with the exception of the Jim Hinkle trout hatchery at Mammoth Spring) around the state from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 12. Ages 5-15 can participate, along with the adults who are supervising the children, but because of preparations needing to be made by AGFC staff in the post-COVID world, RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE to attend. Follow this link to the site on agfc.com where you can click on your favorite location to register for a FREE FISHING DERBY for June 12. You might want to know that once locations reach a certain number of applicants, they will be closed to further registration: Being as Centerton and Lonoke hatcheries are favored destinations every year, you’d better register soon. Corning and Hot Springs hatcheries have plenty of room at last check. Enjoy this great opportunity for free fishing.