HOT SPRINGS (AGFC) – Land a lunker for loot. Boat a bluegill for bucks. Catch a crappie for cash.
Anybody can win big bucks in the first-ever $50,000 Hot Springs Fishing
Challenge, which begins May 1 on Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine at
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.
"You don't have to be a pro fisherman to cash in on some of the
greatest fishing in North America," said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot
Springs, sponsor of the Fishing Challenge. "Lake Hamilton and Lake
Catherine provide some of the top fishing anywhere. In fact, Lake
Catherine is the undiscovered gem of Arkansas lakes."
Beginning May 1 and running through July 31, the Hot Springs Fishing
Challenge is open to anyone with a fishing pole and a valid Arkansas
fishing license, Arrison said. "We will tag 53 fish and release them in
Hamilton and Catherine in advance of May 1," he said. "The fish released
will be nine largemouth bass; nine bluegill, nine catfish, nine striped
bass, nine crappie, and eight walleye. One of the fish, which we will
call Big Al, will be worth a grand prize of $10,000.
"The other fish will have tags for prizes ranging from $5,000 to $250."
The tags will have a phone number and a prize number on them. If a fish
is caught the angler must call the number and present the fish with the
"Anybody with a fishing license and pole can win, no matter what their
age, skill level. It doesn't matter if the fish is caught while fishing
from a boat, from the bank or from a dock," Arrison said.
The fish will be tagged by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and
released in both lakes by a third party, Arrison said. No one except the
person who releases the fish will know the exact location of the
release points. The number of fish released in each lake will be
determined based on lake size and the total number of tagged fish in
each lake will be announced prior to the start of the Challenge.
"We couldn't do this without the technical assistance of our Game and
Fish Commission friends at the Andrew H. Hulsey Fish Hatchery," he said.
"We especially are grateful for help provided by Don Brader, assistant
chief of fish hatcheries for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission."