LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) –
The Arkansas state motto was once "Land of Opportunity. It could have
stemmed from the abundant fishing enjoyed by young and old in all areas.
There is public fishing in each of the 75 counties in Arkansas.
range from the big and scenic major multi-use reservoirs to the dozens
of lakes designed for fishing and operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish
Commission to the many smaller waters in the AGFC's Family and
Community Fishing Program.
Today, fishing is virtually within walking, bicycling or short driving distance of any Arkansan and also visitors to the state.
As varied as
the places to fish in Arkansas are the varieties of fish that are
targets for anglers. These range from the huge and legend-inspiring
alligator gar to the hand-sized bream that are so attractive to
youngsters – and the not so young.
There isn't a dominant game fish or an "official fish" in the state.
bass come out ahead on surveys of what fishermen prefer but just barely.
Close behind are crappie, catfish and bream, the latter a catch-all
label for several species of small sunfish.
competitions may put several hundred bass fishermen in action at once
time, but the same day could see several thousand other Arkansans
baiting hooks with crickets and worms and going after bluegill, red-ears
and other types of bream. When night arrives, still more thousands can
be working trotlines, jug lines and yo-yos (mechanical fishing devices)
have been helped by decades of building accesses to the waters of the
state. Boat ramps, parking areas and roads from nearby highways are
projects of the Game and Fish Commission, often in partnership with
counties or other local governments. Funds for these accesses come from
the Marine Fuel Tax, which is state taxes paid on fuel used in boats.
fishing in Arkansas, all a resident has to do is purchase a $10.50
license at one of hundreds of license dealers, any AGFC office or online
at agfc.com. If anyone, resident or nonresident is younger than 16, no
license is needed.
There is no
fishing season in Arkansas. It is open year-round with a few seasonal
restrictions on methods of fishing like bow fishing, hand catching,
snagging and spearfishing. Frogging falls under fishing rules, and the
frog season is April 15 through Dec. 31.
Neophytes in fishing have several means to learning the popular pastime.
route is to go fishing with an experienced angler, a neighbor, a
relative of perhaps a co-worker. Watching and listening to someone who
knows fishing can be a productive lesson much more effective than trying
it on your own. Another route is to make a modest investment. Go
fishing for a half-day or a full day with a professional fishing guide.
Many handy tips and basic knowledge will result.
A hint from an old-time Arkansas fisherman: When is the best time to go fishing? When you can.