HOT SPRINGS (AGFC) – Stacey Penny of Hot Springs almost threw away a thousand bucks Sunday while fishing on Lake Hamilton.
Lucky for him, he decided not to toss back the largemouth bass he had just caught. He put the fish into his ice chest with some other fish he’d landed. Only later did he spot the purple tag on the bass.
Luckily for him, he spotted the tag, called the phone number on the tag and learned he was $1,000 richer after landing prize fish number seven in the 2017 $86,000 Hot Springs Fishing Challenge.
It was the seventh fish caught thus far in the 2017 Fishing Challenge and the fourth prize fish taken this year from Lake Hamilton.
Fifty-four prize fish worth $80,500 remain in Lake Catherine and Lake Hamilton including the elusive $15,000 Big Al.
The Sixth Annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge will end at 5 p.m. on June 30.
Big Al is the name given to a fish, this year a largemouth bass, bearing a lucky $15,000 2017 Fishing Challenge tag. Since the Challenge began in 2012, no one has ever caught Big Al. In 2016 Big Al was worth $10,000.
Big Al’s species was revealed on May 1 and additional clues will be given out during June about Big Al if he has not been caught by then.
“We are continuing our great partnership with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, which has worked so well for us for the last five years,” Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, said. “AGFC staff at the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery on Lake Hamilton has been spectacular in selecting, tagging and releasing the prize fish.
“Hot Springs residents and visitors coming to Hot Springs from throughout the nation have told us this is their favorite time of year,” Arrison said. “Many people have told us they had an exciting time on the lakes trying to land one of the prize fish, even if they haven’t yet hit the cash jackpot.”
For additional information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.