LITTLE ROCK — With only a few days left to look, many people are scrambling to find that perfect gift for their father, but no trinket, tie or bottle of aftershave can compare with a few quiet hours together watching the water and waiting on a fish to bite.
With hundreds of fishing locations across the state, there’s a great place to wet a line within a short drive from practically every Arkansan.
If you’re a trout angler, you’d be hard pressed to find a better state to enjoy fast action as well as trophy-class fish. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stock hundreds of thousands of rainbow trout each year below the dams of Arkansas’s larger reservoirs. Many of these cold-water discharges also host a healthy population of brown trout, which have been able to reproduce naturally in Arkansas. Fruitless efforts are few and far between on the White or Little Red Rivers as well as the tailwaters of Lake Norfork and Beaver Lake. Many other seasonal trout fisheries are available throughout spring as well.
Visit https://www.agfc.com/en/fishing/sportfish/trout for a list of locations where you’re likely to hook into the trout-fishing experience of a lifetime.
If a cane pole and bobber are more your style of a father-son outing, many AGFC-owned or regulated lakes have excellent opportunities to kick back and relax on a fishing pier or bank. The AGFC recently has doubled down on bank-fishing opportunities to accommodate many anglers.
In addition to large lakes and rivers, the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program has dozens of locations that are stocked on a monthly basis with catchable-size catfish to introduce new anglers to the sport and keep family traditions alive.
“Some of my favorite memories are fishing with my father, and we just want to pass along those opportunities to other families in Arkansas,” said Clint Coleman, FCFP assistant coordinator. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to get out and go fishing, and it’s something both you and your dad can always look back on and smile.”
A list of stocked program ponds is available at www.agfc.com/familyfishing.
Even if you can’t find a few hours to take dad fishing, there’s still another way to give him a gift that he’ll enjoy the rest of the year. At $10.50, Arkansas has one of the least expensive fishing licenses in the country, and you can buy a personalized gift certificate for one in a few minutes on your computer or smartphone. Simply visit licensing.agfc.com and click “Buy a Gift Certificate” to get started. Fishing licenses are valid for a full year from the date of purchase, and the certificate can be saved until your father’s current fishing license expires.
Have one of the greatest conversations you’ve ever had without saying a word this year. Take your father fishing.