Build fishing memories with dad on Fa­ther’s Day

The Saline Courier - - NEWS - Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

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 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. The fol­low­ing two links high­light only a frac­tion of the shore­bound an­gling des­ti­na­tions available to Arkansans look­ing to spend quality time with their fa­thers this week­end.

Three Arkansas an­gling op­tions that don’t re­quire a boat

Fish­eries pro­fes­sion­als fo­cus on shore­bound an­gling ac­cess

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.

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