FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will celebrate Free Fishing Weekend June 4-5, when no license is required to fish Kentucky waters.
Free Fishing Weekend, an annual event since at least 1992, offers residents and non-residents the opportunity to fish Kentucky waters without a license or permit. Size and creel limits on the number of fish that anglers may keep still apply. Additionally, anglers may keep trout without possessing a trout permit during free fishing weekend.
With special events across the state planned for Saturday, June 4, most families can find fishing opportunities just a short drive away. A number of events are geared toward kids under the age of 16. Several include a free hot dog lunch, bait and loaner fishing equipment for anglers.
Families wanting the fun to last the entire weekend should consider a state park stay. Kentucky has a number of parks situated at prime fishing lakes. Find out more online at www.parks.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources also stocks 40 community lakes across the state as part of its Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program. Most of these lakes received a stocking of channel catfish this month. To find the nearest lake, go online to www.fw.ky.gov then search under the keyword, “FINs.”
A breakdown of fishing events planned for June 4 follows.
Anderson County: Anderson County Sheriff’s Department D.A.R.E. Fishing Derby, Hope Community Church Lake, 5930 U.S. 127 South, Lawrenceburg. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for kids ages 15 and under. There will be prizes and trophies for big fish. Families can fish with their kids from 11 a.m. until noon. Lunch will be provided. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing equipment.
Bullitt County: Kids Fishing Derby, Jim Beam Distillery Lake, 526 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont. Fishing from 8 a.m. until noon. Bullitt County Rod Club will cook hotdogs and supply drinks.
Calloway County: Murray Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs event, Imes Farm, 4064 U.S. 641 North, Murray. Family fishing from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., snacks will be provided.
Campbell County: Alexandria Community Park Fishing Derby, Alexandria Community Park Lake, Alexandria Drive. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. All kids 15 and under will receive a free t-shirt. There will be prizes for largest catfish and trout. Loaner equipment will be available.
Clay County: Redbird Ranger District Kid’s Fishing Derby, Little Double Creek Pond, located behind office at 91 Peabody Road, Big Creek, Ky.. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Open to ages 5-15. There will be prizes for various age divisions. Food and drinks will be provided to participants. Pond has special stocking of trout. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing equipment. The pond is located in the Redbird District of the Daniel Boone National Forest, due east of London off KY 66. Call (606) 598-2192 for more information.
Franklin County: Family Fishing Day, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ main campus, 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort. Anglers are reminded this is a tobacco-free campus. Lower lake will remain open during daylight hours for all anglers throughout the weekend. Upper lake will be open only to anglers ages 15 and younger from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday June 3 and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 4. The lake will reopen to all anglers after noon. Both lakes will receive a special stocking of hybrid bluegill. Anglers should bring fishing equipment and bait.
Fulton County: HRTCC Youth Fishing Rodeo at 9 a.m. until noon at Hamby Pond, off KY 311 near Hickman. For ages 15 and under. Register at library for $5 by May 27 to receive gift.
Kenton County: Middleton-Mills Park Fishing Derby, 3415 Mills Rd., Covington. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Fishing equipment and bait provided. Catch and release tournament. Hotdogs and hamburgers sold at event.
Lawrence County: Yatesville Lake State Park Marina, 2667 Pleasant Ridge Road, Louisa. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon for kids 17 and younger. Lunch and bait provided. Limited number of loaner fishing poles will be available. Anglers should bring own gear. There will be door prizes and prizes for most fish and biggest fish for various age groups. Register by calling (606) 686-2412, option 0.
Madison County: Lake Reba Kid’s Fishing Derby, 299 Lake Reba Drive, Richmond. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for kids 16 and under. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Lake Reba Boat Dock. All participants should be accompanied by an adult and bring their own fishing equipment and bait. There will be random prize drawings and displays by fire department and law enforcement.
McCracken County: Noble Park Fish Out Fishing Tournament, Bob Noble Park Lake, 2801 Park Ave., Paducah. Open to ages 6-11; catch and release tournament. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Shelter 10. First 100 kids to register receive a free goody bag. Some equipment and bait available; anglers should otherwise bring their own. There will be prizes for longest fish and most fish. More information online at www.paducahky.gov.
Montgomery County: Rick Smith’s Fishing in the Park, Easy Walker Park Lake, 1395 Osborne Road, Mt. Sterling. Fishing begins at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. There will be prizes in several categories for three age groups. Hotdogs, cookies and drinks available while supplies last.
Perry County: Hook and Hike Day, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, 4441 KY 1833, Buckhorn. Fishing tournament for kids 15 and under begins at 9 a.m. Limited number of loaner fishing poles will be available. Anglers should bring own gear. Bait will be provided. There will also be a guided hike at 1:30 p.m.
Rowan County: Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 120 Fish Hatchery Road, Morehead. Fishing for kids 15 and under from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration begins at 6 a.m. Three hatchery ponds with trout, bass and catfish will be open for fishing. There will be food, prizes, booths, casting contests and games. Some bait and fishing equipment will be provided, but anglers are encouraged to bring their own rods and bait.
Russell County: Catch a Rainbow Kids Fishing Derby, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, 50 Kendall Road, Jamestown. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Staggered fishing times for ages 5-15, starting with ages 5-6. Anglers should bring their own fish tackle. Fly rods will not be permitted. Kids fishing pool for ages 1-4 from 9 a.m. to noon, with fishing rods provided. The hatchery is located 12 miles south of Jamestown off U.S. 127. Call the hatchery at (270) 343-3797 or go online to http://www.fws.gov/wolfcreek/ for more information.
Taylor County: Kids Outdoor Day, Green River Lake State Park, 179 Park Office Road, Campbellsville. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Limited fishing equipment will be available, but anglers are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Free T-shirts for kids while supplies last. Events will include fishing, archery, BB gun shooting, nature hikes, trap shooting, boating, game calling and more. Lunch provided. Call (270) 465-8255 for more information.
Trigg County: Cadiz Kids Fishing Event, West Cadiz Park, located at the intersection of Main Street and Hamilton Street, Cadiz. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration includes lunch for kids, T-shirt and a goody bag. There will be door prizes and bicycle giveaways. Limited loaner equipment will be available, but anglers are encouraged to bring their own equipment and bait.