Outdoor Activity Idea: Host Your Own Family Fishing Tournament

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission waived all fishing license and trout permit requirements for residents and nonresidents Saturday, March 21 through Sunday, March 29, 2020. (read more about this announcement)

free fishing week

That means it is free to fish this week. Fishing is probably one of the easiest activities to do from a safe social distance. I know I want to stand several feet away from my kids when they practice their casting! I think it would be fun to host a family fishing tournament this weekend.

Here’s how we will organize our family’s fishing tournament:

  1. Grab a pole and some bait – our girls use Disney themed fishing poles like this one. We add a bobber and clip down the barbs on their hooks. We typically use kernels of corn as bait, which works pretty well for perch and bluegill.
  2. Divide into teams; our 3-year-old will need a little extra help, so we will split our family of four into two teams.
  3. Find a fishing spot, keeping in mind that parks probably won’t have restroom facilities open.
  4. Take a picture of any fish we catch. Try to hold them up to a measuring stick to see how big the fish is.
  5. Create fun prizes for biggest fish, most fish caught, and best attitude.
If you catch your first fish, you can print an official AGFC certificate here.

My plan is to pack snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer, and some folding camping chairs. I’ll also probably grab a backup activity like these butterfly nets.

I hope I see (from a safe social distance) other people taking advantage of the free fishing week and spring sunshine. If you live in Northwest Arkansas, please share your favorite fishing spots!