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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Fishing Derby on Saturday at JFK Park

  • A Kids’ Fishing Derby at JFK Park on the Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam will highlight the annual free fishing weekend conducted by Sam Lester and friends.

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  • A Kids’ Fishing Derby at JFK Park on the Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam will highlight the annual free fishing weekend conducted by Sam Lester and friends.
    Free fishing weekend runs from noon Friday to midnight Sunday (June 8-10). No license will be required for anyone, resident or non-resident, anywhere in Arkansas during this weekend. However, limits still apply.
    The Kids’ Fishing Derby, coming up on its 24th year, is something really special thanks to Lester and other volunteers, and the National Fish Hatchery crew located at JFK Park.
    Greers Ferry NFH personnel will stock 1,000 catchable size rainbows as well as several of the larger display fish. These fish will range in size from 5 to 15 pounds.
    These stockings will take place prior to the start of the derby, which lasts from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    From 11:30 to 12 p.m. prizes will be given out. The derby is for youth 15 and under and participation is free. Regulations, slot limits and length limits must be observed.
    Trophies will be awarded for the top three fish.
    The idea, says Lester, is to promote fishing and kids relationships with parents. “We want each kid to have a parent there. Both parents are welcome, as well as grandparents etc. It is my sincere wish that every kid that shows up will leave a winner.”
    The derby is for kids age 15 and under. Bring your own rod, reel and bait. Lester recommends wax worms, marshmallows or corn (no artificial lures).
    In past years approximately 450 people have come out, including parents. An ambulance crew comes just to be on standby, and there is a lot of community support.
     “I want to give a special thank you to Trout Unlimited,” said Lester. “They outdid everybody and really shined this year. They have gone above and beyond. They will be down there helping with measuring and weighing the fish. I would also like to thank Ms. Linda at Angel Ears,” added Lester.
     
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