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Party on the Pond

Party on the Pond

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AGFC’s Family Fun Day offers a little something for everyone

Times Outdoors Columnist

Over 200 people gathered at Tilden Rodgers Lake for a Saturday of fishing, eating, and all kinds of family fun. The AGFC stocked 500 eating-sized catfish in the lake and no fishing was allowed until Saturday morning.

The party started at 9 a.m. and lasted until 1 p.m. The Game and Fish put on 25 Family Fun Days all over the state and make it free to all folks. Everybody was required to get a free meal ticket and a free prize ticket. This year all the prizes were by drawing out a number instead of having to catch a fish to win a fishing rod, tackle box, and other prizes. Besides fishing, there was an archery range with wardens giving instructions, BB gun range, and for the second year, the popular canoe rides.

For the beginners, a warden or fisheries agent paddled the boat, but experienced boaters, they were on their own. All were required to wear life jackets and there was a boat ready to go in case of an emergency. St. Bernard’s offered free mammograms from their portable unit.

The AGFC had booth demonstration how to clean catfish and best of all, how to cook them and offered samples.

There were free hot cooked hot dogs with chips, drinks, and all the extras. The pavilion was the headquarters with prizes, drinks, shade, and dancing to the DJ. The music could be heard over all over the park. This was probably the most protected event in the state with four sheriffs, six wardens, three wildlife management, and three from the fisheries dept. All with a “Big Iron” on the hip. There were no problems of any kind!

The limits were three catfish, 25 bream, and no bass. The only downside was that the fishing was slow. For whatever the reason, the fish did not cooperate, but a good time was had by all and everything was FREE! This is an annual event.

When we go fishing, most of the time live bait is required. Where do go get it? The best and closest place is Jones Bait and Tackle on 102 W. Tyler.

It’s the only store in town specializing in worms, crickets, and minnows, not counting a good assortment of fishing equipment like cricket boxes and minnow buckets, rods and reels, and anything needed to fish.

Tyree Jones has been in business for 12 years and is open seven days a week.

The best part, his live bait is fresh and he gives a good count of minnows and crickets. Ever go fishing and find the new box of worms were dead and not many of them. Tyree always open the box and shows the customer the bait. That’s where Papa Ducks gets his fishing bait.

We are going into the last good fishing month on local lakes until fall due to the summer heat. Take advantage of the week going into the full moon, which make the bream bed up. River lakes like Midway will be the place to fish once the Mississippi recedes and the lakes stabilize. The river gets out of Midway at 26 feet on the Memphis gauge.

Last year summer fishing was outstanding when all the other lakes had slow fishing. Miss Joyce at Ed’s Boat dock on Midway has a good launch ramp and a full line of bait and fishing supplies. Believe her when she tells you where to fish.

As all ways, take that kid fishing and get plenty of pictures to send to Papa Duck. June 7 through 9 is Free Fishing Weekend.

Anybody can fish without a license or trout stamp in the state of Arkansas. All hunting licenses expire on June 30. Lakeside Taxidermy appreciates getting to mount your trophies quickly, at a reasonable price, and you will love the mount when you get it back. We need some stories and pictures to share. Any questions for warden Andy at Ask The Game Warden?

Papa Duck Lakeside Taxidermy 870-732-0455 or 901482-3430 jhcriner@hotmail.com

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