Families can take a free test drive of fishing fun during the first weekend of June.
Kentucky celebrates free fishing weekend across the state June 1-2. It’s been an annual event since at least 1992.
Moms, dads, grandparents, extended family and out-of-state visitors all can sample Kentucky’s fishing opportunities without having to buy a license or permit during this weekend. Size and creel limits on the number of fish that angles may keep still apply, however. Anglers may keep trout without possessing a trout permit during free fishing weekend.
With special events across the state planned for Saturday, June 1, 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: parks.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources also stocks 39 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 fw.ky.gov then click onto the FINs logo on the right hand side of the page.
Some of the fishing events planned for June 1 include:
Anderson County: Anderson County Sheriff’s Department D.A.R.E. Fishing Derby, Hope Community Church, 5930 U.S. 127 South, Lawrenceburg. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. For kids under the age of 16; open for adults later in morning. Special stocking of catfish. Lunch provided. Anglers should bring own fishing equipment
Calloway County: Murray Kids Fishing Event, Imes Farm, 4064 U.S. 641 North, Murray. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch 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. Prizes for largest catfish and trout. Loaner equipment 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 kids 16 and under. Prizes for various age divisions. Food and drinks 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. Lower lake will remain open during daylight hours for all anglers throughout the weekend. Upper lake will close to fishing Friday, May 31, except that anglers 15 and under may fish in the lake from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Upper lake open for youth fishing only from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1. The lake will reopen to all anglers after 11 a.m. Both lakes will receive special stockings of catfish and hybrid bluegill. Anglers should bring fishing equipment and bait.
Kenton County: Middleton-Mills Park Fishing Derby, Shelter House Pond, 3415 Mills Rd., Covington. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Prizes for biggest and smallest fish.
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 available. Anglers should bring own gear. Register by calling (606) 686-2412
Madison County: Lake Reba Kid’s Fishing Derby, 299 Lake Reba Drive, Richmond. Fishing from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Lake Reba Boat Dock. For kids 16 and under. All participants should be accompanied by an adult and bring their own fishing equipment. Door prizes awarded.
McCracken County: Noble Park Fish Out Fishing Tournament, Bob Noble Park Lake, 2801 Park Ave., Paducah. Fishing from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Shelter 10. Preregister online at www.paducahky.gov. First 50 kids receive a free cane pole. Anglers should otherwise bring their own fishing gear and bait. Prizes for biggest fish in each age category.
Montgomery County: Fishing in the Park, Easy Walker Park Lake, 1395 Osborne Road, Mt. Sterling. Fishing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Free food and door prizes; prizes for biggest and smallest fish.
Perry County: Hike or Hook Day, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, 4441 KY 1833, Buckhorn. Fishing tournament 9 a.m. to noon. Bait and loaner fishing rods available at park marina. Guided walks along trails later in the day.
Rowan County: Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 120 Fish Hatchery Road, Morehead. Fishing from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. For kids 15 and under. Two hatchery ponds open for fishing. Events include casting contest, cookout, outdoor booths and free hot dog lunch. Free fish cleaning available. Some bait and fishing equipment provided, but anglers with rods and bait should bring it.
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, with ages 5-6 going first. Anglers should bring their own fish tackle. No fly rods. Prizes awarded. 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 for more information.
Taylor County: Kids Outdoor Day, Green River Lake State Park, 179 Park Office Road, Campbellsville. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register same day at state park pavilion. Limited fishing equipment available; anglers with equipment should bring it. Bait provided. Events will include fishing, boat rides, canoeing, archery, shooting, nature hikes and more. Hot dog 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 1 p.m. Registration $1. Registration includes lunch for kids, T-shirt and a goody bag.
Wayne County: Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs, Cave Lake Event Park (privately owned), approximately 10 miles northeast of Monticello off KY 90. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. For kids under the age of 16; staggered fishing times depending on age. Adults can fish later in day with a $5 contribution to program. Lunch provided. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing equipment.