Free Fishing Weekend: A Great Opportunity for Introductions
Free fishing weekend is one of the best avenues to introduce kids to the wonders of fishing and launch a lifelong passion. This year, Free Fishing Weekend is Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7 in Kentucky.
“Free fishing weekend is a great tool for teaching kids how to fish,” said John Gutzeit, aquatic education coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “This is also a great time for those lapsed anglers who’ve gotten away from fishing to get fishing again and come back into the fold.”
Anglers across Kentucky may fish without a fishing license or need a trout permit on Free Fishing Weekend. Size and creel limits still apply during this time.
Locations across Kentucky host special fishing events on Saturday, June 6. All events are held at local time and some provide loaner equipment, free bait and food. Here is a list of fishing events held on June 6:
Bullitt County: Jim Beam Fishing Derby at Jim Beam Lake off KY 245 at Clermont, KY. Runs from 8 to 11 a.m. Bait, food, prizes and some fishing poles provided.
Campbell County: Alexandria Community Park Fishing Derby, Alexandria Community Park Lake, Alexandria Drive. Fishing from 9 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., 8 a.m. to noon for ages 3 to 15. Food and drinks provided to participants. Pond receives a 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 public fishing Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6 until 3 p.m. Upper Lake open for youth fishing only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 6 and will reopen to all anglers after 3 p.m. Upper Lake will receive special stockings of catfish and hybrid bluegill. Anglers should bring fishing equipment and bait.
Franklin County: Anderson County Sheriff’s Department D.A.R.E. Fishing Derby, Hope Community Church Lake, 5930 U.S. 127 South, Frankfort near the Franklin/Anderson county line. Fishing from 8 to 11 a.m. Two age groups, age 10 and under and ages 10 to 15. Lunch provided at 11 a.m. Anglers should bring own fishing equipment. Trophies for biggest fish, door prizes.
Hancock County: Take a Kid Fishing Day, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Vastwood Park, Hawesville, via Vastwood Park Rd. off U.S. 60 west of town. Instructors and bait provided, some loaner fishing equipment as well, but participants advised to bring their own. No food. Open to all ages, children must be supervised.
Hardin County: Greenspace Family Fishing Fest, Fisherman’s Park, at the end of Valley Creek Lane off Valley Creek Road in Elizabethtown. 9 to 11 a.m. Some loaner fishing equipment and bait provided, but participants advised to bring their own. Open to all ages, no food. Call (270) 765-9074 for more information.
Hopkins County: Take a Kid Fishing Day, noon to 3 p.m., Madisonville City Park Lake North, off Park Ave. in Madisonville. For ages 3 to 15 with chaperone, some loaner fishing equipment available, but participants advised to bring their own. Bait and food provided, children under age 5 must wear a life jacket.
Jackson County: Fishing Derby, 8 a.m. to noon, Turkey Foot Recreation Area, north of McKee in the Daniel Boone National Forest. For kids 5 to 15 and seniors over 60. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call (606) 864-4163 for more information.
Kenton County: Middleton-Mills Park Fishing Derby, Shelter House Pond, 3415 Mills Rd., Covington. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Prizes for biggest fish of each species.
Lawrence County: Yatesville Lake Annual Kids Fishing Day, at the Yatesville Lake State Park Marina Picnic Shelter, 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. Door prizes and prizes for most fish and biggest fish for each age division. Register by calling (606) 686-2412, option O.
Madison County: Lake Reba Kid’s Fishing Derby, 299 Lake Reba Drive, Richmond. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Lake Reba Boat Dock. Fishing from 8 to 10 a.m. For kids 16 and under. All participants should be accompanied by an adult and bring their own fishing equipment. Door prizes awarded. Call (859) 623-8753 for more information.
McCracken County: Noble Park Fish Out Fishing Tournament, Bob Noble Park Lake, 2801 Park Ave., Paducah. Fishing from 9 to 11 a.m. for children ages 6 to 11. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Shelter 10. Pre-register online at www.paducahky.gov. Loaner poles available, but anglers are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear and bait. Trophies given to the boy and girl who caught the most fish and the largest fish.
McCreary County: Fishing Derby, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Barren Fork Horse Camp, Daniel Boone National Forest. For kids 5 to 15 years of age. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Call (606) 376-5323 for more information.
Menifee County: Fishing Derby, Indian Creek, Daniel Boone National Forest. Registration at 8 a.m. fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Trout fishing for kids 5 to 15. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Practice casting and knot tying. Call (606) 663-8100 for more information.
Montgomery County: Fishing in the Park, Easy Walker Park Lake, 1395 Osborne Road, Mt. Sterling. For ages 15 and under. Registration begins at 8 a.m., first cast at 9 a.m. Participants must bring own fishing equipment and bait. Free hotdogs, cookies and drinks while supplies last. Prizes in several categories for three age groups.
Perry County: Hike and Hook Day, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, 4441 KY 1833, Buckhorn. Fishing tournament at 9 a.m. for children 15 years old and younger. Bait and a few loaner rods provided, but participants should bring their own fishing equipment. Guided walks along Moonshine Holler Trail at 1 p.m. and Basic Orienteering at 7 p.m. for all ages.
Pulaski County: Kids Fishing Derby, 8 a.m. to noon, Goodwater Pond, Daniel Boone National Forest. For kids ages 5 to 15. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The pond is located in the eastern part of the county off KY 1675, approximately 3 miles north of the KY 1003 intersection. Call (606) 864-4163 for more information.
Rowan County: Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 120 Fish Hatchery Road (off KY 801), Morehead. Registration begins at 6 a.m. Limited to kids age 15 and under who must be accompanied by an adult. Three hatchery ponds open for fishing and special stockings of trout, catfish and largemouth bass with special prize in each pond. Hot dogs, chips and drinks provided, gift bag and shirt for each participant, prizes, booths, casting contest and games. Raffles for conservation camp and Trooper Island camp. Some bait and fishing poles available. Call (606) 784-6428 for more information.
Russell County: 29th Annual Catch a Rainbow Annual Kids Fishing Derby, 9 a.m. at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, 50 Kendall Road, Jamestown. Staggered fishing times for ages 5 to 15, with ages 5 to 6 going first. Anglers should bring their own tackle. No fly rods. Prizes awarded. Kids fishing pool for ages 1 to 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 (270) 343-3797 for more information.
Trigg County: Take a Kid Fishing Day, West Cadiz Park, Cadiz, 9 a.m. to noon, for ages 3 to 15 with lunch, t-shirt and goody bags provided as well as door prizes including bicycles. Limited fishing poles provided, participants asked to bring their own. Registration at Cadiz City Hall, John L. Street Library, Trigg County Schools PAWS folders.
Wayne County: Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs, Cave Lake Event Park(privately owned), about 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, door prizes and trophies for top three and big fish in each age group. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing equipment.
Editor’s Note: Author Lee McClellan is a nationally award-winning associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He is a life-long hunter and angler, with a passion for smallmouth bass fishing. Get the latest from Lee and the entire Kentucky Afield staff by following them on Twitter: @kyafield.