FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 24, 2019) — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will celebrate Free Fishing Weekend June 1-2.
Free Fishing Weekend, an annual event since 1992, offers residents and non-residents the opportunity to fish Kentucky waters without a license or permit. Limits on the size and number of fish that anglers may keep still apply. Additionally, 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 age 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 dozens of community lakes across the state as part of its Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program. Most of these lakes received a stocking of catfish in May. To find the nearest lake, go online to fw.ky.gov then search under the keyword, “FINs.”
In addition to fishing derbies for kids, U.S. Forest Service boat ramps outside of developed campgrounds at Cave Run Lake or Laurel River Lake are free to use on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.
A number of fishing events are planned across the state for Saturday, June 1. Events include (all times listed are local):
Anderson County: Anderson County Sheriff’s Department D.A.R.E. Fishing Derby, Hope Community Church Lake, 5930 U.S. 127 South, Lawrenceburg. Fishing from 8-11 a.m. for kids ages 15 and younger. There will be prizes and trophies for big fish. Families can fish with their kids from 11 a.m. until noon. Lunch provided. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing equipment.
Bullitt County: Family Fishing Days, Bernheim Arboretum, 2075 Clermont Road, Clermont. Fishing in all arboretum lakes from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. No age restrictions. An adult must accompany children. Free event; suggested donation of $10 per car for non-members. Bring your own bait and equipment.
Campbell County: Alexandria Community Park Fishing Derby, Alexandria Community Park Lake, 3965 Alexandria Drive. Fishing from 10 a.m. to noon for kids 14 and younger. Free t-shirts, lunch and mini tackle kits available while supplies last. Limited loaner poles available. Anglers with their own gear should bring it.
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 begins at 8 a.m. For ages 3-15. Call (606) 598-2192 for more information.
Daviess County: Take a Kid Fishing Day, Feather Landing Shelter, Panther Creek Park, 5160 Wayne Bridge Road, Owensboro. Registration opens at 8 a.m., with fishing from 9-11 a.m. Registration is $1, or $2 day of event. For ages 3-15. Prizes awarded. Hot dogs, chips and drinks provided. Limited loaner poles and bait available. Anglers with their own gear and bait should bring it.
Franklin County: Family Fishing Day, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ main campus, 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort. Tobacco-free campus, no smoking permitted. Lower lake will remain open during daylight hours for all anglers throughout the weekend. Upper lake next to main headquarters building closed to all fishing on Friday, May 31. On Saturday, June 1, the upper lake will be open from 8 a.m. to noon only for anglers 15 and younger. The upper lake will reopen to all anglers after noon. Anglers should bring fishing equipment and bait.
Jackson County: Turkey Foot Campground, Daniel Boone National Forest, Forest Service Road 345, McKee. Forest Road 4 closed; access by Road 587. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. For seniors older than 60 and youth ages 5-12. Prizes awarded. Call (606) 864-4163 for more information.
Kenton County: Middleton-Mills Park Fishing Derby, 3415 Mills Road, Covington. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Catch and release tournament. Prizes awarded for big fish. Limited number of poles and bait available. Anglers with their own gear may bring it. Lunch available for purchase.
Laurel County: Laurel-London Optimist Club Youth Camp. From London, go on the Hal; Rogers Parkway, at mile marker 7, turn right. For kids ages 5-12. Youth anglers must be accompanied by an adult. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with fishing tournament from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Trophies and prizes awarded. While food and drinks will be provided, participants must bring their own bait and fishing equipment.
Madison County: Lake Reba Park, 299 Lake Reba Drive, Richmond. Fishing from 8-10 a.m. for kids 16 and younger. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Lake Reba Boat Dock. All participants should be accompanied by an adult and bring their own fishing equipment and bait. Random prize drawings throughout the event.
McCracken County: Fish Out Fishing Tournament, Bob Noble Park Lake, 2801 Park Ave., Paducah. Fishing from 9-11 a.m. for kids ages 5 to 12. Free registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Shelter 10. Catch and release event. Limited number of loaner fishing poles and some bait will be available. Anglers with their own bait and gear should bring it. Awards in various categories. Goody bags to first 75 registered anglers.
McCreary County: Barren Fork Horse Camp, located behind Stearns Ranger Station, 3320 U.S. 27 North, Whitley City. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with fishing from 8-11 a.m. For ages 5-15. Prizes and free hot dog lunch. An adult must accompany children. Bring your own bait and tackle. Call (606) 376-5323 for more information.
Montgomery County: Fishing in the Park, Easy Walker Park Lake, 1395 Osborne Road, Mt. Sterling. Fishing 9 a.m. until noon.
Perry County: Hook and Hike Day, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, 4441 KY 1833, Buckhorn. Catch and release fishing tournament for kids 15 and younger begins at 9 a.m. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing gear. Guided hike of Moonshine Holler Trail begins at 1:30 p.m. in front of lodge.
Rowan County: Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 120 Fish Hatchery Road, Morehead. Fishing for kids 15 and younger from 7-11 a.m. Registration begins at 6 a.m. Three hatchery ponds stocked with trout, bass and catfish will be open for fishing. Food, prizes, booths, casting contests and games. Registration required to receive a goody bag. While a limited amount of equipment is available, participants with fishing equipment should bring it, along with coolers and lawn chairs.
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, starting with ages 5 to 6. Kids must be registered at least 30 minutes before fishing time. Prizes awarded. Anglers should bring their own tackle. No fly rods permitted. 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 the hatchery at (270) 343-3797 or go online to catcharainbow.org for more information.
Taylor County: Kids Outdoor Day, Green River Lake State Park, 179 Park Office Road, Campbellsville. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Events will include fishing, archery, BB gun shooting, nature hikes, trap shooting, boating, game calling and more. Lunch provided. Call (270) 465-8255 for more information.
Trigg County: Cadiz Kids Fishing Event, West Cadiz Park, located at the intersection of KY 39 and U.S. 68, Cadiz. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. For ages 3 to 15. Numerous prizes, including bicycles. Registration includes lunch for kids, T-shirt and a goody bag. Register at Cadiz City Hall, the John L. Street Library or any Trigg County school. Limited loaner equipment will be available, but anglers are encouraged to bring their own equipment and bait.
Wayne County: Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs Kids Fishing Derby, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Cave Lake Event Park, Cave Lake Road Circle 1052. Located off KY 90 approximately 10 miles northeast of Monticello. Staggered fishing times for various age groups, beginning with kids younger than 7 years old at 9 a.m. Free for kids 16 and younger accompanied by an adult. Anglers must register at least 30 minutes before scheduled fishing time. Adults may fish from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. by paying a $5 entry fee. Trophies awarded for various age groups. Participants should bring their own bait, fishing gear and drinking water.
Fishing events set for Sunday, June 2, include:
Pike County: Fishing with Kids, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pikeville City Lake, Pikeville. For ages 2-15.