Kentucky’s Free Fishing Weekend, which began more than 30 years ago, offers youngsters and families an opportunity to try fishing at no cost on June 2-3. All anglers, both youngsters and adults, may fish without a license those two days. However, all anglers must still observe minimum size limits and creel limits. At several locations around the state, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has partnered with sportsmen’s clubs, parks departments or other government agencies to provide a variety of fishing events and activities for new anglers.
“Beginners can try out fishing and get some handson instruction at the free fishing events that weekend,” said Marc Johnson, aquatic education administrator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Many of the events on department owned waters will be hosted by fisheries and law enforcement division employees.” Most Kentucky State Resort Parks have fishing poles and tackle that is free for guests to use.
The larger of the two fishing lakes at the campus of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Frankfort will receive a special stocking of fish for this event. The department’s upper lake will receive up to 1,200 channel catfish weighing 1 to 10 pounds, and approximately 20 largemouth bass weighing between 2 to 4 pounds. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters is located off U.S.60, approximately 1 mile west of Frankfort.
The large upper lake will be closed to all fishing Friday, June 1. However, the lake will reopen to youth anglers under the age of 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. that day. The lake will open to youth anglers only from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 2. After 11 a.m., the lake will be open to all anglers.
The smaller fishing lake, located closest to U.S. 60, will remain open to all anglers during daylight hours.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife employees will be roaming the banks to provide advice and assistance to anglers.
“We will have limited fishing equipment to loan on Saturday morning,” added Johnson. “We suggest anglers bring rods and reels, if they have them. Anglers should also bring bait. We recommend redworms and wax worms.”
Anglers squeamish about baiting hooks with worms can instead use cheese, corn, small pieces of hot dogs and balls of compressed bread to catch catfish.