Fishing for Dinner Lands $1,000 Payout
Maurice Bradford of Hot Springs was fishing from the bank near the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery on Lake Hamilton, looking to land enough fish for a Saturday evening dinner. At around 8 p.m., fishing with crickets, he snagged something better: a $1,000 prize fish in the 2017 Hot Springs Fishing Challenge.
It was a half-pound bluegill 8.5 inches long and was the fifth fish caught thus far in the 2017 Fishing Challenge and the second prize fish taken this year from Lake Hamilton. The total purse in the Fishing Challenge is $86,000.
Fifty-six prize fish worth a total of $82,500 remain in Lake Catherine and Lake Hamilton, including the elusive $15,000 Big Al. Big Al is the name given to a fish, this year a largemouth bass, bearing a lucky $15,000 2017 Fishing Challenge tag. Since the Challenge began in 2012, no one has ever caught Big Al. The 2017 Big Al species was revealed May 1 and additional clues will be given out during June about Big Al if he has not been caught by then.
“We are continuing our great partnership with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, which has worked so well for us for the last five years,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “The AGFC staff at the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery on Lake Hamilton has been spectacular in selecting, tagging and releasing the prize fish."
The Sixth Annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge will end at 5 p.m. on June 30.