Technique-Specific Fishing Regulations 

Bowfishing

Bow fishingBowfishing is defined as taking fish with a bow and arrow attached to a line.

  • Rough fish [gar, bowfin, common carp, Asian carp (grass carp, bighead carp, silver carp), suckers (including buffalo), bullheads and drum] may be taken by bowfishing.
  • An Alligator Gar Permit is required to take alligator gar. Only one alligator gar may be taken per 24 hour period. No alligator gar greater than 36 inches may be taken from noon, May 1-noon, July 1, statewide.
  • Catfish may be taken by bowfishing from July 15-May 1. The daily bowfishing catfish limit is half the daily hook-and-line limit for the water being fished.

Bullfrogs

  • A fishing license is required to take bullfrogs.
  • Bullfrogs may be taken from noon, April 15-midnight, Dec. 31.
  • Bullfrogs may be taken by hand, hand net, hook-and-line, gig, spear, or bow and arrow.
  • The limit is 18 per day (from noon to noon). The possession limit is 36.
  • Bullfrogs may not be sold. (Fish farmers may be exempted from these regulations).

Gigging

Gigging is defined as taking fish with a three- or four-pronged, barbed device on a shaft.

  • Only rough fish [gar, bowfin, common carp, Asian carp (grass carp, bighead carp, silver carp), suckers (including buffalo), bullhead and drum] may be taken with a gig.
  • Statewide gigging season is 10 a.m.-midnight, from Sept. 15-Feb. 15.
  • An Alligator Gar Permit is required to take alligator gar. Only one alligator gar may be taken per 24 hour period.
  • The daily limit of suckers taken by gigging is 20, the possession limit is 40.
  • Gigging is not allowed in areas where fishing is limited to rod or pole.

Hogging and Noodling

HoggingHogging is defined as grabbing fish by hand under the water.

Noodling is defined as taking fish by the use of a pole-mounted breakaway hook that detaches at the time of hookup or a snare with an attached line that is manipulated by hand while the angler is in the water. 

  • Only buffalo, catfish, carp and drum may be taken by hogging or noodling.
  • Hogging and noodling are prohibited on the Ouachita River from the mouth of the Little Missouri River to Remmel Dam.
  • It is illegal to raise any part of a natural or artificial device out of the water to aid in the capture of enclosed fish.
  • The catfish hogging and noodling limit is half the daily hook-and-line limit on the water fished.
  • Hogging and noodling seasons are as follows:
    • The portion of the state north and west of U.S. Highway 67 – July 15-Oct. 31.
    • The portion of the state south and east of U. S. Highway 67 – June 1-Oct. 31.
    • The Arkansas River – June 1-Oct. 31.
    • The Mississippi River – May 1-July 15.
    • Lake Charles and the Strawberry River below U.S. Highway 167 – June 1-Oct. 31.

Jug and Noodle Fishing

  • Up to 20 free-floating fishing devices (jugs or noodles) not attached to a stationary object or boat may be used per person.
  • All free-floating fishing devices must be clearly marked with the user's name and address, driver's license number or current vehicle tag number.
  • Free-floating fishing devices may be unattended only from sunset to sunrise.

Live Bait Regulations

Baitfish include bluntnose minnows, bullheads, chubs, crayfish, dace, fatheads, common carp under six inches (common carp may not be used as bait in some waters, see fishing locations for more detail), goldfish, shiners, stonerollers, logperch, gizzard shad, threadfin shad, gar (other than alligator gar), drum, bowfin under six inches, skipjack herring, silversides, buffalo, river carpsucker, sculpin and bream under four inches long. (Bream over four inches long may be used as bait only if taken by hook-and-line and are subject to daily limit restrictions.)

  • Wild-caught baitfish may not be used on Norfork Lake unless it was caught on Norfork Lake or the watershed above the lake or was purchased from a licensed Arkansas dealer on Norfork Lake.
  • Baitfish other than shad may not be taken within 100 yards downstream of a dam.
  • During daylight hours, baitfish may be taken using:
    • seines no larger than 50 feet long and 4 feet wide with 1/4-inch mesh;
    • square traps no larger than 6 feet x 6 feet x 3 feet with 1/2-inch mesh and a 2-inch throat size;
    • round traps no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 6 feet in length with 1/2-inch wire or mesh and a 2-inch throat;
    • lift traps no larger than 6 feet x 6 feet x 3 feet with 1/2-inch mesh (for commercial fishing); lift traps no larger than 6 feet x 6 feet x 3 feet with 1-inch or smaller square bar mesh (for sport fishing);
    • cast nets with 1-inch or smaller mesh;
    • shad trawl nets with 1-inch or smaller mesh, and
    • glass, plastic or wire mesh minnow traps no larger than one gallon with a 11/2-inch throat.
  • Baitfish may not be disposed of in water other than the water where they were originally caught.

Snagging

Snagging is defined as fishing with conventional rods and reels where the fish is impaled by the forceful retrieval of one or more hooks.

  • Snagging sport fish from a bank may be done only within 100 yards below a dam (prohibited below Upper White Oak Lake dam).
  •  Snagging from a boat may only be done at the following locations:
    • From 100 yards below all locks and dams on the Arkansas River to the downstream entrance point of the lock structure.
    • From 100 yards below Dam No. 2 (Norrell Lock and Dam) to the boat-launching ramps immediately below the dam.
  • Any sport fish snagged must be kept, applied to the daily limit and may not be sold.
  • The snagging limit is half the hook-and-line daily limit for the water being fished (or the lesser whole number nearest one-half when the limit is an odd number).
  • A full limit of catfish and paddlefish may be taken.
  • Snagging must cease whenever a limit of any species is attained.
  • Suckers may be snagged between sunrise and sunset, April 1-Feb. 15. The daily limit for snagging suckers is 20, the possession limit is 40.

Spearfishing

Spearfishing is defined as taking fish with a spear-like apparatus (such as a speargun or Hawaiian sling) while the user is under the surface of the water.

  • Spearfishing is allowed on Beaver Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, Lake Catherine, Lake Conway, DeGray Lake, Lake Erling, Greers Ferry Lake, Lake Greeson, Lake Hamilton, Harris Brake Lake, Millwood Lake, Nimrod Lake, Norfork Lake, Lake Ouachita, Table Rock Lake and impoundments created by the locks and dams on the Arkansas River.
  • Spearfishing for largemouth, spotted or smallmouth bass is not allowed in Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, Millwood Lake, Norfork Lake and Table Rock Lake.
  • Spearfishing for smallmouth bass is not allowed on Lake Ouachita.
  • Spearfishing for sport fish is allowed June 15-March 15, from sunrise to sunset.
  • Spearfishing for flathead catfish is allowed July 15-March 15.
  • Rough fish may be taken by spearfishing all year.
  • On Gillham Lake, Dierks Lake and DeQueen Lake, catfish, gar, bowfin, common carp, Asian carp, (grass carp, bighead carp and silver carp), suckers (including buffalo) and drum may be taken from June 15-March 15, sunrise to sunset. Flathead catfish may be taken from July 15-March 15.
  • The spearfishing limit is half the hook-and-line daily limit for the water being fished (or the lesser whole number nearest one-half when the limit is an odd number).
  • Spearfishers must abide by length and slot limits and may not have a spear gun in public waters other than those specified above.
  • Spearfishermen must display a standard diver’s flag and spearfish no more than 100 yards from it. The flag must be at least 12 inches square and at least 12 inches above the water.
  • Spearfishermen must complete spearfishing activities and leave the body of water where fish were taken before cleaning or dressing fish.

Trotlines, Setlines and Limblines

  • Trotlines, setlines and limlines are allowed in most areas (check your destination for specific regulations).
  • Drops or hooks on lines must be at least 24 inches apart.
  • Fish must be removed from lines daily.
  • All lines must be clearly marked with the user's name and address, driver's license number or vehicle license number. This information must be attached to each line at the end closest to the bank.
  • Between the main levees of the Mississippi River, anglers may not fish more than 100 hooks at a time.
  • On the Arkansas River, trotlines may not be used below any lock and dam from the dam to the nearest arrival point navigation marker downstream.
  • Stakes added to AGFC-owned lakes for limblines must be made from wood or cane and must be removed from the lake when not in use.

Yo-Yo Fishing

  • Up to 30 yo-yos or similar mechanical fishing devices may be used per person.
  • Yo-yos may be left unattended at night.
  • Yo-yos must be within sight or hearing during daylight hours.
  • No more than one yo-yo may be hung from a single line, wire, limb or support.
  • Yo-yos must be labeled with the user's name and address, driver's license number or current vehicle license number.
  • Stakes used to mount yo-yos on AGFC-owned lakes must be made of wood or cane and must be removed when not in use.