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Alternative Fishing Methods
Alternative Fishing Methods
  • Alligator Gar

    All Alligator Gar Fishing

    • Call 1-800-482-9262 to report any harvest of alligator gar. All harvested alligator gar must be tagged by an AGFC fisheries biologist before transporting from the waterbody where taken.
    • Daily limit of 1 alligator gar under 36 inches.

    Trophy Alligator Gar (over 36 inches)

    • An Alligator Gar Trophy Tag (AGT) is required to harvest alligator gar over 36 inches.
    • Fishermen may apply for a free Alligator Gar Trophy Tag (AGT) Nov. 1-Dec. 31 through the AGFC Licensing System. A limited number of Alligator Gar Trophy Tags will be drawn Jan. 2. A valid Arkansas fishing license (unless exempt) is also required
    • If received, the Alligator Gar Trophy Tag (AGT) allows for the harvest of 1 alligator gar over 36 inches for that calendar year.

    Alligator Gar over 36 inches may not be taken from noon May 1-noon July 1.

  • Bowfishing

    Definition

    Taking fish with bow and arrow (on line). Rough fish (gar, bowfin, common carp, grass carp, bighead carp, silver carp, sucker, buffalo, bullhead and drum) and catfish may be taken by bowfishing.

    Statewide Season

    For bowfishing, gigging and bullfrogs, daily limits are measured from noon to noon during their respective seasons.

  • Bullfrogs

    Statewide Season

    For bowfishing, gigging and bullfrogs, daily limits are measured from noon to noon during their respective seasons. 

    • A fishing license is required to take bullfrogs.
    • Bullfrogs may be taken noon April 15-midnight Dec. 31.
    • Legal methods to take bullfrogs are using hands, hand nets, hook and line, gig, spear, or any archery equipment.
    • 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

    ​​​​​​Definition

    Taking fish with a pronged device on a shaft.

    Statewide Season

    For bowfishing, gigging and bullfrogs, daily limits are measured from noon to noon during their respective seasons. 

    • Only rough fish may be taken with a gig.
    • Game fish may not be possessed while gigging.
    • Suckers include redhorse, hogsucker, white and spotted suckers.
      • The daily limit is 20, the possession limit is 40.
      • It is legal to take suckers by sport fishing, hogging, snagging or gigging.
      • Suckers may be snagged between sunrise and sunset April 1-Feb. 15.
      • Suckers may be gigged 10 a.m.- midnight Sept. 15-Feb. 15.
    • Alligator gar may be taken by gigging. Special regulations apply to the taking of alligator gar. 
    • Unless otherwise noted in the Fishing Guidebook, gigging is not allowed in areas where fishing is limited to rod or pole.
  • Hogging and Noodling

    Definition

    Hogging - The grabbing of fish by hand only in or under the water.

    Noodling – The taking of fish by the use of a polemounted breakaway hook that detaches at the time of the strike or catch, or snare-type device with an attached line manipulated by hand when a person is in or under the water.

    Statewide Season

    It is unlawful to raise any part of a natural or artificial device out of the water thereby aiding in the capture of enclosed fish. Daily catfish limit is half the daily statewide limit or half the limit of the waters being fished (pages 58-79), whichever is smaller.

    Open season for hogging and noodling is as follows:

    • The portion of the state north and west of U.S. Highway 67 open July 15-Oct. 31.
    • The  portion of the state south and east of U.S. Highway 67 open May 15-Oct. 31.
    • The Arkansas River will remain open May 15-Oct. 31.
    • The Mississippi River will remain open May 1-July 15.
    • Lake Charles and the Strawberry River below U.S. Highway 167 will remain open June 1-Oct. 31.
    • Only buffalo, catfish, carp and drum may be taken.
    • Hogging and noodling are prohibited on the Ouachita River from the mouth of the Little Missouri River to Remmel Dam.
  • Free-Floating Fishing Devices

    Definition

    • A floating fishing device not attached to a stationary object or boat.
    • Up to 25 jugs or similar devices may be used per person and must be clearly marked with either the user’s name and address, driver’s license number or current vehicle tag number.
    • These may be left unattended only from sunset to sunrise.
  • Snagging

    Definition
    To take fish or other aquatic animals using conventional rod-and-reel tackle by a repeated drawing motion rather than enticement by live bait or artificial lure, regardless of what terminal tackle is attached to the fishing line. 

    Statewide Season
    Snagging game fish may be done only from a bank within 100 yards below a dam.

    Exceptions:

    1. Snagging from a boat may be done only on the Arkansas River from 100 yards below a lock and dam to the downstream entrance point of the lock and from 100 yards below Dam No. 2 to the boat ramps immediately below the dam.
    2. Snagging is prohibited below Upper White Oak Lake Dam.
    3. Snagging is allowed from the bank below Beaver Dam from the “No Fishing Beyond This Point” sign downstream to the first boat ramp only April 15-June 15.
    4. Snagging is allowed for catfish on the Black River (from the Missouri state line to the Spring River confluence) and the St. Francis River (from the Missouri state line to the Payneway Structure) with a daily limit of five catfish (no more than two flatheads and no more than one paddlefish) Jan. 1-Feb. 15.

    Where it is legal to snag game fish, any game fish snagged must be kept and applied to the daily limit. Half the game fish daily limit may be taken by snagging, or the lesser whole number nearest one-half the limit, although a full limit of catfish and paddlefish may be taken. Snagging must cease whenever a limit of any species is attained. Check your destination on pages 58-79 for area-specific special regulations regarding snagging.

  • Spearfishing

    Definition

    Taking fish with a spear-like apparatus.

    Statewide Seasons

    • Spearfishing season for game fish is open June 15 - March 15, sunrise to sunset, in lakes Beaver, Blue Mountain, Bull Shoals, Catherine, Conway, DeGray, De Queen, Dierks, Erling, Greers Ferry, Gillhan, Greeson, Hamilton, Harris Brake, Millwood, Nimrod, Norfork, Ouachita, Table Rock and impoundments created by the locks and dams on the Arkansas River.
    • Spearfishing for largemouth, spotted or smallmouth bass is not allowed in lakes Beaver, Bull Shoals, Norfork and Table Rock. Spearfishing for smallmouth bass is not permitted on Lake Ouachita.
    • Rough fish may be taken by spearfishing all year on the waters mentioned above.
    • Spearfishing season for flathead catfish is open July 15-March 15.
    • When spearfishing, half the game fish daily limit, or the lesser number nearest half, may be taken. 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-by-12-inches 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.
  • Trotline and Limbline Fishing Requirements

    Definition

    • Trotlines and limblines are allowed for sport fishing in most areas (check pages 58-79).
    • The drops or hooks may not be less than 24 inches apart and the catch must be removed every 48 hours.
    • All trotlines and limblines must be removed when no longer in use for fishing.
    • All trotlines and limblines must be labeled with the owner’s name and address, or vehicle operator’s license number, or current vehicle license number of the person using such equipment.
    • Information must be attached on each line at the bank end.
    • Cotton lines are not required.
    • Anglers may not fish more than 100 hooks at any time between the main levees of the Mississippi River.
    • Trotlines may not be used below any lock or dam on the Arkansas River from the dam to the nearest arrival point navigation marker downstream.
    • Stakes used for mounting yo-yos or limblines on AGFC-owned lakes must be made from wood or cane and must be removed from the lake when not in use.
  • Yo-Yo Fishing

    Definition

    • Up to 25 yo-yos (or similar mechanical fishing devices) per person may be used.
    • Yo-yos may not be left unattended (out of sight or hearing) during daylight hours, even when tripped.
    • No more than one yo-yo can be hung from each line, wire, limb or support.
    • Each mounting stake, yo-yo, limbline and mechanical fishing device must be labeled with the owner’s name and address, or vehicle operator’s license number, or current vehicle license number of the person using such equipment.
    • Stakes used for mounting yo-yos or limblines on AGFC-owned lakes must be made from wood or cane and must be removed from the lake when no longer in use for fishing.
    • Driving rebar, or any non-woody material, into the substrate of the lake is prohibited.
    • It is illegal to nail or screw wood or any other materials to live or dead trees or stumps in AGFC-owned lakes.