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AGFC opens up fall fishing derbies with the ‘Big Catch’ at Lake Valencia Sept. 16

BY Randy Zellers

ON 09-13-2023


Sept. 13, 2023

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Community First Alliance, Inc. will host Arkansas’s largest community fishing event from 8 a.m.-noon this Saturday at Lake Valencia in Maumelle.

“The Big Catch has sort of become our unofficial opening to fall catfish stockings in community ponds,” Maurice Jackson, AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program coordinator, said. “We’ll have fishing, prizes, music, and thanks to some generous sponsors, we’ll even provide lunch to the first 300 registered anglers. It’s going to be a big time.”

The fishing derby isn’t just for kids, so the whole family can join in the fun. Anglers ages 16 and older must have a valid fishing license. All attendees also should bring their own tackle, chairs, coolers and favorite catfish bait. Worms, prepared catfish baits, chicken livers and even cut up chunks of hot dog will tempt catfish.

Visit to register for The Big Catch and be a part of the largest community fishing event in Arkansas.

Anglers at last year's Big Catch.

Derby Days and Fall Stockings

If you can’t make it to the Big Catch, don’t worry. Fall fishing is upon us and the AGFC has dozens of fishing derbies planned in the next few weeks. Visit for a list of scheduled derbies.

Even if you can’t find a derby to fit your schedule, be sure to check out the FCFP location page. Nearly 50 fishing locations across the state are being stocked with catchable-size catfish this week and next. A list of program ponds and stocking updates is available at

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