Free fishing event

The Big Catch, the largest community fishing event in Arkansas, will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, at MacArthur Park. Families are welcome for a full day of fun, food, games and prizes at an event led by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program and AGFC nature centers.

The AGFC will provide archery and BB gun stations for children. Also, there will be a community health fair, a fish cooking demonstration and other educational activities.

The event is free, but participants need to register starting at 9 a.m. at the MacArthur Park pond. The first 100 children registering will receive a prize. Lunch will be provided. Participants should bring their own fishing gear. The event concludes at 2 p.m.

 “This event has really taken off since we first started it,” said Clint Coleman, assistant coordinator of the Family and Community Fishing Program. “We’ve really grown with our sponsors. And, the first year, I think we had about 100 kids. The next year there was 300 and last year we had over 600. It’s really turned into a Saturday happening in MacArthur Park with families coming out and taking part in the programs, the health fair, music, everything that makes up the event.”

The AGFC stocks the pond with fish for kids to catch. “A lot of the young kids in this area, this is their first time to fish and they leave loving it,” Coleman said. “We see a lot of our same kids back again anxious to fish another year.”

Sponsors along with the AGFC are Ambetter, the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Community First Alliance, Genesis No. 20, Little Rock Police Department, Personal Enhancement Mobile, Spa-Tacular Creations, System of Emergency Response Volunteers and Zenenvirotech, Inc.