Prepare for Arkansas’s 2024 Fishing Season

Updated May 2024

If you live in (or are visiting) Arkansas and are hooked on fishing, you are in the right place.

Arkansas boasts some of the best and most plentiful fishing spots in the country, and we’ve put together a few tips to make your fishing excursions as productive and enjoyable as possible, as you get on, in, or near the water this season. With its wealth of water and plentiful species (more than 200!), Arkansas is the sixth leading fishing state in America. 

At Farm Bureau Insurance, we love fishing too. Start to prepare for the season by checking out our tips below.

Start with the 2024 Arkansas Fishing Guide 

Download your copy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s 2024 Arkansas Fishing Guide to take advantage of its wealth of information. While not a legal document, the guide updates you in just about every aspect of preparing for fishing in Arkansas. 

Topics in the fishing guide include: 

  • A “New This Year” overview of updated guidelines for possession and size limits, equipment, regulation changes, and more
  • Getting a fishing license
  • Statewide lengths and daily limits by species
  • Stocking info
  • Health advisories in waters around the state, disability access details, and updates about community fishing programs 
  • New regulations for lakes, rivers, streams, creeks and bayous. 
  • Boating regulations 

Fishing License Options 

If you are 16 or older, you must carry a valid fishing license. Special license options are available for:

  • Seniors
  • Active and retired military
  • Disabled residents
  • Non-residents

All fishing licenses expire one year from the date of purchase, unless otherwise noted. They are nonrefundable and non-transferrable. To fish for trout in certain waters, you may need an additional permit. Refer to the 2024 Arkansas Trout Fishing Guidebook for additional information.

Where to Purchase Your Fishing License

  • Online
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regional offices
  • Nature centers
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Certain discount chains and boat docks
  • By phone at (501) 223-6349 or 800-364-GAME (4263) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Mandatory Boater Education Classes 

Arkansas requires mandatory boating education for anyone born after 1986. Anyone interested in operating a powerboat, sailboat, or personal watercraft should become familiar with the Handbook of Arkansas Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The mandatory boater education course is offered via a classroom setting for free, or an online class for a fee of $29.95.

Plan Where to Go Fishing

Arkansas Fishing Resorts

If you want to kick your fishing adventure up to a more comfortable level, why not consider a stay at an Arkansas fishing resort? Enjoy amenities like lodging with a private fireplace, luxury log cabins, jacuzzis, and many more options. 

Public Fishing Areas

Find 332 great public fishing areas around the state to enjoy your favorite sport! Without leaving home, you can scout out the best lakes, rivers, bayous, ponds and parks, each with its own detailed interactive map. 

Arkansas’s Six Geographical Regions

Discover six different geographical regions in Arkansas – and why you should go fishing in every one of them! Discover Arkansas shares why you’ll love each region: the Ozarks, River Valley, Central, Delta, Ouachitas and Timberlands. You’ll find great destinations in each region—complete with updated fishing and weather reports, fishing guides, outfitters, and options for lodging, dining, scenic tours, outdoor activities and more. 

Prepare for Fishing Season with Farm Bureau Insurance

Did you know Farm Bureau Insurance offers affordable boat insurance policies as well as policies that insure fishing equipment? To learn more about how we can help protect you and ensure a great fishing season, contact a local agent near you.