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Fishing Methods

BOWFISHING - taking fish with bow and arrow (on line). Only scaled rough fish, such as bowfin, buffalo, carp, drum, gar or suckers, may be taken with bow fishing. (Note: there is a daily limit of two alligator gar).

DIP NETTING - Dip nets may be used only when fish are caught on hook and line first, although they may be used to take bait fish, such as minnows, carp, shad, gar, bowfin, drum and bream, four inches and under, for personal use while sport fishing. This use is limited to dip nets with mesh one inch or smaller.

FREE-FLOATING FISHING DEVICES (FFD) - a floating fishing device unanchored or unattached to a stationary object or boat. FFD fishing is allowed (up to 20 jugs or similar devices) but they may be left unattended only from sunset to sunrise if marked with identification in the same manner as yo-yos.

GAFFING - taking or attempting to take fish with a hand held hook. Gaffing is not allowed unless the fish is caught on a hook and line first (or bow and arrow).

GIGGING - taking fish with a gig. Only scaled rough fish, such as bowfin, buffalo, carp, drum, gar or suckers, may be taken with a gig. Gigging season is open between 10 A.M. and 12 midnight, from September 15 to February 15. (Note: there is a daily limit of two alligator gar). Gigging is not allowed in areas where fishing is limited to rod or pole.

HOGGING/NOODLING - grabbing fish by hand. You may not hog or noodle game fish. The season for hogging rough fish, such as buffalo, carp, catfish, suckers or drum for personal use is August 1 through October 31, north and west of U.S. Highway 67; June 1 through October 1, south and east of Highway 67.

SCUBA/SPEARFISHING - Spearfishing season for game fish is open from June 15 until March 15, sunrise to sunset, in Lakes Beaver, Blue Mountain, Bull Shoals, Catherine, Conway, DeGray, Erling, Greers Ferry, Greeson, Hamilton, Harris Brake, Millwood, Nimrod, Norfork, Ouachita, Table Rock and impoundments created by the locks and dams on the Arkansas River. Spearfishing for smallmouth is not permitted on Lake Ouachita.

Spearfishing for largemouth, spotted or smallmouth basses is not allowed in Lakes Beaver, Bull Shoals, Millwood, Norfork and Table Rock.

Spearfishing season for flathead catfish is open from July 15 until March 15.

Buffalo, carp, suckers, or drum may be taken by spearfishing all year on any waters mentioned above.

Only catfish and rough fish may be taken from June 15 until March 15, sunrise to sunset, on Gillham, Dierks and DeQueen lakes. On these lakes, flathead catfish can be taken from July 15 until March 15.

When spearfishing, you are limited to one-half the game fish daily limit (or the lesser number nearest one-half when the limit is an odd number). You must abide by length and slot limits. You may not have a spear gun in public waters other than those specified above. You must display a standard diver’s flag and you may not spearfish more than 300 feet from it. You may not clean or dress fish before you finish spearfishing and leave the body of water where the fish were taken.

SNAGGING - snagging fish with treble hooks on lines and poles. You may only snag game fish when fishing from the bank within 100 yards below a dam. You must keep any game fish snagged, apply them to your daily limit, and you may not sell them. Once a daily limit of any game fish is taken, you must cease snagging. Special restrictions apply to certain waters. Check the Arkansas Fishing rules regulations for specifics.

TROTLINE FISHING: Trotlines are allowed for sportfishing in most areas. (Check the Arkansas Fishing rules regulations for specifics.) The drops or hooks may not be less than 24 inches apart and they must be attended and the catch removed daily. Sportfishing trotlines must be anchored on both ends by 100% cotton line.

YO-YO FISHING: You may use up to 30 yo-yos (or similar mechanical devices) as long as you don’t leave them unattended (out of sight or hearing) or hang more than one from a line, wire, limb or support. You may leave them unattended from sunset to sunrise if they are clearly marked with either your name and address, your driver’s license number or your current vehicle tag number.