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Family fishing in Arkansas

By Zoie Clift

Arkansas' state parks a great place to cast a line and try for a trophy fish. Here are a few locations to discover great fishing options for all ages.

Family fishing on Norfork Lake
Credit: Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism

All Arkansans are within one tank of gas to lakes and waterways where they can fish. Arkansas is home to some of the best fishing in the country as well as one of the best state park systems in the nation. You can combine these two assets into a great budget-friendly and family road trip destination. Across the state, Arkansas State Parks offers access to 12 rivers and 29 lakes in Arkansas.

You can choose from lakes that are well-known for fishing like Millwood Lake at Millwood State Park in southwestern Arkansas. Features like submerged timber, marshes, and oxbow cutoffs make this lake a prime fishing destination. Birding is also popular here, so much so that the area has been named an Audubon-designated Important Bird Area. At the marina there you can get groceries, bait or rent a boat, kayak or canoe. The Waterfowl Way Trail (1.5 miles/2.5km), and Wildlife Lane Nature Trail (4 miles/6km) are hiking trails you can take on while there, too.

Other state parks also have full-service marinas where you can find boat rentals, fishing supplies and more for your fishing adventure. If you want to overnight you can camp or stay at state park cabins or lodges. Arkansas fishing resorts can also be found across the state, too. For more details on fishing at Arkansas State Parks, check out

Fishing can be found at lakes and rivers across the state. Every year the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission also stocks trout and catfish in small ponds throughout Arkansas. This is an avenue for people to get in some bank fishing without having to drive a long way to do so. One of these ponds can be found at War Memorial Park Pond in War Memorial Park, a small park located in the heart of Arkansas’ capital Little Rock, across from the Little Rock Zoo.

You can learn more about the Family and Community Fishing Program at

Please note that a current Arkansas fishing license is required to fish in Arkansas for those 16 and older. More details can be found at