24th annual Mark Howell Memorial Fishing Rodeo at Lake Arrowhead Saturday
Come have a reel-y good time at the 24th annual Mark Howell Memorial Fishing Rodeo Saturday at Lake Arrowhead.
Lake Arrowhead State Park Superintendent Keith Gauthier said they gearing up to tackle a good time with fishing activities for adults and children.
The event is named for Howell who founded the event 24 years ago. Howell died in 2011. He was the first supervisor for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries Division. Howell was a well-known conservationist, naturalist, and wrote a column for the Times Record News.
This year, he says they have the largest prize pool he has seen with more than $1,000 in prizes to hand out.
Participants in the fishing rodeo must pay to get into the state park, but children 12 and under get in for free.
There is a $2 registration for each participant in both the adult or children’s events. Registration is at the Group Dining Hall building by the floating docks. All participants must be registered before fishing.
The event will take place at the floating docks, also known as the old marina.
There will be plenty of worms for bait thanks to a generous sponsor.
The park will also have fishing poles and other gear to lend while supplies last, but participants are encouraged to bring their own poles.
Adult rough fishing contest
- The adult rough fishing contest will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for participants 17 years of age or older.
- This contest will have prizes for first, second and third place for the largest non-game single fish by weight. Non-game fish at the lake include carp, drum, buffalo, gar, bluegill, sunfish
- Fish must be caught within park boundaries.
- Prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m.
Children’s fishing contest
- The children’s contest will be 10 a.m. to noon.
- For this event, children can catch any fish and first, second and third prizes will be awarded in each of three age groups - ages 3-6, 7-12 and 13-16.
- Adults can assist children, but cannot reel in the fish for them
- Gauthier said the lake has many varieties of fish including largemouth bass, three types of catfish, log perch, sand bass and white and black crappie.
One of the great things about fishing at state parks, he said, is people do not have to have a fishing license to catch while at the park.
Every year is full of fun and surprises at the fishing rodeo, Gauthier said.
Many of the junior angler record catches happen each year during the event.
Sometimes, fish are caught that had not been recorded before, automatically becoming the default record catch.
A few years ago, Gauthier said a man caught a 1.7-pound river carp sucker, a species that had not yet been recorded at Arrowhead.
The first gar was weighed for record in 2013.
“Normally, a carp wins the day,” he said for the fishing rodeo, because it is a bigger fish and is common at this lake.
Gauthier said Arrowhead has a strong catfish, crappie and bass population.
A stock of bass released at Arrowhead three years ago have grown quickly with some up to 14 inches long.
Gauthier said it will be a fun day and no experience is required to participate.
The weather is expected to be very hot Saturday so he suggests bringing plenty of water to drink and sunscreen.
Dogs are welcome at Arrowhead State Park if they are kept on a shorter leash.
For more information about this event visit the Lake Arrowhead Facebook event page.