More money. More fish. Double-your-prize bonus Free Fishing Weekend. More chances to win. The Seventh Annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge on Lakes Hamilton and Catherine in Hot Springs is going to be the biggest ever.

“We’re increasing the number of tagged prize fish this year in celebration of the catching of Big Al, our $15,000 top-prize fish, during last year’s Challenge,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “And we’re increasing the total amount of prize money from $86,000 to $101,000. It’s going to be a great Challenge for 2018.”

Seventy-one fish will be tagged and released into the lakes by Visit Hot Springs’ partner, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery.

Beginning at 6 a.m. May 1 and running through 5 p.m. on July 31, anyone who catches one of the blue-tagged fish stands to win a prize ranging from $15,000 for catching Big Al 2018 to $500 for one of the 20 fish with those tags. Four tagged fish will bring $5,000 each, 46 will be worth $1,000 each and 20 will have the $500 tags. If all 20 of the $500 fish are caught during this year’s special Free Fishing Weekend bonus-prize period and their prize amount is doubled that will boost the total prize money to $101,000.

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