Skip to main content

Hot Springs Fishing Challenge | Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

Hot Springs Fishing Challenge

Location: Lake Hamilton & Lake Catherine

Event Date: May 2 - July 31

The $100,000 Hot Springs Fishing Challenge returns, May 2 - July 31! 66 fish will be tagged and released on Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine including the infamous Big Al - worth a whopping $20,000. 

The Hot Springs Fishing Challenge begins at 6 a.m. May 2, 2023, and ends on July 31, 2023, at 5 p.m. Central Time. The Challenge provides anglers the opportunity to catch tagged fish that can be redeemed for cash prizes. For additional information call 501-321-2027.

Hot Springs Fishing Challenge

Prize Distribution: The tagged fish will each be assigned a number. Prize money will be divided as follows:

(1) $20,000 fish
(1) $10,000 fish
(4) $5,000 fish
(40) $1,000 fish
(20) $500 fish

Total possible prize money if all fish are caught during the contest period is $100,000.

How It Works: Sixty-six tagged fish (total) will be released in Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine. The fish released will be largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. The tags will have a phone number and a prize number on them.

If a fish is caught the angler must call the number and present the fish with the tag attached.

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Tagging

Eligibility: The contest is open to anyone with a valid Arkansas fishing license. (This requirement is waived the weekend of June 10 – 11.) Employees of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at the Andrew H. Hulsey Fish Hatchery, and their immediate family members, and/or those living in the same household of each are ineligible to win a cash prize.

No cash prize will be awarded to any participant presenting a tagged fish that has been caught other than during the fishing period. Tags must be presented during the fishing period to be redeemed. All tagged fish must be caught in accordance with all state and local laws, codes, rules and regulations. Rules and regulations can be found at:

No cash prizes will be awarded to any participant who does not comply with state and local laws, codes, rules and regulations.

Publicity Release: Each angler who catches a prize fish grants Visit Hot Springs the rights to use their name, likeness, biographical information, and photographs, without compensation, in any and all media without limitation for advertising and promotional purposes.

General Prize Conditions: Prize winners shall be solely responsible for all federal, state and/or local taxes associated with their prize.

Hot Springs Fishing Challenge Winner #1, Heather Anzalone
Heather Anzalone and her $1,000 Largemouth Bass

Within six hours of the start of the 2023 $100,000 Hot Springs Fishing Challenge, a visitor from Carlisle, Arkansas, landed the first prize fish of the event — a $1,000 largemouth bass.

Heather Anzalone, in town for the Arkansas Waterworks Convention, landed the $1,000 lunker Tuesday while fishing on Lake Hamilton near Fisherman’s Wharf.

“No one expected somebody to land one of the prize fish so quickly,” Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison said. “Within six hours of the 6 a.m. start we have our first winner. What a great way to start one of our city’s most popular promotions.”

The 2023 Challenge began Tuesday at 6 a.m. after 66 prize fish were tagged and released Monday into Lakes Hamilton and Catherine.