Mayflower, AR — Local angler Eric Morris had thought he was a day late and a dollar short in mid-November when he hooked into a 15-inch bass on Lake Conway that was sporting a tag identifying it as one of the $1,000 reward fish in the Cash in on Lake Conway promotion hosted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. After calling in with his catch, he was excited to learn that AGFC would honor the catch, even though the initial promotion had expired.
JJ Gladden, AGFC assistant chief of education who helped coordinate the promotional fishing event, said Morris’ catch actually helped the AGFC and Chamber extend the program throughout winter.
“It was only the third tagged fish caught so far, and we wanted people to really get out there and enjoy Lake Conway before the drawdown,” Gladden said. “After talking with our directorate and the Chamber, we all felt there was still a lot of opportunity to reward anglers who were getting out and chasing those fish.”
Morris caught his fish on a white vibrating jig while fishing in his kayak near the Adams Lake Access. The fish was right next to the bank and was one of a small school of bass feeding on shad.
As a member of Natural State Kayak Club, Morris often videos his fishing trips, and has footage of the day he caught the prize-winning fish. He’s a regular participant in kayak tournaments and fishes Lake Conway once a month, but stepped up his efforts to visit two to three times per week since the promotion was announced.
Gladden said there is still plenty of water left in the lake, and even when it will be at its lowest, there will still be access to get out and enjoy a day of fishing.
“It was raining when we went to give Eric his prize and announce the catch, and I still saw people out in raincoats and jackets fishing along the dam,” Gladden said. “There’s still a lot of good fishing to be had this winter during the drawdown and we want anglers to take advantage of it, that’s the whole reason for the tagged fish promotion.”
The Cash In on Lake Conway tagged fish promotion has been extended through Feb. 29, 2024. Each tagged fish caught is worth $1,000 to the lucky angler. So far, 3 of 55 tagged fish have been caught. Visit www.agfc.com/lakeconway to turn in a tagged fish and learn more about the Lake Conway renovation.