There were very few open places to fish during the first Kids Outdoors Fishing Rodeo at the Meadows Technology Park Pond on Saturday.
As part of the promotion for the state’s first Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Ultimate Challenge One-Pole event, the fishing derby turned out to be a big hit.
"I believe this was really successful," A&P Commission representative Andy Hawkins said. "I think that we found some things out this time that we need to work on for the next time, like have a few more spots more accessible to the youngsters. Overall, I think everyone is happy with how things went."
There were 223 registered youth in the fishing rodeo, and several dozen others were fishing.
"Despite the cool weather, people came out," Hawkins said. "When I left the house this morning, the sun was out but then that front came through and the temperature dropped, and that wind started blowing, so I had to go back to the house to get more gear."
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocked the pond on Friday with 600 pounds of channel catfish.
"It’s been a fun week and we’ve had a great time and it’s been a great tournament," Crappie Masters vice president Bobby Brown said. "Even though the weather is bad, there are over 200 kids here and each of them are going to leave with a little something."
Since plans of bringing an Arkansas state championship to Lake Conway next year is in the works, there may be another fishing rodeo to follow.
"I believe that this can happen again," Brown said. "There is a lot of work to be done by the city to make certain arrangements, but I believe this can go on again. We’ve been thankful to everyone that was involved in making this happen."