New Orleans’ Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is March 25

The 74th Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is slated for March 25, 2023 in New Orleans.

The 74th Annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is scheduled for March 25, 2023 at New Orleans City Park.

The Big Bass Rodeo is the oldest freshwater rodeo in the United States, and features numerous divisions, including Adult, Junior, Kayak, Student, and Team. A Fishtival will take place the day of the event, featuring activities and entertainment throughout the morning, along with a visit from Robbie the Redfish and Parker the Raccoon.

If you’d like to get ready for the rodeo, the LDWF is offering two free bass fishing courses at the park on Feb. 25 and March 24. Courses will include bass behavior, proper handling of bass, and lure preparation and use. Click here for more info and to sign up.

North Carolina stocking F1 bass

The NCWRC is set to stock F1 bass into three North Carolina lakes, and the private sector is invited to help.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is gearing up to stock F1 bass into three of the state’s lakes. And for the first time ever, they will accept private funds to help finance the project.

The state is going full steam ahead, stocking even if no money is donated by the private sector. But for every dollar private citizens give, the federal government will triple it. F1 bass fingerlings currently cost about 50 cents apiece to stock. So one dollar from private funds would normally result in two fish being stocked.

But thanks to the government matching these funds at a 3-to-1 ratio, one dollar raised will result in eight fish being stocked. That’s a big deal!

It’s the perfect storm, in all the right ways, for the stocking program, said Marty Stone, a former professional bass angler who teamed up with two other bass fishing gurus to form the NC F1 Bass organization, which will help educate the public and funnel private funds to the NCWRC for the stocking program.

Stone and his partners have set the organization up as a 501(c)3, so all money donated will be tax deductible. And they’ve vowed that every dollar donated will go directly to NCWRC for the F1 stocking program.

So what is an F1 bass? It is the offspring of a Florida-strain bass and a norther-strain bass. This results in a fish with the exponential growth characteristics of a Florida-strain bass, coupled with the aggressive nature and extreme weather tolerance of a northern-strain bass. It’s the perfect fish to combat the influx of Alabama spotted bass that have been illegally introduced into many of North Carolina’s waters over the years.

The three lakes that will receive the first stockings of the F1 bass are Gaston, Jordan and Norman. These three lakes have three different water-quality ratings, which will help fisheries biologists gauge how well the F1 bass perform in varying conditions.

If you’d like more information on the program, click here to visit

Arkansas lakes see new bass regulations

Some new bass fishing regulations are in order for two Arkansas lakes beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

Anglers in Arkansas should note some new bass regulations which began on Jan. 1, 2023. The changes are for two lakes in the Natural State.

On Norfork Lake, regulations for all three species of black bass have been changed. The new law states that largemouth and smallmouth bass must be at least 13 inches long to keep. The length limit on spotted bass (sometimes called Kentucky bass) has been dropped. Anglers can keep spotted bass of any length.

The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission encourages anglers on Norfork Lake to keep smaller, legal-sized bass of all three species. While this may seem counterproductive and a shift from a long-standing, nationwide push to release bass to fight another day, this lake is currently overpopulated with small bass, which stunts the growth rates of all fish.

The same problem has led to a change in Sugarloaf Lake’s largemouth bass slot limit, which has been removed. Anglers can now keep any size bass from Sugarloaf Lake. AGFC has stated that the slot limit has left this lake, like Norfork, full of stunted bass.

A third lake that anglers should take note of is Lake Monticello. This lake has been renovated and is currently slowly refilling to full pool. It is open for anglers, but all gamefish must be released immediately. 

For full information on fish and game regulations in Arkansas, click here.