The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is sponsoring a freshwater fishing derby at Tenoroc Fish Management Area (FMA) in Lakeland on April 6, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. No fishing license is required on this particular day, but participants must register in advance for the derby, for which there is no charge.

The FWC wants to hook aspiring anglers and their families on the thrill of fishing. Also on April 6, both residents and nonresidents are exempt from Florida’s freshwater fishing license requirements, but all other regulations continue to apply.

Former Sen. Paula Dockery will open the festivities, which, in addition to fishing, include a casting contest; live snake, turtle and invertebrate displays; a fly-tying demonstration; and a trophy catch display. Lunch for all registered participants is provided free, courtesy of Sweetbay.

For kids 15 years of age and under, bait is free. A limited number of loaner rods and reels are also available to this age group; however, older anglers must supply their own bait and tackle. Parents or guardians must accompany children.

To register, call Joyce Ellerbe or Trina Heil at 863-648-3200, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tenoroc FMA is at 3829 Tenoroc Mine Road, Lakeland.

If you would like more information on freshwater fishing, go to and select “Freshwater Fishing” or call the FWC’s Lakeland office at 863-648-3200.

Logo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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