Catch a fish in Kansas, reel in a gift card

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Hundreds of fish swimming around Kansas lakes and ponds this spring and summer will be wearing tags worth some pretty good prizes. Last year, someone won a prize worth $250.

The Great Kansas Fishing Derby is back for another round. From May 15 through Sept. 15, anglers can try to catch one of more than 500 specially tagged fish. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) will release the list of lakes and ponds with tagged fish on May 14 on the fishing derby website:

“It’s a new year, but our goal remains the same – get people fishing and generate support for communities and nearby waters,” David Breth, KDWP sportfishing education coordinator, said. “Participants will be excited to know that we’ve extended this year’s Derby to give anglers more time to win. We also added a few more lakes, and there are more tagged fish.”

Anglers do not have to pre-register. They just have to follow standard fishing license requirements. To get a Kansas fishing license, click on or download KDWP’s mobile licensing app: GoOutdoorsKS! Click here for the app links.

If you catch a fish with a tag on it, remove the tag and enter the number at You will get a notice about what your prize is and where to claim it. The site will also allow people to register for additional prizes through random drawings.

“Businesses, municipalities, and more are supporting the Great Kansas Fishing Derby by sponsoring many of our prizes, and without their support, the Derby wouldn’t exist,” Breth said.

He said the prizes include concert tickets, state fair kid’s packs, gift cards, fishing tackle, experiences, cabin stays, and cash this year. Also, every angler who redeems a valid derby tag will be entered into a drawing to win a lifetime hunting and fishing license sponsored by Kansas Wildscape Foundation.

“Our staff will tag as many species of fish as possible, including bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, drum and carp,” said Breth.

The tag for last year’s $250 prize was on a warmouth. The KDWP will list the species tagged this year on the lake pages of

If a tagged fish meets legal length limits, the fish may be kept. However, anglers may release their catch if they first remove the tag. See the instructions at

The statewide competition is sponsored by KDWP, Kansas Wildscape Foundation, Bass Pro-Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Kansas State Fair, Firewater Music Festival, City of Independence, and many local retailers.

Businesses and groups interested in sponsoring tagged fish for this year’s derby can find sponsorship details at