Grab your gang and head out this coming weekend, June 5-6, 2021, for Oklahoma's Free Fishing Days. It's the perfect chance to introduce angling to someone new because no one of any age will need a state fishing license. (Photo: Marshall Reigh/ODWC)
Statewide Free Fishing Days Coming June 5-6; Take Someone New
Free Fishing Days Perfect to Introduce Angling to Anyone
In Oklahoma, The Outdoors Are Always Open. That's especially the case during Oklahoma's Free Fishing Days on June 5-6, when anyone can go fishing without needing a state fishing license.
"There's no excuse not to take someone fishing on June 5 and 6. The weather is usually nice, the fishing is great and, best of all, it's free," said Barry Bolton, Fisheries Chief with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Free Fishing Days gives people a chance to just 'test the waters' and see if they would enjoy the sport."
Urban areas across the state offer angling opportunities through the Wildlife Department's Close to Home Fishing Program, which provides quality fishing opportunities without a long drive from home. Want to know which Close to Home waters have recently been stocked with fish? Sign up for the periodic Close to Home Fishing digital newsletter at https://tinyurl.com/CTHreport.
Anglers seeking a place to fish also have access to public lakes, rivers, streams and ponds across the state. People who just don't know where to start can turn to the "Where to Fish" map at www.wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/wheretofish. But always remember to ask permission first if you want to fish on private property.
Another great way for new or veteran anglers to learn more about fishing is to visit the Department’s Fishing Resources webpage at www.wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/fishing-resources. Here you will find informational videos, engaging features and current announcements from across Oklahoma. Visitors can check out various "Learn to Fish" resources, view "Ask an Angler" virtual fishing courses, get tips for anglers of all skill levels, and discover free fishing clinics statewide.
Also, it's easy to sign up for the weekly Oklahoma Fishing Report to get an idea of where they are biting. Compiled by Department personnel and independent contributors, this report reveals inside information on the best places to fish, when the fish are biting, and what baits they are hitting the most. Anglers can have the fishing report e-mailed to them by subscribing at www.wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/fishingreport.
Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to offer free fishing days about 40 years ago and has since been followed by dozens of other states that have established similar days.
"The Department's Free Fishing Days can help us recruit new anglers and ensure that great fishing and habitat work will continue for years to come. That's because license revenue is one of the primary sources of funding for the Department," Bolton said. "Sportsmen and sportswomen pay for conservation projects when they buy a license." The Wildlife Department doesn’t receive any funding through state appropriations.
While Free Fishing Days allows people to fish without having a state fishing license, anglers still must abide by all other state fishing regulations including daily bag limits and size restrictions.
Participants should note that local permit requirements may still apply to specific fishing areas June 5-6. Also, all of Lake Texoma is open for free fishing June 5, but free fishing will only apply to the Oklahoma portion of the lake June 6. Oklahoma anglers 64 and younger must abide by all Texas fishing license and permit requirements when fishing the Texas portion of Lake Texoma on June 6.
Finally, when you are out enjoying Free Fishing Days (or anytime), consider taking a photo of your catch and share it with us! Whether it's a big fish, a first catch, or an unusual specimen, your image can be shared to The Dock for all to see at www.wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/the_dock.