Summertime and the Fishin' Is Easy; Ways to Partake Are Plentiful

May 19, 2018

Oklahoma's Free Fishing Days is the perfect chance to show someone the joys of fishing for the first time. No state fishing license is required June 2-3, 2018. (RBFF)

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Summertime and the Fishin' Is Easy; Ways to Partake Are Plentiful

As the days get warmer, fishing seems to only get better. Why not take advantage of opportunities to wet a line and experience some good times near the water? Here are some great ways to do just that.

Free Fishing Days in Oklahoma

There is no better time to introduce your friends or family members to the great American pastime of fishing than to take them out on Free Fishing Days!

Anyone can fish for free June 2-3, 2018, in Oklahoma. On that weekend, a state fishing license will not be required for any resident or nonresident angler to fish. 

The Sooner State has some excellent fishing in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, but also in urban waters designated by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation as "Close to Home Fishing" locations. 

Although state fishing licenses and the Oklahoma City fishing permit (where applicable) are not required during Free Fishing Days, anglers should note that certain city permits may still apply in other urban fishing areas. Additionally, anglers fishing Lake Texoma should be aware that Free Fishing Days applies for all of the lake on June 2 but only on Oklahoma portions of the lake on June 3.

Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to offer free fishing days about 35 years ago and has since been followed by dozens of other states that have established similar days.

Free Family Fishing Clinics

The Wildlife Department will hold Free Family Fishing Clinics again this summer for anyone wanting to try the sport or get back into it.

Classes will cover the basics of fishing for beginning anglers including skills such as fish identification, knot tying, equipment and more. A fishing license is not required of participants while the clinics are being conducted. 

"Some of my best memories as a kid growing up were going fishing. Our free fishing clinics provide a great opportunity for families to come learn the basics so they can go out and create memories together as a family. Participants don’t need to bring anything but themselves because all the equipment and bait will be provided during the class," said Daniel Griffith, Aquatic Resources Education Program coordinator for the Wildlife Department. 

Clinics are held in June and July at the Arcadia Conservation Education Area in Edmond and also at the Zebco Casting Pond (south side of the Oklahoma Aquarium) in Jenks. Scheduled during the evening, these clinics are open to everyone in the family, as long as an adult is present. 

Pre-registration is required, and early registration is encouraged as the class sizes are limited. A list of all clinics and registration links can be found on the Fishing Clinics schedule page at www.wildlifedepartment.com.

“Hooked on Fishing” OKC Youth Fishing Clinics

"Hooked on Fishing" classes for kids are conducted by the City of Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department and several supporting organizations. These classes are scheduled through July at various sites across Oklahoma City. They are held Saturday mornings for youths ages 5-15, who must be accompanied by an adult. 

Oklahoma City fisheries staff members and Wildlife Department volunteers teach these classes at sites that are in the Wildlife Department's "Close to Home Fishing" program. A fishing license is not required of participants while the clinics are being conducted. 

Pre-registration is required, and early registration is encouraged as the class sizes are limited. For a schedule, go to the Fishing Clinics schedule page at www.wildlifedepartment.com. To reserve a spot, call (405) 297-1426.

Weekly Fishing Reports, News Releases, Social Media

The Wildlife Department’s many communication outlets including free News Releases, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and Weekly Fishing Reports are useful starting points for fishing information. 

The Weekly Fishing Report lists many popular lakes and the current status of angling success at those locations. The Department also updates its Facebook page daily with current reports from its own personnel as well as its fans on a range of current outdoor activities. 

"If you connect with us, you'll know what's going on, because we're constantly sharing photos and reports from our employees and friends who have been having current success," said Micah Holmes, Information Section Supervisor with the Wildlife Department.

The Department's Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/wildlifedepartment. On Twitter, search for the handle @OKWildlifeDept. To start receiving the Weekly Fishing Report in your inbox, sign up for “Email Updates” on the left side of the Department’s website at www.wildlifedepartment.com, then select “Weekly Fishing Report” along with any other topics that interest you.

“Oklahoma Fishing” Regulations, Mobile App, Online License Sales

Updated annually, the “Oklahoma Fishing” Regulations Guide is your go-to source for all kinds of information related to fishing in the state. Of course, anglers need to know and follow the rules, which are outlined in the free guide. But it also contains a “Where to Fish” map, an FAQ page, the list of state record catches, and tips on how to help stop invasive species.

The Regulations Guide is also available at www.wildlifedepartment.com, as part of the free "OK Fishing and Hunting Guide" mobile app for Apple and Android, or in print free from license dealers statewide.

And don’t forget to get the appropriate fishing license before heading to the water. Your license is simply a few clicks away with our online License Saleswebsite.

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Your Wildlife Department hopes you enjoy some good fishing this spring and summer. Just be sure to leave a few for us!

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