Oklahoma Fishing Guides

Oklahoma Free Fishing Days

Oklahomans looking to try something new with the family this summer may want to give fishing a try, and they can start June 7-8 during Oklahoma’s Free Fishing Days, which allow people to fish without state fishing licenses or permits (including trout licenses and fishing and hunting legacy permits).

Urban areas across the state offer angling opportunities through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Close to Home Fishing program, which provides quality fishing opportunities without a long drive into the country. Anglers also have access to a number of lakes, rivers, streams and small ponds where they can catch fish all day long as well. And those anglers who just don’t know where to start can turn to the Wildlife Department’s weekly state fishing report to find just the right place to go.

“The Department’s state fishing report reveals inside information on the best places to go angling, when the fish are biting and what baits they are hitting the most,” said Jeff Boxrucker, assistant chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department.

Compiled by Wildlife Department personnel and independent reporters, the reports even include techniques and locations within specific waters to increase angler success. Anglers can receive the fishing report by subscribing to the Department’s weekly news release at www.wildlifedepartment.com/wl_news.htm.
“Fishing in Oklahoma normally requires a license and a fishing and hunting legacy permit, which you can purchase at various sporting good vendors across the state, but Free Fishing Days gives people a chance to just ‘test the waters’ and see if they would enjoy the sport,” Boxrucker said. “We are confident they will.”

Anglers should note that certain city permits may still apply to specific fishing areas during Free Fishing Days.

Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to offer free fishing days over 25 years ago and has since been followed by dozens of other states that have established similar days.

Anglers should be aware of and abide by all Texas fishing license and permit requirements when fishing the Texas portion of Lake Texoma June 7-8. The Texas Free Fishing Day is June 7, so anglers will be able to fish both Texas and Oklahoma portions of the lake for free that day. On June 8, free fishing will only be allowed on the Oklahoma portion of the lake. Anglers must follow all other fishing regulations.

The City of Oklahoma City will exempt all city permit fee on city lakes for Free Fishing Days – Saturday and Sunday only.

Lake Arcadia Family Fishing Clinics

Learn to fish with Oklahoma's free family fishing clinics. Learn to fish with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Aquatic Resources Education Program (AREP).

“There is a lot of great fishing in Oklahoma, but if you have never been introduced to the sport, it can be beneficial to have some help,” said Damon Springer, aquatic education coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “One of our family fishing clinics, held throughout the summer, is a great place to start.”

Starting May 20, the aquatic education program will host the free family fishing clinics from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday evening through Aug. 12. Pre-registration is required and can be done by calling (405) 521-3855.

The Aquatic Resources Education Program is the Department’s means to promote the sport of fishing and aquatic resource awareness as well as a way to give youth, regardless of family situation, an opportunity to learn about Oklahoma’s aquatic environments and how to fish.

Developed in 1988, the program’s objectives are to increase the understanding, appreciation, and awareness of Oklahoma’s aquatic resources; facilitate the learning of angling skills, outdoor ethics, and sportfishing opportunities in the state; enhance urban fishing opportunities; develop adult fishing clinics or seminars and provide information on specialized fishing techniques.

These one-day events present information on such topics as fish identification, knot-tying, fish cleaning and cooking, fishing tackle selection and use, water safety, outdoor ethics and more. Most clinics, including Lake Arcadia family fishing clinics, include fishing at a nearby pond or lake.

Family fishing clinics are also available in the Tulsa area at the Oklahoma Aquarium’s Zebco Pond. For more information call the Wildlife Department’s Jenks office at (918) 299-2334.

For more information about the Aquatic Resources Education Program, log on to the Department’s Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com.