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Fishing at Oklahoma's numerous lakes is a popular family activity.

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Oklahoma Hooks Itself As Top Fishing Destination

Oklahoma Fishing Trail Lures Anglers With Grand Slam Tour and More

In the month of April, the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department received six submissions for the Oklahoma Fishing Trail Grand Slam Challenge — the most of any month since the Oklahoma Fishing Trail launched. The department has also already received two submissions for the month of May and 23 anglers have now completed Grand Slam Challenge, including 12 in 2020.

“As we try to keep ourselves and our families safe, fishing is a wonderful way for us to all get out in the Oklahoma outdoors,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who is also Oklahoma’s Secretary of Tourism & Branding. “Whether it’s at the little pond behind your house or the lake at your nearest Oklahoma State Park, fishing lets us spend some time in nature while still practicing safe social distancing. And it’s a great way to spend quality time with your kids and teach them something new.”

To complete the Grand Slam Challenge, anglers must catch five different species of fish: bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish and a bonus fish of any species, such as a paddlefish or trout. Those who complete the challenge will receive an exclusive Oklahoma Fishing Trail Grand Slam Challenge decal.

The success of the challenge is exactly what the state hoped for as it positions itself to become a top destination for fishing in the nation. Welcome to the Oklahoma Fishing Trail.


The Oklahoma Fishing Trail is designed to highlight the best of Oklahoma fishing. It's organized into six loops, covering the entire state. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell announced the launch of the Oklahoma Fishing Trailin June 2019, an initiative designed to showcase the state's quality fishing opportunities and increase tourism.

“Our goal is to become a Top 10 tourism state, and the No. 1 fishing state in the nation,” said Pinnell, also the state’s Secretary of Tourism and Branding. “Fishing is big business, and the Oklahoma Fishing Trail initiative will promote our state’s unique fishing opportunities — arguably the most diverse fishing in the country — increase tourism, and generate additional tax revenue for the state.

"Most people don’t realize the kind of revenue we’re talking about. On average, anglers in Oklahoma already spend $1.8 billion on fishing annually and support more than 15,000 jobs in the state. And we’re only going to grow from there.” 

The Oklahoma Fishing Trail is a cooperative effort of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. It highlights 38 lakes across the state and an additional 20 Oklahoma fishing experiences that are part of the Wildlife Department’s Close to Home Fishing Program.

“Whether you’re looking for an all-around lake that’s known for several different species or a specific spot to get that standout species, we’ve got options,” Wildlife Department Director J.D. Strong said. “In the Northeastern Loop, Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees is a great spot for catching largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and paddlefish, while Lake Eufaula and Lake Tenkiller were chosen for their standout crappie fishing.”

Oklahoma’s vast natural resources have long made it a paradise for anglers. The state has more miles of shoreline than the East and Gulf coasts combined. Lake Texoma and Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees are consistently named among the country’s top bass lakes by Bassmaster magazine. Grand Lake has twice hosted the Bassmaster Classic and was recently announced as the host lake for Major League Fishing’s tour championship in 2021.

For more information on the Oklahoma Fishing Trail and the Grand Slam Challenge, visit

  • From the Oklahoma River in downtown OKC to lakes throughout the state, fishing brings visitors and residents alike to the water.
  • Fathers and sons out in river on pontoon boat fishing in Ketchum, Oklahoma.
  • Fishing at Oklahoma's numerous lakes is a popular family activity.
  • Oklahoma has dozens of native fish that lure fishing enthusiasts.