Fishing is a popular pastime and spring is the perfect time to cast a line in an Oklahoma lake or stream. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board reports there are approximately 55,646 miles of shoreline along lakes and ponds in the state and more than 167,000 miles of rivers and streams. If you combined all the square miles of water in Oklahoma’s lakes and ponds it would cover more ground than the entire state of Rhode Island! Casting a line can be a fun way for families to reconnect with nature and spend time together. And because Oklahoma allows kids 16 and under to fish for free, there’s never been a better time or place to go fishing.
1034 S. Bryant Ave., Edmond
Hafer Park is located right in the heart of Edmond and is a great spot to introduce your little ones to the joy of fishing. The park has a small pond that is teeming with fish and is home to many ducks and geese as well. The peaceful surroundings will make you forget that you haven’t even left the city. The pond at Hafer Park is ideal for younger children who may feel a little intimidated by a larger lake setting, or who are just beginning to hone their fishing skills. The convenient location, playgrounds, trails and nearby climbing wall make it the ideal place to drop a line.
West of Portland Ave. between Wilshire & Hefner Rd.
Located in northwest Oklahoma City, Lake Hefner has 18 miles of shoreline for you and your little anglers to explore. The lake stocks walleye and catfish annually and plenty of bass, sunfish and crappie make their home in the lake waters as well. You can enjoy fishing from one of the three convenient fishing docks or you can find your own cozy spot along the shoreline. A Kid’s Lake is also located nearby (3301 W. Wilshire Blvd.) if you and your kids would like to try your luck in a smaller body of water. Lake Hefner covers more than 2,500 acres, so it’s a place you and your kids can come back to and explore many times without having to drive outside the city. Many people like to fish from the rocky outcroppings near the lighthouse or the dam at the north end of the lake. The nearby playgrounds, restaurants and walking trails are sure to make this a favorite fishing destination for the entire family.
Route 66 Park
9901 N.W. 23rd St.
Route 66 Park is tucked along the west shore of Lake Overholser and is home to three great fishing ponds complete with bridges and wetland boardwalks winding throughout. This park was designed to be a great spot for fishing with kids of all ages, so grab your reels and tackle and head that way. Within the park you’ll also find an observation tower, a playground and a mini walkable version of the Mother Road itself. A nearby fishing pier is located south of the park on Lake Overholser for those who feel the desire to try a larger lake. The easy metro location of this exciting park makes it the perfect spot for your next family fishing adventure. There are no public bathrooms at this park, so be sure to stop somewhere before you arrive.
Roman Nose State Park
2738 Lot 301 Hwy. 8A, Watonga
Roman Nose State Park is located 75 miles west of Oklahoma City and is a wonderful place to take your kids for a truly scenic fishing experience. Pack a picnic lunch and plan to spend the day outdoors. Tucked in a canyon with gypsum rock cliffs on the edge of Watonga and Boecher Lakes, this state park offers plenty of bass, catfish, sunfish, crappie and rainbow trout for catching. Kids will feel like true explorers and adventurers as they fish from the shores of the two lakes. Canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and even fishing gear are available for rent from the General Store located inside the park (call ahead for availability, 580-623-7750).
Lake Eufaula State Park
111563 Hwy. 150, Checota
Once you get the hang of fishing and want to try new waters, a trip to Lake Eufaula State Park is the perfect fishing getaway. A little more than 100 miles east of Oklahoma City, Eufaula is a very popular fishing destination as the lake is the largest in the state. A marina and a tackle shop are located within the park, making fishing a year-round sport. There’s even a heated and enclosed fishing dock for those colder months and days of the year. In Lake Eufaula you can find bass, skipjack herring, crappie, sunfish, catfish and walleye. There are many other state park amenities here like hiking trails and playgrounds that make it a great place to spend the day or the weekend.
East Lake Dr., Medicine Park, OK
About 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City is Medicine Park, a quaint town bustling with artists situated near the entrance to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. The town is known for its naturally formed granite cobblestones that still make up many of the original buildings. Medicine Creek flows right along what’s known as Cobblestone Row in the middle of this small town, where your little fishermen will love throwing in their lines right from the sidewalk! Granite rock also lines the banks of easy creek access for your kids. You will feel like you’ve stepped straight into an old historic mountain town as you enjoy fishing along this peaceful creek. Rainbow trout are stocked in Medicine Creek in the winter months but anglers can be found along the banks year-round. The beautiful waterfalls and bridges in Medicine Park will delight kids and adults alike, and in the summer months, nearby Bath Lake becomes a popular swimming hole as well! With no shortage of shops, restaurants, and lodging, the unique blend of the outdoors and the small town feel of Medicine Park will surely win your heart and keep you coming back again and again.
Hafer Park, Hefner Lake and Route 66 Park are all part of the Close-To-Home Fishing Program (www.wildlifedepartment.com/fishing) and require both City & State Fishing Licenses for anyone who is 16-62 years old. More info at www.okc.gov.
Roman Nose State Park, Lake Eufaula State Park and Medicine Creek require only a State Fishing License for anyone who is 16-62 years old. More info at www.wildlifedepartment.com/licensing.