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PHOTO: Angler Wesley King, 10, with his first catch — a catfish from Lake Stanley Draper. PHOTO PROVIDED BY KING FAMILY
Seven Anglers Earn Oklahoma Fishing Trail Grand Slam Honors
OKLAHOMA CITY — Seven anglers have completed the Oklahoma Fishing Trail Grand Slam in the two months since the fishing trail launched, the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department announced on Monday.
“We have been so excited about the response to the Oklahoma Fishing Trail,” said Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell, who is also Oklahoma’s Secretary of Tourism and Branding. “With some of the best and most diverse fishing available in America, Oklahoma is a Top Ten fishing state. We want people to get out and complete the Oklahoma Fishing Trail Grand Slam and earn bragging rights over their fellow anglers.”
The Oklahoma Fishing Trail and the Grand Slam are designed to highlight the incredible diversity of fish species found in Oklahoma lakes and rivers. To complete the Grand Slam, anglers must catch five different species of fish native to Oklahoma, snap a picture of each one and then submit the images on FishinOK.com. Those who complete the Grand Slam will receive an exclusive Grand Slam decal.
The five types of fish needed to complete the Grand Slam are bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish and a bonus fish that can be any other species found in Oklahoma, including trout, paddlefish and saugeye. For more details, anglers can visit FishinOK.com.
Muskogee native Gaberiel Davison was the first to complete the slam. Davison, a 22-year-old who is stationed at Fort Sill Army Base, received an Oklahoma Fishing Trail hat, shirt and sticker in addition to the Grand Slam decal. Davison said he learned about the fishing trail from a friend.
“I think it’s pretty cool because a lot of people don’t know what there is to do in Oklahoma,” Davison said.
Davison said his favorite Oklahoma lakes are Lake Eufaula and Tenkiller, but while at Fort Sill he frequently fishes at a pond on post.
The youngest angler to complete the Grand Slam so far is 10-year-old Wesley King of Norman. King has been fishing with his parents for a year. His first fishing trip was to Oklahoma City's Kitchen Lake, one of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s “Close to Home” fishing destinations.
King shared the story of catching a catfish, one of the species needed to complete the Grand Slam.
“We went to [Lake Stanley] Draper, and I was sitting there for a long time,” King said. “I was watching my rod. There was a catfish on, but the rod tip didn’t move. Catfish, they’re bottom feeders and they don’t move much.
“And when it was almost time to leave, I reeled it in and realized I had a fish.”
King says his favorite place to fish right now is Lake Hefner. Asked if he is looking to try out more Oklahoma Fishing Trail lakes, King said, “Oh, heck yeah.”
The Oklahoma Fishing Trail was launched on June 18, which is National Go Fishing Day, with an event at Lake Thunderbird State Park in which Pinnell, fishing legend Jimmy Houston and numerous members of the Oklahoma state legislature fished with local students from Moore.
The Oklahoma Fishing Trail is a joint project between the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The trail highlights 58 lakes and rivers around the state that are divided into six regional loops. To learn more about the Oklahoma Fishing Trail or get a free Oklahoma Fishing Trail brochure, visit FishinOK.com.
About the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department works to preserve, maintain and promote the state’s natural assets and cultural richness through tourism. The Department’s Travel Promotions division administers programs designed to build awareness of the state as a destination and educates on the economic importance of the Oklahoma travel and tourism industry. The staff also oversees the agency’s marketing and promotions efforts along with operating Tourism Information Centers located at major entry points around the state. To learn more about the Department, visit TravelOK.com.
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