Lifetime Fishing License

By Tom Keer

Dec 14, 2016

Young anglers who receive a holiday present of a lifetime fishing license are treated to one of the best presents ever.  Maybe it's not as glamorous as a new rod, but that license is one by which they'll remember you every year.

We all look for unique holiday gifts, you know, the ones that cause a child's face to light up like a football stadium on Friday night.  A rod lights up some kids, while a selection of cool lures makes others happy.  But if your kids like to fish as mine do, there is a practical gift to consider: a lifetime fishing license

A lifetime fishing license is a gift that keeps on giving.  At the time of purchase they cost a lot more, but if your child is a fishing fanatic then it's a great present.  Over time the lifetime license will save you...and later them...a tremendous amount of money.  Let's get the math out of the way and look at a state like Oklahoma that offers good fishing for a lot of different species.

Lifetime Fishing License in Oklahoma

  • Cost of a one-year license in 2016: $25.00
  • Cost of a Lifetime Fishing License in 2016: $225.00
  • Time required to break even (at $25.00/year): 9 years.
  • Average cost of a fishing license across 40 years of fishing: $5.62/year.  That's almost an 80% discount off of the $25.00 fee.   And, you can spend that savings on more tackle!   

According to, a pair of Levi's jeans cost $42.00 and an average pair of Nike running shoes runs you $74.00.  A lifetime fishing license?  It's among the least expensive presents you'll ever give!  Shoot, the average cost of a meal at McDonald's is $7.00.

The odds are pretty good that you won't get a big smile or a high five when the package is opened.  It'll be a piece of paper in a box with wrapping paper.  But that's not the time to evaluate the present's success.  The time to do that is in the middle of a hot bite in the summer.  And next year, and the year after.  So get a lifetime fishing license.  Your real thanks might come in 20 years, but so what?  Good things come with time.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at