Fishing

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Trout angler fishing in a stream
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Fishing is a great way to spend time with family and friends, creating memories that will last a lifetime. For a vacation or a quiet Saturday morning, fishing gets you away from it all. All you need is a pole, a line, a hook, some bait and a permit.

No matter where you live in Missouri, a great fishing trip is close to home. 

Great Places For Fishing

Events

Find events near you.
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 9:00 am - Tuesday, June 15, 2021 11:00 am
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

Lesson 3: Participants will learn about aquatic habitats, food webs, and the basic biology of common Missouri fish species.

Lesson 4: Participants will learn about various fishing lures techniques, as well as identify and understand Missouri fishing regulations.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. Face masks are required for the entire program. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Class at Lake 15.
Registration period: April 8 - June 15
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 10:00 am - Tuesday, June 15, 2021 10:30 am
Location: Online only
Dreaming of taking the kids fishing this summer? Join our virtual series Best of the Ozarks as we highlight some great places to go fishing in our area with your family. When registering, please provide an active email address in your profile as you will receive a link one day prior to the program. All ages.
Registration period: May 1 - June 1
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 12:30 pm - Tuesday, June 15, 2021 4:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 12-18)

Become a Part of the Outdoor Skills Adventure!

If you love to have fun outdoors, and would like to learn new skills, then this program is for you! Teamwork, safety, and leadership are stressed. Join us in June as we learn the basics of these outdoor skills. A contact email address is required for follow-up information.
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 5:30 pm - Tuesday, June 15, 2021 7:30 pm

Lesson 1:

This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2:

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various types of hooks. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Everyone who is attending must be registered.
Registration period: May 1 - June 1
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 8:30 am - Wednesday, June 16, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 8-11)

Become a Part of the Outdoor Skills Adventure!

If you love to have fun outdoors, and would like to learn new skills, then this program is for you! Teamwork, safety, and leadership are stressed. Join us in June as we learn the basics of these outdoor skills. A contact email address is required for follow-up information.
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021 5:30 pm - Thursday, June 17, 2021 7:30 pm

Lesson 3:

Lesson 1&2 must be taken before any of other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 3-4.

Everyone who is attending must be registered.

In this class, participants will learn basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will also learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, you will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs.

Lesson 4:

In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather and water conditions as well as hands-on fishing. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration period: May 1 - June 17
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021 6:30 pm - Thursday, June 17, 2021 8:30 pm
Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish-Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Participants will learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, participants will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs.

Lesson 4: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather and water conditions. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Participants must have completed Lessons 1 and 2 prior to attending Lesson 3 & 4.

Participants do not need a fishing permit to fish during this program.

Participants will be asked to maintain safe social distance from staff and other participants who are not their family members during this program.

Each participant must register for this program individually. For assistance with registration please contact the program instructor.

Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, June 19, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

Lesson 3: Participants will learn about aquatic habitats, food webs, and the basic biology of common Missouri fish species.

Lesson 4: Participants will learn about various fishing lures techniques, as well as identify and understand Missouri fishing regulations.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. Face masks are required for the entire program. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.
Registration period: May 21 - June 19
Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, June 19, 2021 9:30 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Discover what it takes to catch a big one! We’ll learn about what we need for a successful fishing trip and learn about some of the common fish you might catch in a pond. We will go fishing in our pretend pond.

Please practice social distancing. The use of of a mask is encouraged.
Registration period: May 4 - June 19
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 9:00 am - Wednesday, June 23, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Grandparents, grandkids, and great times is the goal of this day camp filled with adventure to span the generations! Build life long memories with your loved ones during this two day adventure camp. Activities will include canoeing, fishing and several other opportunities to show your grandkids just how cool grandparents are! Participants are asked to bring a mask, water bottle, and sturdy shoes. This program will require the ability to walk distances of half a mile over well maintained dirt trails. Please register both adult and youth participants. Full details will be provided after registration. Camp activities run from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. A love of nature is always best shared, come let us help you share yours!
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 9:00 am - Tuesday, June 22, 2021 11:00 am
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. Face masks are required for the entire program. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Class at Lake 15.
Registration period: June 8 - June 22
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 2:00 pm - Wednesday, June 23, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: MDC Northeast Regional Office
MDC invites anyone age 12 and older to register for this free clinic that will cover how to tie basic flies using specialized equipment, and how to present the various flies to improve the chances of catching fish with them. MDC will provide all necessary equipment, but participants should bring reading glasses if they use them.
Date: Thursday, June 24, 2021 6:00 pm - Thursday, June 24, 2021 8:00 pm
Location: Spencer Lake

Cane poles are literally made from canes cut from bamboo – and are arguably the oldest of all fishing rods. Join us to learn about cane poles, how to make them and how to use them. Participants will make their own cane pole and get to take it home! Poles and all supplies will be provided. This program will be held outside, at Spencer Lake.

You MUST REGISTER at mdc.mo.gov/events by 5pm, June 23rd. If you need help registering, please email the email address listed below. This is a FREE program! All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration period: May 25 - June 25
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, June 26, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Tywappity Community Lake
Come enjoy a morning in the sun on beautiful Tywappity Lake. What better way to take the the sights and sounds than with a fishing rod in your hand? This program is designed for new anglers or new kayakers or both! Participants are welcome to bring their own fishing equipment or borrow ours. Kayaking instruction will be given to all, and then you may choose to go alone or spend time with an instructor to learn the basics of fishing from a kayak. Bait, lures, kayaks, paddles and lifejackets will be provided as well as knowledgeable conservation staff to help you try for the big one. Participants 16 and older are required to possess a valid Missouri fishing permit. Participants are asked to meet at the boat launch off HWY RA near Chaffee, MO with a waterbottle, snacks or lunch, and weather appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, June 26, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. Face masks are required for the entire program. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.
Registration period: March 5 - June 26
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, June 26, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

First thing in the morning we'll spend a little time catching some fish, then we'll demonstrate several easy methods of cleaning common Missouri fish, and participants will have an opportunity to try their hand at cleaning some of the fish that they caught.

We'll finish up the morning by using the fish that we clean to demonstrating some delicious recipes for everyone to sample.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide rods, tackle, bait, knives, cleaning boards and fishing coaches.

Participants do NOT need a fishing permit to fish during this program.

All children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Each participant must register individually. Please email the instructor for assistance with registration.
Date: Monday, June 28, 2021 5:00 pm - Tuesday, June 29, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: Ronald and Maude Hartell Conservation Area
Registration period: June 3 - June 28
Date: Monday, June 28, 2021 5:30 pm - Monday, June 28, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: MDC Headquarters

Lesson 1:

This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2:

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various types of hooks. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Everyone that will be attending must be registered.
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 5:00 pm - Tuesday, June 29, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: Ronald and Maude Hartell Conservation Area
Registration period: June 3 - June 30
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 5:30 pm - Wednesday, June 30, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: MDC Headquarters

Lesson 3:

Lesson 1&2 must be taken before any of other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 3-4.

In this class, participants will learn basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will also learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, you will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs.

Lesson 4:

In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather and water conditions as well as hands-on fishing. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

Everyone that will be attending must be registered.
Registration period: June 1 - June 30
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 7:00 pm - Wednesday, June 30, 2021 9:00 pm
Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range
Are you looking for a “jumping" good time, while learning and enjoying the outdoors? Frog gigging! This program will include all you need to know to get started gigging frogs. Including topics such as; basic frog facts, legal species to harvest and their identification, seasons, limits, regulations, and methods to harvest. Participants will practice what they’ve learned on a short frog gigging trip at Bois D" Arc Conservation Area ponds. Participants will learn all the basic of cooking frog legs as well as strategies to be successful on your next frogging adventure! Participants must be at least 8 years of age; all minors will need to be accompanied by an adult with a driver’s license. Participants, not exempt, must possess a Missouri fishing or hunting permit. Participants will need to appropriate clothing and foot wear (rubber boots) for frog gigging. All equipment will be provided.
Registration period: June 2 - June 30
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 8:00 pm - Wednesday, June 30, 2021 11:00 pm
Location: James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area

Join us for a frog gigging clinic at the James A Reed Memorial Wildlife Area.

We'll begin the evening with an amphibian program to help participants understand the difference between the different frogs that they are likely to encounter as the search for the areas bull and green frogs.

We'll also spend a little time learning how to harvest frogs with lots of tips from local experts.

Then at about sunset we'll head out to the area lakes to try our luck harvesting some frogs. Each individual participant or family will be accompanied on the area by an MDC approved mentor.

When we are finished hunting we'll do a frog cleaning demonstration and help participants clean their frogs before they leave the clinic.

Each participant must register for this clinic separately. For assistance with registration or for additional information, please contact John Rittel 816-604-8117, john.rittel@mdc.mo.gov

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide mentors, frog gigs, flashlights and frog cleaning supplies. Feel free to bring a strong flashlight and/or a headlamp though if you have them. Wear clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting wet and muddy. Bug spray is recommended.

Clinic participants will meet at the shelter house located inside the James A Reed Memorial Wildlife Area directly across from the horse trailer parking lot.

Fishing permits are not required to participate in this clinic.

All children under the age a 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Date: Thursday, July 1, 2021 6:30 pm - Thursday, July 1, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Everyday Pond, MWSU Campus

Come out and fish with the Missouri Department of Conservation! We will provide all equipment needed including poles and bait.

In partnership with Rolling Hills Public Library
Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 6:00 pm - Wednesday, July 7, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: Krug Park Lagoon
Registration period: April 19 - July 7
Date: Thursday, July 8, 2021 6:00 pm - Thursday, July 8, 2021 8:30 pm
Location: Platte Ridge Park

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks.

Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided.

Ages 7 and above. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Participants DO NOT need a fishing permit to fish during this program.

Each participant will need to register for this program individually on the Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Fishing website. Email instructor for assistance with registering for this program