Discover Nature Fishing

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Little girl holding a fish she caught.
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Discover Nature — Fishing offers families with children between the ages of 7 and 15 a hands-on introduction into angling.

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Missouri Department of Conservation fisheries biologists in Cape Girardeau are l
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It's more than breaking out the tackle box. That's why the department is looking for experienced anglers who are ready to lead the next generation of Missouri anglers.

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Program at a Glance
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  • Lesson one: Equipment, Casting, and Proper Fish Handling
  • Lesson two: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook
  • Lesson three: Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle
  • Lesson four: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations
  • Classes are free
  • No permits or additional paperwork required
  • Bait and equipment provided

Enrollees must take lesson one to be eligible for later lessons. However, lessons two, three, and four may be taken in any order once lesson one has been completed.

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Basic Tackle

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Learn what you need for basic tackle before your next fishing trip in this episode of MDC’s Discover Nature-Fishing series.
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  • Each class is approximately two hours and will include indoor and outdoor segments.
  • Separate registration required for each participant
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • All registrants are expected to participate

Both the child and the accompanying adult(s) must be registered for classes in order to attend.

Due to limited space and seating, only those registered for a class may attend.

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All supplies and fishing equipment will be provided. However, you might want to bring the following:

  • Water bottle
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Notebook and pencil
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Bad Weather:

In the event of class cancellation or rescheduling, registrants will be notified by either phone or email.

Withdraw from a Class:

To withdraw, navigate to My Events, log in, then select “cancel registration.” Remember that this will have to be done for every participant registered for the class.

Fishing Classes

Private Event | My Events | My Profile

Displaying 1 - 10 of 68
Registration period: April 30 - June 11
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2024 6:00 pm - Thursday, June 13, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

*Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1 is required before attending this program*

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 2

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills. 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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Registration period: April 30 - June 13
Date: Saturday, June 15, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, June 15, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Suson Park - Rearing Pond

*Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1 is required before attending this program*

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 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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Registration period: April 30 - June 18
Date: Thursday, June 20, 2024 6:00 pm - Thursday, June 20, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

*Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1 is required before attending this program*

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 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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Registration period: March 15 - June 21
Date: Friday, June 21, 2024 5:30 pm - Friday, June 21, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Description:

Fishing is a great way for kids and families to have fun outdoors, learn about conservation, and make happy memories. Our Discover Nature-Fishing program is a hands-on, four-part fishing instruction series that helps families gain the skills and confidence they need to go fishing on their own.

This program will cover lessons 3 and 4 which are best completed after lessons 1 and 2. Participants will learn about Missouri freshwater ecosystems, common fish, artificial lures, and the regulations regarding fishing in Missouri. The Discover Nature-Fishing program is available for ages 7 and up. We will host this program at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. Participants will not be required to have a valid fishing license and those who have already completed lessons 1 and 2 will receive fishing related rewards.

Registration period: June 10 - June 22
Date: Monday, June 24, 2024 5:30 pm - Monday, June 24, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Manito Lake Conservation Area

A valid fishing permit is required for Missouri residents ages 16 to 64, and nonresidents ages 16 and up. Permits are available for purchase online.

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers 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 anglers intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks.

Fishing equipment and bait will be provided.

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

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.
Registration period: June 4 - June 24
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024 3:00 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2024 5:00 pm
Location: Boone County Nature School

Discover Nature - Fishing Lessons 1 & 2:

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 6 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.

Please contact the Community Education Assistant, Luke Noel with questions.

Luke.Noel@mdc.mo.gov

573-815-7900 ext. 2926

Registration period: April 30 - June 23
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1

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 spincast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Registration period: June 4 - June 26
Date: Thursday, June 27, 2024 3:00 pm - Thursday, June 27, 2024 5:00 pm
Location: Boone County Nature School

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. Prizes for completion of all four lessons will be available at the end of the night after lesson 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.

This class is for children ages 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration period: April 30 - June 27
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, June 29, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Suson Park - Rearing Pond

*Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1 is required before attending this program*

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 2

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills. 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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Registration period: May 30 - July 2
Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2024 9:30 am - Tuesday, July 2, 2024 10:30 am
Location: MDC Northeast Regional Office
Come to MDC Office in Kirksville and learn the basics of fishing in a classroom setting. Learn fish ID, tying on a hook, and much more!