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 52
Registration period: June 22 - July 21
Date: Monday, July 22, 2024 5:30 pm - Monday, July 22, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Pin Oak Hollow at Lake of the Ozarks State Park

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 spin cast 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 and attendee will need to register for this program individually. Email Lance Lewis, Lance.Lewis@mdc.mo.gov, for assistance with registering for this program.
Registration period: April 26 - July 23
Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2024 5:30 pm - Tuesday, July 23, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Henry Sever Lake Conservation Area

Meet at the pavilion next to the boat ramp. Fishing is encouraged but optional.

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, 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.

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: April 30 - July 21
Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, July 23, 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 22 - July 21
Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2024 5:30 pm - Wednesday, July 24, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Pin Oak Hollow at Lake of the Ozarks State Park

*Lessons 1 and 2 are required*

Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish combines instruction with hands-on fishing in order to teach young anglers and families the anatomy, habitat, diet, and life cycle of five common Missouri fish.

Lesson 4: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families to identify different kinds of lures and to grasp an understanding of applicable fishing regulations and why we have them.

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 who complete all DNF Lessons (1-4) will be rewarded the choice between a FREE fishing pole, landing net, tackle box, or tackle box kit.

Each attendee will need to register for this program individually.
Registration period: April 26 - July 25
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2024 5:30 pm - Thursday, July 25, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Henry Sever Lake Conservation Area

Meet at the pavilion next to the boat ramp. Fishing is encouraged but optional.

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 3: Five Common Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle.

Lesson 4: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations.

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.

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: April 30 - July 23
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2024 6:00 pm - Thursday, July 25, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: Lake 15- August A Busch Memorial Conservation Area

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: March 15 - July 26
Date: Friday, July 26, 2024 5:30 pm - Friday, July 26, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

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: April 30 - July 25
Date: Saturday, July 27, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, July 27, 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: April 1 - July 26
Date: Monday, July 29, 2024 5:30 pm - Monday, July 29, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Ben Branch Lake Conservation Area

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 the Discover Nature-Fishing Lessons 1 and 2, which are prerequisites for Lessons 3 and 4. Participants will learn about fishing equipment, casting, rigging a fishing rod, baiting a hook, and proper fish handling. The Discover Nature-Fishing program is available for ages 7 and up.

Any questions may be directed to Community Education Assistant, Lance Lewis. Lance.Lewis@mdc.mo.gov.
Registration period: April 30 - July 28
Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, July 30, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

*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.