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 - 6 of 6
Registration period: December 15 - March 8
Date: Friday, March 8, 2024 4:00 pm - Friday, March 8, 2024 6:00 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 the Discover Nature-Fishing Lessons 1 and 2, which are best to complete before Lessons 3 and 4 (hosted later). 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. This program will take place at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. Participants will not be required to have a valid fishing license for this program.

Registration period: December 15 - March 29
Date: Friday, March 29, 2024 4:00 pm - Friday, March 29, 2024 6:00 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: February 16 - May 2
Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, May 4, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Shaw Nature Reserve

Come join us to learn fishing basics.

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.

Fishing equipment and bait/lures will be provided.

All children under 15 years-of-age must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Registration period: January 1 - May 10
Date: Monday, May 13, 2024 5:30 pm - Monday, May 13, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Bass Pro Shops

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 operate a spin cast fishing rod. Participants will also learn the 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.

Participants who complete all DNF Lessons (1-4) will be rewarded the choice between a FREE Zebco 202 fishing rod, stocked tackle box, or fishing net.

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, Huston Spellman with questions.

Huston.Spellman@mdc.mo.gov

573-815-7900 ext. 2926
Registration period: January 1 - May 15
Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2024 5:30 pm - Wednesday, May 15, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Bass Pro Shops

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

Participants who complete all DNF Lessons (1-4) will be rewarded the choice between a FREE Zebco 202 fishing rod, stocked tackle box, or fishing net.

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

Please email Huston Spellman, Community Education Assistant with questions.

Huston.Spellman@mdc.mo.gov

573-815-7900 ext. 2926
Registration period: January 2 - May 27
Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2024 5:30 pm - Tuesday, May 28, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Conservation Employees Credit Union Basement

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 operate a spin cast fishing rod. Participants will also learn the 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.

Please contact the Community Education Assistant, Lance Lewis with questions.

Lance.Lewis@mdc.mo.gov