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

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 39
Registration period: April 18 - May 8
Date: Friday, May 10, 2024 4:00 pm - Friday, May 10, 2024 6:00 pm
Location: Miller Lake

Lesson 1: Learn the parts and function of a spin cast fishing rod and reel. How to cast safely and successfully. How to fasten basic tackle to a fishing line. Learn techniques to catch fish and handle it properly.

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.

Participants will be able to take what they learned and go fishing.

Registration period: April 12 - May 10
Date: Friday, May 10, 2024 5:00 pm - Friday, May 10, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Lake Jacomo Marina

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

Registration period: March 1 - May 9
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, May 11, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Suson Park - Rearing Pond

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: 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: March 1 - May 12
Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, May 14, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

*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: 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: March 1 - May 14
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2024 6:00 pm - Thursday, May 16, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

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: April 12 - May 17
Date: Friday, May 17, 2024 5:00 pm - Friday, May 17, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Lake Jacomo Marina

Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish-Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers 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.

Equipment, bait and fishing coaches will be provided.

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

Each participant must register for this program individually on the Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Fishing website. For assistance with registration please email the program instructor.

Lesson 3 & 4 are part of the Discover Nature-Fishing Lesson series. Lesson 3 & 4 are appropriate for adults and families with children ages 7 and older.

Registration period: March 1 - May 18
Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, May 18, 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: March 29 - May 21
Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 4:00 pm - Tuesday, May 21, 2024 6:00 pm
Location: Shawnee Mac Lakes Conservation Area

Lesson 1: Learn the parts and function of a spin cast fishing rod and reel. How to cast safely and successfully. How to fasten basic tackle to a fishing line. Learn techniques to catch fish and handle it properly.

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.

Participants will be able to take what they learned and go fishing.