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 21 - 30 of 39
Registration period: March 1 - May 19
Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, May 21, 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: March 29 - May 23
Date: Thursday, May 23, 2024 4:00 pm - Thursday, May 23, 2024 6:00 pm
Location: Shawnee Mac Lakes Conservation Area

Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle. Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations. You must take Discover Nature - Fishing Lesson 1 and 2 before you can take this class.

Additional Information:

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

Participants are limited to anglers ages 7 and up. We encourage the entire family to participate. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. Adults who do not wish to fish must accompany their child(ren) at all times. Participants must have completed Lessons 1 and 2 prior to attending Lessons 3 & 4. Participants do NOT need a fishing permit to fish during this program. For additional information or questions contact LuAnn Conway at (573) 325-1381 ext. 6036
Registration period: March 1 - May 21
Date: Thursday, May 23, 2024 6:00 pm - Thursday, May 23, 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: March 1 - May 23
Date: Saturday, May 25, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, May 25, 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: 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
Registration period: March 1 - May 26
Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, May 28, 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.

Registration period: March 1 - May 28
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024 6:00 pm - Thursday, May 30, 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: April 18 - June 5
Date: Thursday, June 6, 2024 3:00 pm - Thursday, June 6, 2024 5:00 pm
Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

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.

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

Each participant must register for this program individually.
Registration period: April 18 - June 7
Date: Friday, June 7, 2024 3:00 pm - Friday, June 7, 2024 4:00 pm
Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle. Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations. You must take Discover Nature - Fishing Lesson 1 and 2 before you can take this class.

Additional Information:

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

Participants are limited to anglers ages 7 and up. We encourage the entire family to participate. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. Adults who do not wish to fish must accompany their child(ren) at all times. Participants must have completed Lessons 1 and 2 prior to attending Lessons 3 & 4. Participants do NOT need a fishing permit to fish during this program. For additional information or questions contact LuAnn Conway at (573) 325-1381 ext. 6036.
Registration period: March 15 - June 8
Date: Saturday, June 8, 2024 5:30 pm - Saturday, June 8, 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 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.