Fishing Classes

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Adult and two children fishing on edge of lake
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Free Hands-On Instruction

Fishing is a great way for everyone to have fun outdoors, learn about conservation, and make happy memories together. Our Discover Nature — Fishing Program helps Missourians gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own.

  • Classes are free.
  • No special equipment needed — we’ll provide all the gear.

More advanced classes can be found on the list below and on the Fishing Events page.

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Fishing Classes

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Displaying 1 - 21 of 21
Registration period: September 1 - September 20
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 5:00 pm - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lesson 3&4

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

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 suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following local mask and social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Class at Lake 15

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 5:30 pm - Tuesday, September 21, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Rinquelin Trail Lake CA

Lesson 1:

This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

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 spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2:

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. 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 ages 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Everyone that is attending must register!

Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 5:30 pm - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 7:30 pm

Lesson 3:

Lesson 1&2 must be taken before any of other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 3-4.

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.

Everyone that is attending must register!
Registration period: September 8 - September 23
Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021 11:00 am - Thursday, September 23, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Online only

Catfishing can be a fun and relaxing activity year round, and who doesn’t like to eat catfish? Join Discover Nature-Fishing instructor Colt Wahl to learn about the mighty-sized fish in the Mighty Mississippi, as well as how and where to find them, different methods to try, gear that you may need, and different baits for different circumstances. This program will be more appropriate for ages 12 and up, but anyone is welcome to join in!

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021 5:30 pm - Thursday, September 23, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Rinquelin Trail Lake CA

Lesson 3:

Lesson 1&2 must be taken before any of other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 3-4.

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.

Everyone that is attending must register!

Registration period: August 24 - September 23
Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021 5:30 pm - Thursday, September 23, 2021 8:00 pm
Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

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.

All participants must register separately. Please email the instructor for assistance with registration.

Registration period: September 1 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lesson 3&4

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

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 suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following local mask and social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Directions to the Hatchery: Use the Forest Park entrance at West Pine Parkway off Kingshighway Blvd, and turn left on Grand Drive.

Registration period: September 5 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lessons 1&2

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following current masking and distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Directions to the Hatchery: Use the Forest Park entrance at West Pine Parkway off Kingshighway Blvd, and turn left on Grand Drive.

Registration period: September 1 - September 27
Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:00 pm - Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lessons 1&2

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following current masking and distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Class at Lake 15
Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:30 pm - Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Veterans Park Lake

Lesson 1:

This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

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 spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2:

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. 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 ages 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Everyone that is attending must register!

Registration period: August 25 - September 30
Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 5:30 pm - Thursday, September 30, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

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

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 5:30 pm - Thursday, September 30, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Veterans Park Lake

Lesson 3:

Lesson 1&2 must be taken before any of other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 3-4.

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.

Everyone that is attending must register!

Registration period: August 24 - September 30
Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 5:30 pm - Thursday, September 30, 2021 8:00 pm
Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

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

Registration period: September 14 - October 1
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, October 2, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lesson 3&4

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

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 suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following local mask and social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Directions to the Hatchery: Use the Forest Park entrance at West Pine Parkway off Kingshighway Blvd, and turn left on Grand Drive.

Registration period: September 14 - October 2
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, October 2, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods W. Robert Aylward Education Pond

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families and individuals 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 must register separately. Contact instructor for assistance with registration.

Participants will be asked to maintain safe social distance with staff and other participants who are not their family members during this program.
Registration period: September 14 - October 4
Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 5:00 pm - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lesson 3&4

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

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 suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following local mask and social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered

Class at Lake 15
Registration period: September 14 - October 9
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, October 9, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods W. Robert Aylward Education Pond

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

Registration period: September 14 - October 11
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 5:00 pm - Tuesday, October 12, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lessons 1&2

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following current masking and distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Class at Lake 15
Registration period: September 15 - October 13
Date: Thursday, October 14, 2021 5:00 pm - Thursday, October 14, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: Chesapeake Fish Hatchery

A fishing skills event to teach participants how to catch, clean and cook catfish.

Each participant will be able to catch and clean upto 3 catfish.

Participants will also have the opprotunity to sample some fried catfish.

Those 16 years of age and older must possess a valid Missouri fishing license.

For Additional Information call 1-417-742-4361 ext 1825 or email stacy.wheatley@mdc.mo.gov
Registration period: September 14 - October 15
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, October 16, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lessons 1&2

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following current masking and distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Directions to the Hatchery: Use the Forest Park entrance at West Pine Parkway off Kingshighway Blvd, and turn left on Grand Drive.

Registration period: September 14 - October 18
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 5:00 pm - Tuesday, October 19, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lesson 3&4

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

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 suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following local mask and social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Class at Lake 15