Get started fishing with free MDC Discover Nature — Fishing classes during August in the Kansas City region

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Learn how to go fishing or sharpen your skills with the free Discover Nature — Fishing series classes offered during August by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in the Kansas City region. These classes can help newcomers get started fishing and some classes will teach new skills to anglers with experience. Classroom instruction is followed by actual fishing at a pond or lake with help from instructors. MDC provides all the fishing tackle and bait for fishing.

John Rittel, MDC community education specialist, will start each lesson with a discussion about fishing tackle and methods. He will also cover popular sport fish, regulations, how to handle fish, and places to go fishing. The lessons will delve into advanced tackle and methods. Anglers must take Lesson One before taking the final three lessons in the four-part series unless a class is focused on a specific type of fishing.

The Discover Nature — Fishing lessons are open to participants ages 7 and older. All youths under age 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Coaches will assist when participants go fishing. COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed as necessary. Registration is required.

  • A few slots remain for Discover Nature — Fishing Lessons One and Two from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Platte Falls Conservation Area near Platte City. The classes will be at the education ponds at the area. Basic skills will be taught. To register, visit
  • Lessons Three and Four will be offered from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Platte Falls Conservation Area. Participants will learn about advanced tackle setups and using artificial lures. Fishing regulations and five common Missouri fish will be discussed. Participants who complete all four of the Discover Nature — Fishing lessons will receive their choice of a free fishing rod combo, tackle box, dip net or tackle kit as an appreciation gift from MDC for attending the series. To register, visit
  • All four lessons will be offered in upcoming sessions from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sterrett Creek Marina at Truman Lake in the Warsaw area. Lesson One and Two will be offered Wednesday, Aug. 10. To register, visit Lessons Three and Four will be offered Wednesday, Aug. 17. To register, visit
  • MDC will offer Cane Poles Fishing for Families from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Prairie Hollow Educational Lake at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area in Greenwood. MDC will provide gear and bait. Participants can grab a cane pole and catch fish. Youngsters under the age of 16 will build their own cane pole rig and take it home afterward. Fishing permits are not required. All ages are welcome. To register, visit
  • Learn how to catch and cook Missouri’s abundant rough fish from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Berry Bend South Park at Truman Lake in the Warsaw area. Participants will learn about catching and cleaning fish such as gar, buffalo, grass carp, and drum. MDC will provide fish for participants to clean fish during the program. Instructors will cook some filets using proven recipes for taste testing. Participants are welcome to take home extra filets. To register, visit

MDC’s Discover Nature — Fishing programs will be offered at various locations throughout the state from now into autumn. To learn more about the program and to find lessons offered near you, visit