MDC to host family fishing classes in Columbia in May, June, and July

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Have you ever wanted to go fishing, but weren't sure how to get started? Interested in the sport, but not sure the difference between a sunfish and a bass? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites kids and their families to gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own through several Discover Nature—Fishing classes being held in May, June, and July at Bass Pro Lake, 3101 Bass Pro Drive in Columbia.

The classes are divided into four sessions and each class is two hours long. The classes are free and all needed fishing gear is provided. Participants must take Lesson 1 before registering for any one of the other three lessons.

The four lessons include:

  • Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting, and Proper Fish Handling
  • Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook
  • Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle
  • Lesson 4: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations

The main focus of Discover Nature—Fishing is kids 7-15 years of age, but it also emphasizes family involvement and encourages parents and guardians to participate as well. All kids must be accompanied by an adult.

Lessons will be offered on the following dates and times in Columbia:

Tuesday sessions from 6 – 8 p.m.

  • May 19 (Lesson 1)
  • May 26 (Lesson 2)
  • June 2 (Lesson 3)
  • June 9 (Lesson 4)

Thursday sessions from 6 – 8 p.m.

  • June 18 (Lesson 1)
  • June 25 (Lesson 2)
  • July 2 (Lesson 3)
  • July 9 (Lesson 4)

Saturday sessions from 10 a.m. to noon

  • June 20 (lesson 1)
  • June 27 (Lesson 2)
  • July 11 (Lesson 3)
  • July 18 (Lesson 4)

"The Discover Nature—Fishing program is based on studies that show a single exposure to an activity is rarely enough to make a lasting impression. It requires multiple contacts with that activity to get someone to stick with it," said MDC Angler Education Assistant Don Rahm. "Instead of being a one-time, get in/get out experience, this program provides participants with opportunities to get out and catch fish, learn different aspects of fishing, and ultimately acquire a lifestyle."

To register for the workshop, contact Rahm at or call 573-815-7900.