MDC offers family fishing class in Columbia

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COLUMBIA, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites kids to gain the skills and confidence to go fishing by participating in a Discover Nature—Fishing class Oct. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon at Bass Pro Shops, 3101 Bass Pro Drive in Columbia. MDC is also holding a class Oct. 30 at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to noon at the same location.

The classes are free and all fishing gear is provided. Registration is required by Oct. 23. Participants must attend the Oct. 23 class to be prepared for the hands-on fishing activities Oct. 24. Participants must also attend the Oct. 30 class to be prepared for hands-on fishing Oct. 31.

This program will cover all the basics of fishing including the following four lessons:

  • 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

Lessons 1 and 2 will be taught on Oct. 23, and participants will get to fish Oct. 24. Lessons 3 and 4 will be taught Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 will be a hands-on fishing day.

The primary focus of Discover Nature—Fishing program is kids 7-15 years of age, but it also emphasizes family involvement. MDC encourages parents and guardians of youths 16 and over to participate in the program.  All youths must be accompanied by an adult.

“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 opportunities to get out and catch fish, learn different aspects of fishing, and ultimately acquire a lifestyle.”

Register for the event online at or by contacting For more information about the Discover Nature—Fishing event call (573) 815-7900.

Don't let inexperience keep you and your kids from enjoying Missouri's great outdoors. Browse the events calendar on the MDC website:, or call your local Department of Conservation office to find out when Discover Nature — Fishing classes are available.