MDC offers free catfishing clinic at Truman Lake Aug. 15-16

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free catfishing clinic at Truman Lake on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15-16. Signups for the clinics begin July 1. The clinic can accommodate 15 anglers age 10 and older.

The clinic will teach participants how to use trotlines and juglines to catch catfish. The channel, blue, and flathead catfish species are popular sport fish for anglers at Truman Lake and throughout Missouri. Techniques taught by MDC experts can be used at lakes and rivers to catch catfish.

At the first session from 3 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15, participants will learn some basics about catching catfish, study regulations, construct juglines, then bait and set their juglines in Truman Lake. Anglers will then be ferried in MDC boats from 8 a.m. to noon on Aug. 16 to run the lines and see if they have caught fish.

MDC will provide participants with materials to make two juglines. Staff will assist participants who buy additional materials with preparing other juglines and trotlines.

A valid Missouri fishing license is required to participate if required by state regulations. MDC staff will also teach about catfish management at Truman Lake, rod and reel fishing techniques, and how to clean and prepare catfish for cooking. Personal flotation devices will be provided and must be worn while participants fish from MDC boats. Some anglers may wish to try out their new skills during the weekend following the clinics.

Juglines are a fishing method with a baited hook on a heavy line that is suspended from some type of float, from empty plastic jugs to foam floats. They are allowed to drift in lake or river currents, or they are anchored in place. Anglers watch for a jug bobbing in the water to know if they have a fish. They usually use multiple juglines and check them from a boat.

Trotlines are a series of hooks attached to a line that is anchored at both ends and sunk in the middle to lower depths. For example, the line might be stretched across part of a cove with both ends tied to trees with weights pulling the trot line downward.

Both juglines and trotlines put a large quantity of bait before fish for long periods. They are effective catfish catching methods. But they do require some specific skills to prepare, set in the water, and run to retrieve fish. Specific fishing regulations also apply.

To register for the catfishing clinics, visit MDC’s events signup page at For more information, call Mark Miller at 660-530-5500 or Chris Brooke at 660-885-6981.

To learn more about catching catfish in Missouri’s many lakes and rivers, visit