MDC offers free class on fishing with alternative methods

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Kansas City
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Blue Springs, Mo. – Some of the best ways to catch fish, especially big catfish, have long traditions in outdoor families. Variations on methods such as trot lines, jug lines, archery and gigs likely were used long before modern man invented the rod and reel. However, all those methods now utilize updated gear. They’re a fun and productive way to harvest fish for the table.

But not everyone has a family tradition to learn how to set a trot line or jug line. So the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a class in alternative fishing methods class 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 4, at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. This class is free, though registration is required.

Trot lines and jug lines are effective ways to catch catfish in summer months. Trot lines are long cords with multiple hooks tied to trees or perhaps with an anchor on the deep water end. Jug lines are single hooks set under a float and allowed to drift, a method usually employed on large lakes. Both methods are good ways to catch channel catfish or blue catfish. Special regulations apply to these methods, especially on some waters, so be sure to check fishing regulations for these methods before employing.

Archery utilizes bows and special arrows. Line is attached to the arrow and a spool or reel on the bow. For instance, some archers stalk carp that are visible in shallow water in coves. Gigs are essentially multi-pronged spears mounted on a pole. In the Ozarks, anglers use gigs to harvest suckers in clear water streams during winter months. Once again, anglers should double check regulations for these methods as to what fish can be harvested with them and in what waters.

MDC staff will teach how to use these fishing methods at the class at Burr Oak Woods. They will demonstrate how to set trot lines or jug lines at the pond at the nature center. Participants will be able to help check lines set earlier.

For more information or to register for the class, call 816-228-3766. Information about Missouri fishing regulations is available at