MDC offers free fishing classes in the Kansas City area

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Kansas City, Mo. – Good fishing opportunities are available in the Kansas City area. Catfish swim in the Missouri River and the Platte River. Farm ponds are a good place to catch largemouth bass and bluegill. Crappie are a popular sport fish at Smithville, Longview and Blue Springs lakes. All those fish can be caught at fishing lakes at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area in Lee’s Summit. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free Discover Nature — Fishing program can teach you how to catch them.

Discover Nature — Fishing introduces basic fishing skills during four class sessions. Loaner fishing tackle is provided for class sessions. And after classroom sessions, participants get to go fishing in a pond or lake. MDC staff or volunteers will be on hand to answer questions or help with casting or handling fish that are caught.

“We provide a very easy way for people to come and get hands-on instruction and ask questions that are pertinent to them,” said Pam Lanigan, MDC fisheries regional supervisor.

The lesson outline includes:

  • Lesson One: Equipment, Casting, and Proper Fish Handling
  • Lesson Two: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook
  • Lesson Three: Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle
  • Lesson Four: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations

“We’re teaching people how to fish from the basics and then go on to become an experienced angler,” Lanigan said.

Participants must take Lesson One and Lesson Two to be eligible for Lesson Three and Lesson Four. They can take the lessons at varied locations as they are offered.

Currently scheduled, Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 will be offered 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, June 17, at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area in Lee’s Summit. That session is also considered a “Take Dad Fishing” event. Lesson 3 will be offered 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, at Johnston Lake in Raymore.  Lessons will be scheduled at other times and locations in the future.

These classes are a great way for children, teenagers and adults to gain the confidence and knowledge to successfully catch fish. Some libraries or community centers around Missouri offer free checkout of loaner fishing gear. Volunteers are also needed to help teach classes and to maintain loaner fishing gear.

Discover Nature — Fishing class schedules and locations, and sites with loaner fishing gear, are available at . For more information or to register for a class, call MDC’s Kansas City Regional Office at 816-622-0900.