MDC offers free fishing skills and tackle maintenance lessons in the Kansas City area

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Kansas City, Mo. – The warm days come and go during March’s fickle weather, but the daylight hours get persistently longer each week. Warmer temperatures and more light put fish and anglers on the move in spring’s cusp. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers free classes that can help newcomers learn how to fish or help angling veterans learn how to maintain tackle.

MDC’s Discover Nature—Fishing program gives participants the basic skills and hands-on experience needed to go fishing with confidence and catch fish. The four-lesson format covers fish biology, where to fish, tackle and equipment, regulations, and preparing fish for the table. Workshops are also offered on specific fish species and keeping tackle in tip-top shape.

A class entitled Basic Fishing Reel Maintenance and Repair will be offered from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, at MDC’s Kansas City Regional Office classroom, 12405 S.E. Ranson Road in Lee’s Summit. The office is reached via the entrance road at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area. Participants will learn how the preform basic maintenance and make common repairs on spin casting reels, spinning reels, and bait casters. Registration is requested by March 30. The crappie is a highly popular panfish in Missouri and a fish that can be relatively easy to catch during the spring spawning season. They are fun to catch and a fine-flavored fish to eat. A workshop on how to catch crappie while fishing from shore or from a boat will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 4. Classroom instruction will be presented at MDC’s Kansas City Regional Office. Then the workshop will move to Gopher Lake at the Reed Area for actual fishing experience. MDC will provide all equipment, tackle, and bait for this program. A valid Missouri fishing permit is not required to fish during the workshop. But participants wishing to keep any fish they catch during the workshop will need a permit. Registration is requested by April 3. 

A class on fishing rod repair will be offered from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, at MDC’s Kansas City Regional Office. Participants will learn how to perform simple repairs to damaged rods like replacing tips and line guides. They will also learn how make more complicated repairs like fixing a rod that's been broken in two. A Discover Nature—Fishing lesson 1 class will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 11. Lesson 2 will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. Lessons 3 and 4 will be offered from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. All lessons will be held at the Prairie Hollow Educational Lake at the Reed Area.

In the Northland, MDC will offer Discover Nature—Fishing lessons 1 and 2 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, at the Liberty Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library. The class will then move to the lakes at Liberty’s Fountain Bluff Sports Complex from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, for the fishing opportunity. This class is an opportunity for families to participate, including children age 7 and older. Children ages 7-15 must be accompanied at all times by an adult. Registration is requested by April 23. 

For more information about all of MDC’s Discover Nature—Fishing lessons, visit