MDC offers free loaner gear for new anglers to try fishing

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Autumn is a fine time to go fishing. The scenery is colorful, and quite often, the fish are active as water temperatures cool. Angler success can be good. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) helps people connect with fishing fun by offering the free use of loaner fishing rods and tackle boxes at various locations. The gear can be checked out and returned, giving people new to angling a chance to try their luck.

The newest loaner gear site is at the Dulany Memorial Library in Salisbury, said Tori McNutt, MDC angling education assistant. The site is one of 18 in northwest Missouri that have loaner gear for people to check out. MDC offers loaner gear at more than 100 sites around the state.

Volunteers service rods and reels to keep them working well. They also make sure loaner tackle boxes are stocked with basics such as hooks, bobbers, and sinkers. Volunteers are welcome to help maintain gear and to teach fishing skills in classes.

MDC offers Discover Nature ─ Fishing classes to teach newcomers basic angling skills. The classes are in four sessions. Participants go fishing in a pond or lake after each class session with instructors present to help. After completion of all four sessions, participants will have the confidence and skills they need to catch fish and prepare them for cooking. Although autumn is here, there will be fishing classes offered in October and November.

To find a loaner gear site near you, or to take a Discover Nature ─ Fishing class, or to volunteer for the programs, visit