ST. CHARLES, Mo.—Nothing can excite a kid and open up a whole new world like that first tug on the end of a fishing line. Turning the reel, feeling the fight, pulling that fish from the water and the thrill of seeing the first fish ever caught by their own hand is a magical moment.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to give kids, ages four to six, a chance to discover that thrill for the first time with a special Get Hooked on Fishing Program tailored just for young children. The goal is to offer younger kids the opportunity to catch their very first fish with the personal guidance of Discover Nature Fishing (DNF) instructors. The program will be Sunday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles. The program is free, but pre-registration is required by Sept. 8.
The formal instruction will be minimal, just the basics to get kids started. The emphasis of the program is actual fishing with one-on-one coaching. The program is designed to help every participant catch their first fish. All fishing will be conducted at Busch Lake 15. The lake is closed to public fishing and used only for educational programs. With ample stocking, it offers the perfect chance for a first-time angler to enjoy a successful experience. All fish caught will be released.
Even youngsters who may have already caught their first fish are welcome to attend and improve their skills.
Each family who registers will be contacted in advance and given an appointed time to work with a DNF fishing instructor for a 30-minute session. Adults may also assist their children if they wish. Session times will be appointed according to the order of registration. All equipment, bait, and tackle will be provided or participants can bring their own.
To commemorate the event, DNF instructors will also help parents prepare a First Fish Certificate for their young anglers suitable for framing. Or for information on creating the certificates on your own, go to http://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoN.
Registrations will be open until Sept. 8. Families are also encouraged to bring sunglasses, bottled water, and sturdy footwear. To register, call 636-441-4554. The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located on Route D two miles west of Highway 94.