MDC’s top five fishing locations near Cape Girardeau

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Missouri Department of Conservation fisheries management biologists say there’s lots of fishing opportunity near Cape Girardeau, even though many river accesses are closed due to flooding. In fact, the top five easiest fishing locations near Cape Girardeau are lakes and ponds, according to MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Salvador Mondragon.

“We work hard to make sure there are plenty of fishing locations for Missourians,” Mondragon said. “Close to home fishing is important, so you can spend your time fishing instead of driving.”

Cape Girardeau’s North County Park is the most convenient to Cape Girardeau, with the nature center’s kid’s only fishing pond, as well as the large lake where everyone in the family can fish. The nature center also has fishing equipment available to borrow and will often even have bait on hand.

“If you’re new to fishing, or wanting to keep it easy so you can teach your kids to fish, it doesn’t get simpler than the set up at the nature center,” Mondragon said.

Jackson has two fishing holes within the city, including at Litz Park and at Rotary Lake. Best bets to catch at these lakes include channel catfish, bluegill, largemouth bass, rainbow trout and white crappie. Jackson’s Rotary Lake has accessible restrooms and a fishing dock for added convenience.

Tywappity Community Lake, 10 miles from Cape Girardeau, located in Chaffee, is especially picturesque, and also has facilities such as accessible restrooms, a boat ramp, and a fishing dock.

Just 14 miles from Cape Girardeau is Lake Girardeau, stocked with bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass and channel catfish. Facilities here include accessible restrooms, a boat ramp, and a fishing dock.

These five locations, Cape County Park North, Litz Park, Rotary Park, Tywappity Community Lake and Lake Girardeau, are just a sampling of fishing opportunities in the area without accessing a river. Mondragon said especially with Free Fishing Weekend coming up June 8 and 9, he hopes people will take advantage of these opportunities.

“Fishing is an awesome activity, especially for families,” he said. “It teaches us patience, a love for the outdoors, and really is a great chance to teach your children about nature.”

Find these fishing locations and more by downloading MDC’s free Mo Fishing app on a mobile device, or go online to