Discover Nature - Fishing

Free Hands-on Instruction

Learning to Fish

MDC staff help kids learn to fish
Missouri Department of Conservation

Fishing is a great way for everyone to have fun outdoors, learn about conservation, and make happy memories together. Our Discover Nature — Fishing Program helps Missourians gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own. Don't let inexperience keep you and your kids from enjoying Missouri's great outdoors. Browse the events calendar below, or call your local Department of Conservation office to find out when Discover Nature — Fishing classes are available.

  • Classes are free.
  • Register by calling your regional office.
  • Take one class, or complete the entire program of four, two-hour classes.
  • Wear clothing and footwear suitable for the outdoors and water activities. No special equipment needed — we’ll provide all the gear.

Discover Nature — Fishing Classes

Each class is two hours long, and you must take lesson one before registering for any one of the other three. 

  • 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

More advanced classes are now being offered. See the Discovery Nature - Fishing Events list below for what new classes are available.

Volunteers Needed

If you're an experienced angler who loves sharing your hobby with others, please volunteer to teach fishing skills through our Discover Nature - Fishing Program. Learn how to become an instructor.

Fishing Classes

Location: Bray Conservation Area, Rolla, MO

Date: Jul 27, 2016 05:00 pm - Jul 27, 2016 07:00 pm

Come join us for an evening of angler education and fishing at the Bray Conservation area outside of Rolla, MO. An hour of hands-on fishing will accompany the education material discussed below.

Lesson 3 - Five Common Missouri Fishes – Anatomy, Habitat and Life Cycles.

Lesson 4 – Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations.

All equipment and bait will be provided.

To register, please contact the Missouri Department of Conservation at (417)-257-7161.

Reserve by Jul 26, 2016

Location: Ozark Regional Library- Fredericktown, Mo

Date: Jul 27, 2016 05:00 pm - Jul 27, 2016 07:00 pm

The opening lesson for the Discover Nature-Fishing class covers the parts of a rod and reel, casting, basic tackle, and how to catch and release a fish. Each lesson is immediately followed by a one hour fishing session to practices skills. Parent or guardian must be in attendance with child(ren).**Completion of Lesson 1 before completion of any other lessons, in any order is a prerequisite of this course**

Reserve by Jul 25, 2016

Location: Burr Oak Woods Nature Center Pond, Blue Springs

Date: Jul 29, 2016 06:00 pm - Jul 29, 2016 08:00 pm

Lesson 4: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather and water conditions. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Participants must have completed Lessons 1 and 2 prior to attending Lesson 3 or 4. For reservations, please call (816) 622-0900. For more information on Discover Nature – Fishing, please visit http://mdc.mo.gov/node/27175

Reserve by Jul 25, 2016

Location: Rutledge - Wilson Farm Park

Date: Jul 30, 2016 09:00 am - Jul 30, 2016 11:00 am

Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish-Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Participants will learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, participants will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs. Participants are limited to anglers ages 7 – 15 and families with children. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. Adults who do not wish to fish must accompany their child(ren) at all times. For reservation, please call (417) 895-6880. For more information on Discover Nature-Fishing please visit http://mdc.mo.gov/node/27175

Reserve by Jul 28, 2016

Location: Ozark Regional Library- Ironton, Mo

Date: Jul 30, 2016 09:00 am - Jul 30, 2016 11:00 am

Lesson 3 of Discover Nature-Fishing teaches students about five common Missouri fish species, their anatomy, habitats, and life cycles. Parent or guardian must be in attendance with child(ren).**Completion of Lesson 1 before completion of any other lessons, in any order, is a prerequisite of this course**

Reserve by Jul 28, 2016

Location: August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Date: Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am - Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am

In this class, participants will learn basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Participants will also learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, you will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs. Children age 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult and adults may fish alongside their child. Register online at DiscoverFishingSTL.com.

Reserve by Jul 27, 2016

Location: Bellefontaine Conservation Area

Date: Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am - Jul 30, 2016 12:00 pm

In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather, and water conditions. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. Children age 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult and adults may fish alongside their child. Register online at DiscoverFishingSTL.com.

Reserve by Jul 27, 2016

Location: Suson Rearing Pond

Date: Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am - Jul 30, 2016 12:00 pm

In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather, and water conditions. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. Children age 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult and adults may fish alongside their child. Register online at DiscoverFishingSTL.com.

Reserve by Jul 27, 2016

Location: Suson Rearing Pond

Date: Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am - Jul 30, 2016 12:00 pm

In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather, and water conditions. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. Children age 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult and adults may fish alongside their child. Register online at DiscoverFishingSTL.com.

Reserve by Jul 27, 2016

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Date: Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am - Jul 30, 2016 12:00 pm

In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather, and water conditions. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. Children age 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult and adults may fish alongside their child. Register online at DiscoverFishingSTL.com.

Reserve by Jul 27, 2016

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