Discover Nature - Fishing

Free Hands-on Instruction

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.

  • Classes are free.
  • No special equipment needed — we’ll provide all the gear.

More advanced classes can be found on the list below and on the Fishing Events page.

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Fishing Classes

Enter part of the location name (e.g., "Runge")

Register by October 23

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Krug Park Lagoon

Free for Everyone
All Equipment Provided
Receive a $25 Bass Pro Gift Card Upon Completion of Lessons 1-4
Children must be accompanied by an


Register by October 24

Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Krug Park Lagoon

Free for Everyone
All Equipment Provided
Receive a $25 Bass Pro Gift Card Upon Completion of Lessons 1-4
Children must be accompanied by an


Register by October 30

Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins October 1 (ages 2-15)
See if you can fool a fish by wearing a costume while you fish for several different species at the Cape Nature Center Kids' Pond. Dress up as a fish or maybe a fish predator, fish prey, or other nocturnal animal (but please no scary or gruesome costumes). All equipment will be provided for the participants to use.


Register by December 6

Date: Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 8:30am to 11:30am

Location: Jackson City Park

This is the selection if you want to ride with us from the Nature Center to the lake. Have you always wanted to go trout fishing but never had the opportunity or just don’t know how? Join Fisheries staff at Rotary Lake in Jackson and learn how to utilize different artificial lures and techniques to catch the illusive Rainbow trout.
Please dress for the weather. Bring drinks if needed. Fish will not be able to be harvested since this is a catch and release season for the winter trout fishing.


Register by December 6

Date: Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Jackson City Park

This is the selection if you will meet us at the lake. Have you always wanted to go trout fishing but never had the opportunity or just don’t know how? Join Fisheries staff at Rotary Lake in Jackson and learn how to utilize different artificial lures and techniques to catch the illusive Rainbow trout.
Please dress for the weather. Bring drinks if needed. Fish will not be able to be harvested since this is a catch and release season for the winter trout fishing.


Register by December 19

Date: Friday, December 20, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Winter bass fishing can be a great time to catch monster bass if you have the skills and tackle which encourage sluggish fish to bite. This program is geared to new anglers or those who wish to learn finesse fishing skills such as drop shot, Ned rig, neko rig, shaky head and other techniques which may get the bass biting when fishing gets tough. While we will not be fishing, participants will be hands on with tackle and learn when each style of rigging is most effective on different parts of the lake. Participants will go home with several lures to test on their favorite winter water.


Register by December 20

Date: Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Do you enjoy fishing for trout and would love to know how to clean and cook it? MDC staff will demonstrate how to clean trout and discuss different ways to prepare your trout. You will get the opportunity to prepare your own trout over an open fire. Hot chocolate will be available to participants as we sit around the fire.
Please dress accordingly for the weather as a portion of the program will be done outside.