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.
  • Take one class, or complete the entire program of four, two-hour classes.
  • No special equipment needed — we’ll provide all the gear.
  • Select one of the classes listed below to register.

Discover Nature — Fishing Classes

Each class is two hours long. You need to 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 can be found on the list below and on the Fishing Events page.

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.

File Attachments

Fishing Classes

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

Register by May 22

Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Osage Beach City Park

Lesson 4 covers fishing with lures and participants get fish with various types of lure, and State fishing regulations. Hands on fishing will be available during this class.

Register by May 22

Date: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

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.

Register by May 31

Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: August A Busch Conservation Area

Location: Lake 1

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. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances.

*Prerequisite: Lesson 1

Register by May 31

Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

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. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances.

*Prerequisite: Lesson 1

Register by June 4

Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: August A Busch Conservation Area

Location: Lake 15

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. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances.

*Prerequisite: Lesson 1

Register by June 4

Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Location: Lake Jacomo Marina

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Register by June 7

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: August A Busch Conservation Area

Location: Lake 2

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish. This lesson must be taken before registering for any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances.

Register by June 7

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

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. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances.

*Prerequisite: Lesson 1

Register by June 8

Date: Monday, June 11, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Lost Valley Hatchery

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Register by June 11

Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: August A Busch Conservation Area

Location: Lake 15

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various types of hooks. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Tuesday evening classes closes the day before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances.

*Prerequisite: Lesson 1