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 28

Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 12:15pm to 12:45pm

Location: Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

Virtual introduction to cleaning fish 101. This session will focus on cleaning scaled fish like bass and perch. We will look at some of the common equipment needed and common methods of cleaning these fish.


Register by October 31

Date: Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Lesson 3:
Lessons 1 & 2 must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons 3-4. In this class participants will learn basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout as well as hands-on fishing. 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.
Lesson 4:
In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather and water conditions as well as hands-on fishing. In addition, participants will earn to identify and understand fishing regulations. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and closed-toe shoes suitable for outdoor and water conditions. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for children 6 years of age and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Lessons at Lake 15


Register by October 30

Date: Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 10:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods W. Robert Aylward Education Pond

Fish or Treat - Halloween Fishing for Families

Everyone is welcome, wear your Halloween costume if you like and spend a little family time fishing this Halloween. Of course everyone gets to fish but we'll also have fishing themed games and prizes for biggest fish of the day and scariest costume. We'll also have a bonfire where you can warm up if you get chilly.

Rods, tackle, bait and fishing coaches will be provided.

Fishing permit are NOT required to fish during this event.

Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Please be sure to register each participant who will be attending separately. Contact the instructor if you need any assistance with registration.


Register by November 24

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Experienced anglers know that some of the largest lunkers of the year are pulled from the water during winter. Come join us for this virtual program and learn where to fish and what lures to use when the thermometer bottoms out. Whether you fish for smallmouth, largemouth or spotted bass, this program is sure to give you the edge this winter and may even help to get that photo of a lifetime to brag about.

Please make sure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address, so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Registration ends 2 hours before program begins.


Register by November 16

Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: MDC Sedalia Office

Participants will be making a Balsa crankbait at location of their choice through the convenience of Web-Ex programming. Materials and instructions will be sent to you prior to the on-line clinic. Some additional supplies will be needed. A list will be included in the packet. To participate in this clinic a device with internet capabilities to run the Web-Ex application is necessary .