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.

File Attachments

Fishing Classes

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

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.


Register by December 28

Date: Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: MDC Kansas City Regional Office

Learn to clean, store and prepare your winter trout.

We'll clean some trout, then we'll also prepare them for everyone to sample using some favorite and delicious methods.

Dress appropriately for the weather because part of this program will be outside.


Register by January 4

Date: Saturday, January 4, 2020 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: MDC Kansas City Regional Office

Start the new year off right by catching some winter trout!

Start the morning off with a trout fishing lesson in the class room at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office where we'll learn how to catch and clean trout. Then we'll head down to Honker Pond to try our luck catching some hungry trout.

Dress for the weather but if you get cold while you are fishing you can take a break to warm up by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate.

Only children can fish at Honker Pond but parents and family are welcome to attend.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide all of the equipment, bait, fishing coaches, hot chocolate and a warm fire.

Children do not need a trout permit to fish at this event as long as they plan to release their fish, if they would like to keep the trout that they catch they will need a trout permit.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

If bad weather is forcast the day of this event it may be postponed. You will be contacted if any changes are necessary.


Register by January 31

Date: Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 9:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors and enjoy a cold winter day. Join us for an ice fishing lesson and a couple hours out on the ice catching fish.

We'll start the morning off at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office where we will learn about ice fishing equipment and techniques as well as ice fishing and winter fishing safety. Then we'll head down to Prairie Hollow Lake for a fishing opportunity out on the ice.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide equipment, bait, and fishing coaches. Dress warm and bring your own snacks and drinks to help you keep warm.

Fishing permits are not required to fish during this program.

Safe ice will be necessary for this program. In the event that weather and ice conditions are not acceptable for this program participant will be contacted.


Register by March 6

Date: Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: MDC Kansas City Regional Office

Learn everything you need to know about catching winter trout.

Join us for a winter trout fishing lesson at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office where we'll learn how to catch and clean winter trout. After the lesson we'll head down to Plover Lake and spend a couple hours trying our luck at catching some hungry trout.

Dress for the weather and bring your own snacks and drinks. Missouri Department of Conservation will provide equipment, tackle, bait and fishing coaches.

Fishing permits are not required to fish during this event as long as participants DO NOT plan to keep the trout that they catch. If participants would like to keep their trout they WILL need a trout permit.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

In the event of bad weather on the day of this program we will go ahead with the inside fishing lesson but the outdoor fishing opportunity may be postponed. Participants will be contacted if changes are necessary.