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 August 22

Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Bass Pro Shops

Lesson 4: August 22nd
Lesson 1 on August 13th must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.
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 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 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
After participants have completed and participated in all four sessions, they will receive a bass pro gift card (children and parents that participated), and the kids will also receive a brand new, all set up fishing pole!


Register by August 21

Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Prairie Hollow Lake, James A. Reed MWA

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. 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 August 22

Date: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods W. Robert Aylward Education Pond

Learn different methods of cleaning common fish like sunfish and catfish as well as larger fish like bass and walleye. also learn some best methods of storing your catch.

We will spend some time fishing, then we will have a hands on opportunity to clean a few of the fish that we catch. We will also prepare some delicious recipes with the fish that we clean for everyone to sample.

Rods, tackle, bait, knives and cleaning boards will be provided for this program. Fishing permits are not required to fish during this program.


Register by August 23

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Chesapeake Fish Hatchery

This beginners clinic will show you how to fish for lots of different species commonly found in farm ponds. Worms and equipment will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own! We will fish the Aquatic Education Pond on the Chesapeake Fish Hatchery near Mt. Vernon. Anyone 16 and over must have a valid fishing license and all ages are welcome to attend!


Register by August 24

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Bray (Marguerite) Conservation Area

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 visit https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/get-started-fishing/discover-nature-... or call 417-256-7161. For more information.

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. 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 visit https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/get-started-fishing/discover-nature-... or call 417-256-7161.


Register by August 27

Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

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 adult


Register by August 29

Date: Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

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 pole, parts of a fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. 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 visit Discover Nature-Fishing https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/get-started-fishing/discover-nature-... or call 417-256-7161

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 a variety of baits to various types of hooks. 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 visit Discover Nature-Fishing https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/get-started-fishing/discover-nature-... or call 417-256-7161


Register by August 29

Date: Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

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 adult


Register by August 28

Date: Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 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 August 29

Date: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 8:30am to 4:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

This program is for women only. Enjoy trout fishing and a fish fry at Roaring River State Park and Conservation Area. We will fish in our own privately stocked trout pool in the morning and then learn how to clean and fry trout for lunch. Make plans to join us for a great outdoor experience. Register and meet at the Nature Center. Transportation will be provided. Ages 12-adult. Girls 12-17 must be accompanied by an adult female. Register online at mdc.mo.gov/SouthwestEvents or call 417-888-4237 for more information.


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