Missouri Department of Conservation offers free, hands-on fishing lessons

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. - Fishing is an activity that can be both relaxing and thrilling, and now the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers free fishing lessons for those who want to learn.

“When you come out to fish, it’s not just about the fishing,” said Deanna Rittel, MDC angler education assistant for the Kansas City Region. “It’s everything else you see while you’re out.”

Anyone of any age is welcomed to take lessons.

Stephanie Gandy discovered the MDC a few weeks ago after signing up for an event.

“I’ve been wanting to get outdoors more for years," she said. "I fished a little when I was a kid, and I’ve been wanting to get back out and just learn more about everything.”

Students learn the right way to:

  • Identify fish   
  • Hold a fish once it’s caught
  • Pick out rods, tackle, and bait
  • Cast
  • Tie a knot

“People should get outside more these days," said Gandy. "I mean, everything is so high-tech. It’s so relaxing just to unplug and be outside with nature."

Fishing is a sport a person can participate in for a long time — a lesson Deanna Rittel learned from her mentor.

“He has always told people that fishing is something that you can do for all of your life, and once I heard him say that I thought, ‘Yeah, he’s right.’ You can’t always do gymnastics or play football or things like that, but fishing is something you can do forever,” she said.

For more information on fishing lessons, you can visit the MDC website.

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