Learn the basics of catching big catfish on Missouri's rivers and lakes at this free clinic

Join the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for a unique, family-friendly catfishing experience on the Mississippi River. MDC will offer a Discover Nature – Fishing alternative methods catfishing clinic at Wakonda State Park in northeast Missouri, July 19-20.

The clinic will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 19 with basic instruction on setline fishing techniques, including a hands-on, on-the-water tutorial on how to safely set trotlines, bank poles, jugs and limblines, as well as how to properly label equipment, and safely handle and release fish. Following a river outing, participants will attend seminars on catfish biology led by an MDC biologist, river fishing gear, tactics and regulations led by a conservation agent, including a presentation on using equipment.

MDC has partnered with Missouri State Parks for this clinic, and participants will camp for free at Wakonda State Park, if they choose. The workshop will continue at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning as participants learn how to retrieve fish from a boat. A fish cleaning demonstration will follow, upon return to the park.

“Fishing using these alternative methods is often quite rewarding and is a great opportunity to spend valuable time on the water with family and friends,” said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Rob Garver.

For this two-day course, participants will need to provide their own food, drinks, sunscreen and other personal items. Fishing equipment will be provided. This workshop is free and open to participants ages 14 and older, but space is limited, and preregistration is required. Each participant must register individually. Registration will be open until July 1 at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167571. For more information, contact Garver at 660-785-2420, or Rob.Garver@mdc.mo.gov.

MDC offers Discover Nature programs to help adults and children explore nature and master outdoor skills together. All participants age 16-65 years old must possess a valid fishing permit, and participants ages 16 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.