Cast your line in Missouri! The show-me state is a great stop for avid anglers that enjoy river fishing. Catching bass, catfish, trout, muskellunge, drum, and bluegill is a common occurrence in Missouri. Many less sought game fish spring from its waters, too. Missouri is full of large rivers, such as the Missouri River and Grand River, but it certainly does not lack exceptional lake fishing.
Bass fishing is one of the best attractions of the state. Both small and largemouth, white, yellow, striped, hybrid and spotted bass lurk in Missouri’s waterways. Largemouth bass can easily be found on Buffalo Bill Lake, along with bluegill, catfish, and the occasional black bullhead. One of the largest state’s largest bodies of water, the Mark Twain Lake, is great for largemouth and white bass, and it is notorious for excellent crappie fishing when the water’s right. Ozark streams are great bass fishing, but their special regulations should be duly noted.
Trout are an appreciated year round option, and to keep anglers happy Missouri stocks trout heavily in their waterways. Lake Taneycomo is hailed as a primer spot for rainbow trout fishing in Missouri, and has the added benefit of being a year round trout fishery. The Roaring River State Park has some great brown and rainbow trout fishing via stocking. A few areas are designated by the state as trout parks, like Montauk State Park and Bennett Spring State Park. Some of Missouri’s specialized regulations are for trout specifically (an extra permit for trout is necessary, even for those exempt from fishing licensure).
Leaping from Missouri’s waters is the paddlefish. Some humongous paddlefish can be found in Truman Lake, and Lake of the Ozarks. Truman has many easily accessed points and public launching ramps on nearby waterways. The basin of the Osage River is great for paddlefish, especially in springtime. Normally the state creel limit for paddlefish is two.
With the Mississippi river running through Missouri you can fish in a beautiful atmosphere, knowing you share the water with many other states! Around the upper section and the St. Louis region of the Mississippi freshwater drum can be found. The Mississippi is also a great location for all three types of catfish Missouri can offer!
Missouri also has fishing in winter, though mostly catch and release (except in designated areas). Some amazing winter trout fishing happens in Missouri. It is a great time to get in some practice, or if you live in a state without winter fishing take a trip here to keep your rod hand limber.
State fishing licenses are required for anyone over the age of fifteen. Additional permits may be necessary for some species and waterways. Daily, annual, and lifetime licenses can be purchased online, by phone, and in person at approved state licensing distributors.
To be a resident you need to have lived in Missouri for a minimum of thirty days. Recreational fishing licenses are available to residents and non-residents alike. Military members are offered discounts, and if stationed in Missouri they qualify as residents. Missouri does have free fishing days early in June. Always check laws and pay attention to catch limits before casting out!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.