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Top Missouri Destinations

Top Fishing Charters in Missouri

Fishing in Missouri

So you want to go fishing in Missouri? Excellent choice – there’s a reason the Show-Me State is known for some of the best Trout fishing in the US. There’s over 400 lakes, more than 115,000 miles of rivers and streams, and plenty of Blue Ribbon waters available; it’s hard to drop a line and not catch a Trout! Some of these waters are pretty famous, including Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake, both worth taking your camera to. Some waters are even stocked daily between March and October – whatever the time of year, there’ll be something to fish for and the chance to catch a lunker!

What to Catch

It’s not just Rainbow and Brown Trout that call these waters home since they were introduced here. You also have Largemouth, White, and Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Walleye, Northern Pike, Paddlefish, Sauger, and plenty more to target. All game fish, apart from Paddlefish during the snagging season, must be hooked in the mouth or jaw – if not, return them to the water unharmed immediately. 

Non-game fish can be caught using a variety of methods, such as bowfishing, gigging, spearfishing, snagging, grabbing, and others. These species include Carp, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Gar, Drum, and others. It’s best to fish with a guide who can inform you about the latest fishing regulations.

What type of fishing is best for me?

You don’t need to be an expert to have a great time fishing in Missouri. Guides are happy to teach you the basics so the whole family can fish together. The state even have “Kids Fishing Days” scheduled to get children into fishing. 

If you want to target a specific species, check out the Blue, Red, or White Ribbon waters. This classification tells you the species to target and the regulations in effect there. A Red Ribbon lake or river is regularly stocked and limited to catch and release, so chances of reeling in a good-sized Trout are high. Blue Ribbon waters support natural Trout reproduction, and White Ribbon have both natural and stocked Trout.

In the winter, family groups can enjoy ice fishing together. You don’t need to have sea legs, as you’ll be on top of the ice instead of on the water. Wear layers, bring a thermos of hot chocolate, and target Crappie, Bluegill, and Panfish. It might be cold but the fishing is action-packed.

Want to really test your skills? Grab your fly fishing gear and head to the North Fork River for Trout and beautiful scenery. It’s not just Trout you’ll target in the Ozarks; these waters are also great for fly fishing for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, as well as Catfish. Catfish are great at giving anglers a good long fight, which on the fly rod is really something.

What to Bring

Whatever fishing you decide to do, you’ll need to bring along a fishing license. If targeting Trout, don’t forget to get the Trout stamp. Some areas will also require a daily Trout tag – your guide will have all the latest information.

Fishing charters in Missouri will provide you with rods and reels. If you’re bringing your own fly fishing gear, have a 2–5 wt line for Trout, and a 6–8 wt line for Carp, Bass, and Catfish.

You’ll usually need to bring your own waders and wading boots. Check with the captain if food and drinks are included in the price.

Head out for a Missouri fishing trip and you’ll be talking about it for the rest of the year!


Based on 15414 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Missouri Fishing Seasons

Go ice fishing during the winter for Bluegill, Crappie, and Panfish. This is fun for the whole family. Be sure to wrap up warm!

Head into deeper waters for Walleye this month. Striped Bass fishing is also great early in the year.

March 1 is the opening of catch-and-keep Trout season – it gets busy during this fun-filled tradition. Paddlefish snagging is big in March, too.

The fishing is heating up this month, especially for Crappie. Muskie can be caught during the spring before it gets too hot.

Bluegill is a lot of fun to target this month. Trout are always biting in Missouri and the Bass action is heating up.

All fishing in June is seen as good fishing! Big Bass can be found as well as Blue Catfish weighing over 100 pounds! Free fishing days are in June.

July is a great month for Channel Catfish and Flathead. Keep your bait moving to have the best chance of catching your fill.

August continues to be great for anglers all over Missouri. Target Blue Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and plenty of Trout.

September is all about the Bass! Smallmouth, Spotted, and Largemouth can all be caught in good numbers now.

Walleye comes into its peak now. You can still target Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass.

November is a good month for Crappie and Channel Catfish. The fishing never stops in Missouri.

Head out ice fishing for Crappie, Bluegill, and Panfish. Always check how thick the ice is before heading out to make sure it’s safe, and remember to bundle up.

Missouri Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Missouri

"4hr guided fishing trip"

Levi J. fished with Captain B's Fishing Guide Service on October 25, 2019

Check out Capt B for your guided fishing!!!

"6 hours with captain B"

Mike I. fished with Captain B's Fishing Guide Service on July 30, 2019

Captain B will show you a good time and is great with kids!

"3:00 pm to 7:00 pm trip"

Charles T. fished with Captain B's Fishing Guide Service 2 on July 6, 2019

Get a guide and listen to what they are saying.

"Fishing with Brian"

Donna F. fished with Captain B's Fishing Guide Service on June 7, 2019

Make sure to use lure colors and line for clear water fishing. I did not have clear lakes in my home area.

Top Fishing Techniques in Missouri

  1. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Missouri

Bass (Largemouth)

Bass (Largemouth)



Bass (Smallmouth)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Brown Trout

Brown Trout



Bass (White)

Bass (White)



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