Missouri Fishing Season: Unveiling the Dates to Cast Your Line!

When does fishing season start in Missouri?

Fishing is a popular recreational activity enjoyed by many residents and visitors in the beautiful state of Missouri. Whether you are an experienced angler or just starting out, knowing when fishing season begins can help plan your trips and maximize your chances of catching that trophy fish. In this blog post, we will explore the fishing seasons in Missouri and provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your fishing adventures.

Fishing Seasons Overview

In Missouri, fishing seasons vary depending on the species you are targeting. The state’s Department of Conservation regulates these seasons to ensure sustainable fisheries management while also providing opportunities for anglers throughout the year.

Spring Fishing Season

The fishing season in Missouri usually kicks off with enthusiasm during springtime. Spring brings warmer temperatures, which triggers increased fish activity as they emerge from their winter hiding spots to feed and spawn.

Bass Fishing

If bass is your preferred catch, then get ready for some exciting action! Bass fishing season typically starts around mid-March when water temperatures begin to rise. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass become more active during this period, making it an excellent time to target them using various techniques such as casting crankbaits or flipping jigs near shallow cover.

Crappie Fishing

If crappie is what you’re after, spring offers great opportunities too! As water temperatures reach around 55°F (12°C), crappies move closer to shorelines for spawning purposes. This makes them more accessible from banks or boats near submerged structures like brush piles or fallen trees. Consider using live minnows or jigs suspended at different depths for optimal success.

Summer Fishing Season

The arrival of summer brings warmer weather and longer days, creating ideal conditions for fishing in Missouri’s lakes, rivers, and streams. While fish may become more difficult to catch due to increased activity levels and abundant food sources, proper techniques and strategies can still lead to a successful day on the water.

Catfish Fishing

Summer is an excellent time for catfish enthusiasts. Catfish are known for their willingness to bite during warmer months when they become more active. Whether you prefer targeting channel, blue, or flathead catfish, consider using stinkbaits or cut baits at dusk or dawn near areas with underwater structures such as rocks or submerged logs.

Walleye Fishing

If you’re looking for some walleye action during the summer season in Missouri, focus your efforts around deeper waters where these elusive fish tend to seek cooler temperatures. Use bottom bouncers with live minnows or trolling crankbaits along drop-offs or humps for a chance at landing this prized game fish.

Fall Fishing Season

Fall is a spectacular time of year in Missouri when nature transforms into vibrant colors while preparing for winter. Fishing during this season can be rewarding as many species start feeding aggressively before colder temperatures set in.

Muskie Fishing

For those seeking thrilling angling adventures, fall offers prime opportunities for muskie fishing. As water temperatures begin cooling down again towards mid-September through October, muskies go into feeding frenzies before winter arrives. Try casting large jerkbaits or bucktail spinners near weed beds or rocky shorelines to entice strikes from these apex predators.


In addition to the warm-water species mentioned above, fall is also the start of Missouri’s catch-and-release trout fishing season. The state has numerous cold-water streams and lakes stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout that attract avid anglers from near and far.

Winter Fishing Season

In Missouri, winter doesn’t necessarily mean putting away your fishing gear. Although certain bodies of water may freeze over during extreme cold spells, there are still opportunities for dedicated anglers to pursue their passion.

Ice Fishing

When conditions allow, ice fishing can be a rewarding winter activity in Missouri. Popular targets include crappie, bluegill, and catfish found in lakes or ponds that have frozen solid enough to support safe ice fishing practices. Make sure to check local regulations and obtain necessary permits before venturing onto the ice.


The catch-and-keep trout fishing season resumes during the winter months at select locations across Missouri. Anglers can experience serene landscapes while trying their luck at catching these cautious fish under icy waters using techniques like jigging with small spoons or baiting with live minnows.


Fishing season in Missouri offers year-round opportunities for avid anglers to enjoy their favorite pastime. From spring bass and crappie fishing to summer catfish and walleye adventures, followed by fall muskie hunts and trout challenges throughout various seasons – each period provides unique experiences for everyone willing to cast their lines into the abundant waters of this beautiful state. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner seeking some outdoor excitement, knowing when each specific species comes alive ensures you make the most of your time on the water while respecting conservation guidelines set forth by authorities.