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The great state of Missouri could easily be counted among the best trout fishing places in the United States, and this accomplishment is even more remarkable considering that trout are not native here.
Thanks to conservation efforts like creating trout waters, special restriction areas, fish hatcheries, and stocking programs, Missouri has become a top destination for anglers looking for year round trout fishing opportunities.
With so many rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and reservoirs, anglers can target rainbow or brown trout in large numbers in almost every corner of the state. With so many places to choose from, here are just a few that are among some of the best trout fishing in Missouri.
Trout Fishing in Missouri
1. Lake Taneycomo
Located in southern Missouri, Lake Taneycomo is known for being one of the best trout fishing lakes in the United States. With over 40 miles of shoreline, it is annually stocked with 600,000 rainbow trout and 10,000 brown trout, which only add to the number of plentiful fish already in the lake at any given time.
This lake does have some specific fishing regulations that are important to know before fishing here. These sizes and bag limits only help to increase the large number of fish in the waters, and also help produce some giant trout to catch.
With a trout hatchery nearby and plenty of access to the lake, this spot is a no brainer for someone looking to not only catch a lot of fish, but a lot of big fish. From shore fishing, wading, to using a boat, the possibilities here are endless!
2. Current River
The Current River is a tributary found in southeastern Missouri and is one of the most productive trout fishing waters in the state. Because it is considered a trout conservation area, it is also known for very large fish as well.
Brown trout here are stocked every spring, and it’s cold waters make it a great year round fishery. Because of its special regulations and varying water depths and terrain, the browns here can and do grow very large.
The river also holds great numbers of rainbow trout that can also grow to trophy sizes, and many stretches are considered blue ribbon quality. Plenty of water, fish, and scenery makes this a great option for any serious trout angler to explore.
3. Little Piney Creek
Anglers will always flock to popular fishing destinations that are considered prime trout spots, but lesser known places like Little Piney Creek always make for some of the best fishing around.
The great thing about this creek is that it is full of a healthy population of wild-born trout. Although wild trout tend to be a little smaller in size, there have still been some big rainbows caught here. These wild fish fight hard and make for a great challenge to catch.
There are several special regulation areas along Little Piney Creek, including a 10 mile Blue Ribbon Trout area in several sections. This little stream is not well known but is quickly gaining in popularity because of the great fishing to be had here.
4. Eleven Point River
For trout anglers looking for a little bit of everything, Eleven Point River is a great place to start. Located in Southeastern Missouri, it flows through the Mark Twain National Forest and contains many different types of scenery, fish, and water variation.
Rainbow trout are stocked throughout this river year round, and fishermen targeting larger fish should try the blue ribbon area that runs 5 miles from Greer Spring Branch junction to Turner Mill Access. Wade fishing is the most popular here, although small boats do manage to access some of the more remote water.
There are both stocked and wild rainbow trout throughout the river, with some over 20 inches in length. With plenty of public access and Forest Service land, the Eleven Point River is the perfect place for a trout angler to get out and explore.
5. Roaring River State Park
Roaring River State Park is considered a trout fishing park and has great fishing opportunities for both brown and rainbow trout. This is an ideal location for families, kids, and first time anglers looking to catch some quality fish.
The park is divided into three zones, each unique and with specific regulations. In the center of the park is a visitor center with amenities and on site experts that can offer advice on the regulations, water conditions, and where in the park to fish.
While a great place for beginners, veteran anglers are also attracted to these waters because of the opportunities to catch larger trout. With so much to see and to do, this state park is well worth the trip to the Roaring River.
When Does Trout Season Start In Missouri
The opening of Missouri catch and release trout season usually begins on March 1 and is an important Missouri tradition. It runs until the end of October, giving fishermen plenty of time to get out there and fish.
To fish in Missouri, you must possess a fishing license whether you are a resident of the state or not. Licenses can usually be bought at any gas station, outdoor store, and even grocery stores across the state.
Every trout fishery in the state is a little different, and it is important to know where you are fishing and the regulations it has. Some areas are open to fishing year round, while others stay strict to the March to October season dates. For more information, check out the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website at https://mdc.mo.gov/.
How Much Is a Fishing License in Missouri
To fish for trout in Missouri, you must first purchase a trout permit. This will cost both residents and non-residents $7. After that, you can purchase your basic fishing license.
- Daily fishing permits also cost $7 for non-residents and residents.
- Annual fishing permits only cost $12 for residents and $42 for non-residents.
- Lifetime licenses are available for both nonresidents and residents, depending on your age at the time of purchasing the license.
To see how much a lifetime license would cost for you, or to see all of the available licenses and fees, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/permits.
Where to Buy a Fishing License in Missouri
Like most other states, Missouri offers many different options and places to buy fishing licenses. The easiest and most convenient way is to buy your license on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website directly.
Another option is to buy your license in person. This can be done at any department office in the state, as well as any of the other license vendors. There are over 1000 different license vendors found throughout the state.
For more information and to find a detailed list of all of the physical locations where you can purchase a license, visit https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/permits.
Missouri is a beautiful state that offers so much water to fish that an angler would have a difficult time trying to cover all of it in a lifetime. There are few things as thrilling as catching a trophy trout, and if this is what you are after then the great state of Missouri should be high on your list!
Trout Fishing in the US
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- Trout Fishing in North Carolina (NC) – Top Spots with Map
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