Fishing and MORE! Discover tiny creatures living in Missouri streams and use them to determine water quality. Improve your casting skills. Learn to tie better knots and special purpose knots. Make your own in-line spinner, paint your own jig head or tie a marabou jig or Wooly Bugger fly. Understand the "why" of fishing seasons, length limits, daily creel limits and other regulations. Grab your favorite rod and reel and go to the lake, pond, river or stream and land.

Resources for all levels



SF725 Sportfishing 1

Tie knots, cast to a target, rig various lines, select tackle,identify where fish are, identify fish and internal and external fish parts.


SF726 Sportfishing 2

Cast using a spinning rod and fly rod and bait casting reel, practice responsible citizenship, research fishing regulations, decorate a lure, sew a fly wallet, tie an artificial fly & test a water sample.


SF727 Sportfishing 3

Youth develop their leadership and fishing skills as they take a friend fishing, demonstrate how to disassemble and reassemble a fishing reel, design and conduct a sportfishing skillathon, make artificial flies, design and craft a lure, customize tackle, build and use a kick net, respond to ethical situations, and interview a professional fisherman.


As the 4-H Sportfishing program is designed to be much more than a few hours with a fishing pole, volunteer leaders are required to complete basic Sportfishing certification. An extensive set of resources has been assembled for volunteers and must be used. The Sportfishing leader must be committed to include all four content areas in the project: Angling Skills, Tackle Craft, Aquatic Ecology, and People and Fish.

Steps to leader approval:

  • Order or borrow the National 4-H CCS Sportfishing Curriculum (Fishing Curriculum Set of 4). These can be found on Many extension offices also have these materials for leaders to borrow.
  • Review the MO State Sportfishing Plan.
  • Review curriculum resources.
  • Complete the Sportfishing Leader Training and Quiz in 4-H Online. Leaders must have a profile in 4-H Online and be approved 4-H volunteers.
  • Quiz will be graded (80% is passing). If you do not pass, you may complete the training and quiz again.


Why is the leader training for 4-H Sportfishing required?

The most common complaint from members and parents about 4-H is that the project leader "never does anything". Most are well intentioned but then for one reason or another never follow through with their commitment. Many project leaders say they don't have the resource materials, or the knowledge, or the self-confidence to do their job. Experience with the Shooting Sports program shows that the right kind of training can lead to success on a local level. Project leaders if prepared are more likely to "do something" and do it right. Mandatory training pays!

How is the Sportfishing program different from previous 4-H Fishing projects?

The main difference is that this is a nationally developed, guided, and supported program.

  • Professionals, both in fisheries and youth development, from throughout the United States have worked together in designing the program.
  • Previous programs were state driven and here in Missouri no resources, formatted specifically for a 4-H fishing program, were available. We now have quality materials including leader lesson plans and member manuals (CCS).
  • Of course, the required leader training is a major difference from previous 4-H fishing programs.
  • Partners and collaborations at the national level can assist in finding state partners and collaborations.

What are the subject matter areas of the Sportfishing program and does a volunteer have to be certified or trained in one or all of the areas to meet the requirements?

There are four subject matter areas. These are:

  • Angling skills
  • Tackle craft
  • Aquatic ecology
  • People and fish (ethics, fisheries, and folkways)

All volunteers that complete the Sportfishing Leader requirements will be exposed to curriculum in all areas.

4-H Sportfishing State Events

The Missouri 4-H state event where sportfishing members can test out their skills in fishing, casting, identification and knot tying.


4-H Sportfishing Slam

The Sportfishing Slam contest was created to challenge all 4-H members to stretch their skills and knowledge surrounding fishing in the State of Missouri. The Sportfishing Slam contest encourages members to learn more about and determine the appropriate fish species, habitat, and bait that will allow for the completion of a slam category.


State Fair

4-H exhibits and competitions are part of the fun of the Missouri State Fair. You won't want to miss this special event; visit the 4-H building to see the projects of our 4-H youth or catch the judging competitions. Whatever your niche, there is something for everyone. Bring the family! The Missouri State Fair is located at the intersection of Highways 50 and 65, and less than 20 miles south of I-70, Sedalia is roughly an hour from Kansas City, Columbia and Jefferson City.