Catfishing Gear Library

Let's go fishing at the Missouri River!

Borrow everything you need for a fishing adventure with our FREE Catfishing Gear Library in Columbia, Missouri! The gear library includes all the catfishing essentials like poles, bait, and tackle. Whether you're new to fishing, haven't been since childhood, or have always been curious about fishing at the River - the gear library is for you!

You can check out the gear or select the option to book a time with our catfishing instructors! They'll teach you everything you need to know to become an independent Missouri River angler. We’re here to make catfishing on the River easy and accessible for everyone by removing barriers related to cost and knowledge.

Click HERE to check out your gear!

How does the Catfishing Gear Library work?

Sign Up! First you'll need to fill out our Catfishing Gear Library Checkout Form. Once we receive your request, we'll contact you confirming your check out dates and send you an access code for the gear shed.

Get Your Fishing Permit.  Anyone ages 16-64 needs a valid Missouri fishing permit. Purchase yours HERE. We can help with the permit process and have financial aid available - just ask!

Grab Your Gear. The Catfishing Gear Library is located at Missouri River Relief's offices at 916 N. College Ave, Suite #2, Columbia, MO 65201. The gear shed is outside the offices and can be accessed using your personalized access code, which will be provided in your confirmation email.

Enjoy! Your tackle box will include a map of our favorite Missouri River fishing spots along its banks. Take your gear down to the River, relax, and make some unforgetable memories.

Get ready for a fishing adventure!

Below are a few things to know before you go:

What else should you bring? 

Use our fishing trip checklist to make sure you're ready to go:

  • Wear sturdy footwear to access the best spots along the river bank.
  • Pack water, snacks, extra clothes, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Consider bringing chairs and a flashlight for evening or early morning trips.
  • We recommend lifejackets; if you need a lifejacket for you or your little one, let us know on the signup form.

Need help getting started? Sign up for a lesson!

If you feel a little unsure about fishing, start by fishing alongside one of our catfishing instructors! All ages are welcome - due to the size of the poles and weights used, children under five may have a difficult time handling the gear, but are still welcome to come.

  • Current available dates: Coming Soon!
  • Lessons are 1.5 hours long.
  • Choose a time slot between 8:30am-4pm.
  • Lessons take place along the banks of the Missouri River at Cooper's Landing Riverside Resort & Marina.
  • We bring all of the gear.
  • Families and groups of up to 6 people welcome.
  • You'll fish with one of our seasoned catfishing instructors as they teach you the basics of Missouri River catfishing!
  • No fishing permit necessary - you're covered to fish under our educational fishing permit during your lesson.

Terry Martin - Catfishing Instructor

Terry grew up in Missouri, surrounded by nature's wonders - lakes, streams, and rivers. With a bicycle and a fishing rod, he explored from dawn till dusk, fostering a deep passion for wildlife and art. Inspired by artists like Audubon and naturalists like Muir, he honed his skills as an artist and educator. His journey led to illustrating books and curating exhibitions, all while teaching and embracing the intertwined worlds of psychology, science, and art. Terry's life is a testament to the harmony of nature and creativity. If you spend some time fishing with Terry, you're sure to be impressed by not only his fishing knowledge, but also his expert teaching skills gained through a rich career as an educator.

Matt Britt - Catfishing Instructor

We are thrilled to have Matt as our catfishing instructor, as his diverse background and passion for nature make him an exceptional instructor. As a business graduate, skilled carpenter, and combat veteran, Matt brings a unique blend of expertise and resilience to the table. His love for adventure is palpable, whether he's paddling down a Missouri stream, fishing for catfish, or searching for artifacts left by the First People. With Matt's guidance, participants can look forward to not only learning the art of catfishing but also gaining valuable insights into conservation and outdoor stewardship.

Joseph Diener - Tackle Technician

Joseph has been immersed in fishing since he could wield a fishing pole. Joseph is recognized as a seasoned angler with an intimate knowledge of various fishing knots and adept strategies for catching catfish in the river. He is graduating from Father Tolton Catholic High School, and he eagerly anticipates beginning his college career at the University of Missouri in Fall 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can children participate in the Catfishing Gear Library?

Yes, of course! Fishing is a great way to make memories with children. Adults should always supervise youth while fishing. We provide life jackets for added safety near the water. Our catfishing instructors are also happy to work with families!

What if I've never been fishing before?

Booking a free lesson with one of our catfishing instructors is a great place to start! If you choose just to check out the gear, your tackle box includes a how-to guide to get you started.

Where are the best places to fish along the Missouri River?

Your tackle box comes with a map of our favorite spots to fish. We recommend Cooper's Landing Resort & Marina, Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, and Taylor's Landing Access.

Do I need some kind of special license to fish?

Anyone between the ages of 16-64 will need a fishing permit from the Missouri Department of Conservation. Go to the Missouri Department of Conservation's website to purchase yours now. Missouri River Relief can also provide support or financial aid - just ask!

For more information, please email our Education Coordinator, Lara Cox, at

Meet Our Sponsors & Partners

The Catfishing Gear Library is funded by a grant from the National Park Foundation. The Catfishing Gear Library gear shed was made with donated materials from Boone County Lumber, Economy Metals, and Boone County Millwork. The Catfishing Gear Library is also supported by the Downtown Optimist Club of Columbia, MO, AmeriCorps, Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA), Boone Electric Community Trust, Cooper's Landing Riverside Resort & Marina, and our friends at Tombstone Tackle in Columbia, MO. Thank you!

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This website is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
© 2024 Missouri River Relief | Website development and design by Pixel Jam Digital
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