Fishing Regulations



These are a few common fishing regulations as they pertain to Mark Twain Lake. Some methods, limits and restrictions may be different in other bodies of water in Missouri. Please visit the Wildlife Code of Missouri for the complete documentation.

DAILY LIMITS

  • BLACK BASS – Six (6) total, including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and all black bass hybrids
  • WHITE BASS – Fifteen (15) total, including white bass, yellow bass, striped bass and their hybrids
  • CHANNEL CATFISH – Ten (10)
  • BLUE CATFISH – Five (5)
  • FLATHEAD CATFISH – Five (5)
  • CRAPPIE – Fifteen (15)
  • WALLEYE – Four (4)

LENGTH LIMITS

  • BLACK BASS – All black bass less than fifteen inches (15″) in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught from Mark Twain Lake. All black bass less than twelve inches (12″) in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught from the Clarence Cannon Reregulation Pool (below Mark Twain Lake dam)
  • WHITE BASS – No length limits, except the daily limit of white bass, yellow bass, striped bass, and their hybrids may include not more than four (4) fish more than eighteen inches (18″) in total length
  • CATFISH – No length limits
  • CRAPPIE – No length limits
  • WALLEYE – All walleye less than fifteen inches (15″) in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught from Mark Twain Lake

ALLOWED FISHING METHODS

You may take fish by pole and line, trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line and jug line. Ice fishing tackle, or tip-ups, are considered a pole-and-line method.

NUMBER OF POLES AND HOOKS

If you use more than three poles at any one time, the additional poles must be labeled with your full name and address or Conservation Number. Regardless of the method or number of poles, you may not use more than a total of 33 hooks at any one time.

Hooks on trotlines must be staged at least 2 feet apart. Hooks on any type of line, as well as the line itself, must be attended every 24 hours or removed.

PROHIBITED FISHING METHODS

No one may use any explosive, poison, chemical or electrical equipment to kill or stupefy fish. Such material or equipment may not be possessed on waters of the state or adjacent banks.

Spearguns may not be possessed on unimpounded waters or adjacent banks, and spears may not be propelled by explosives.

It also is illegal to attempt to take fish by hand, with or without a hook, and to intentionally leave or abandon any commonly edible portion of any fish.

ONLY LIVE-BAIT TRAPS ARE ALLOWED

Fish traps, including slat and wire ones, may not be possessed on waters in Missouri or on adjacent banks. However, live-bait traps are allowed.

LABELS REQUIRED ON TRAPS AND LINES

You must place a tag of a durable material with your full name and address or your Conservation Number on live-bait traps, trotlines, throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines and live boxes.

USE OF LIGHTS

As an aid to fishing methods, an artificial light may be used only above the water surface. However, while fishing by pole and line only, underwater lights may be used to attract fish. Underwater lights also may be used when bowfishing.

JUG LINE REGULATIONS

CHECK ANCHORED JUG LINES DAILY, ENSURE THE ANCHOR IS SECURE

Anchored jug lines may not be left unattended for more than 24 hours. 

The anchor must be sufficient to render a jug immobile so that wind, current or large fish will not move the jug. A line that does not meet this standard is considered unanchored. Under normal fishing conditions, a 2-pound weight for a 2-liter soda bottle would be an appropriate anchor. Use a heavier weight to anchor larger floats or during times of high wind and current.

CLOSELY ATTEND UNACHORED JUG LINES

Keeping track of your unanchored jug lines reduces catfish waste and jug-line litter. Unanchored jug lines in streams must be personally attended at all times. Unanchored jug lines in lakes must be personally attended at least once per hour. Personally attended means that the angler whose name is labeled on the jug line:

  • Is in visual sight of and close proximity to the jug line
  • Can see the jug line bob and move when a fish is hooked and can retrieve it
  • Can see and talk to a conservation agent checking the line
  • Can get the attention of or deter anyone who is tampering with the jug line.

Anglers who cannot personally attend their jug lines can still enjoy jug fishing by using anchors.

LABEL YOUR JUG LINES

You must place a tag of a durable material with your full name and address or Conservation Number on each jug line.  Your Conservation Number in nine digits long and can be found on your fishing permit or on the back of your Heritage Card.