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Fishing at Tilles Park

Featured Article


A way to connect, relax and enjoy the water as fisherman cast, explore, catch and release.

St. Louis is lucky to have a variety of places to enjoy the relaxation of fishing. Fishermen love the quiet, solitude and stress relief of casting, exploring, catching and releasing. Casting a reel and watching and waiting for the bobber to sing is one of the great joys of fishing.

Many fishermen believe that spring is the best time to fish, although winter months also bring catfish. When it starts to get warm, the fish begin swimming. Whatever lake, pond or river one might drive by, you're certain to catch fishermen fishing. While many fishermen believe it's their skill and fishing equipment that prompts success, all of them are quick to add, “There’s always luck involved, too.”

Equipment can be as simple as a regular fishing pole and a tackle box with different bobbers, hooks and scissors. Fishing equipment also can include a fishing kayak, a fishing net that doesn’t harm the fish and a book that identifies fish.

Fun places to fish in and around St. Louis include the following locations.

Busch Conservation Area offers a great place to fish, says fishing guide Max Vaaler of T. Hargrove Fly Fishing. “I find it relaxing to fly fish, always remembering that it’s just fishing,” he adds, indicating he's caught bass, bluegill and trout.

“Missouri Rocky Rivers, the Big River, Castlewood Bluffs and the Upper Meramec provide the perfect setting for kayak fishing," says Perry Whitaker, of The Alpine Shop. He's caught small mouth bass, and says he enjoys the challenge of kayaking.

Walker Lake in Kirkwood Park is a hidden gem. The lake is stocked with trout and St. Louis County Park employees suggest using a rubberized fishing net that doesn’t hurt the fish. Murray Powell, St. Louis Parks and Recreation director, adds:  “It’s a wonderful sport, provided you put the fish back.”

Jake Gillette, a local college junior, is an avid fisherman who learned the sport growing up with his grandparents. He likes Jefferson Lake in Forest Park and Bee Tree Park. “There’s quite a lot of fish here and a pretty big lake,” he says. 

Jake is also a tournament fisherman and enjoys catching fish. “It’s a peaceful sport,” he concludes.

  • Jake Gillette of Clayton, Paddle Fish from Missouri River
  • Fishing at Tilles Park