Fishing in Mississippi is a year-round activity. Lake Bill Waller yields the best 15-pounder largemouth bass in January. Lake Okhissa is teeming with crappies as early as February. Pickwick Lake is just about ready for hooking Channel catfish in June while the Ross Barnett Reservoir is alive with striped and hybrid bass come fall. But before enjoying a season of fishing, a Mississippi fishing license is required. An angler is also required to know the existing rules about size limits and bag limits.
A quick and easy means to purchasing a fishing license is through the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks' online site. There are different types of fishing licenses for residents and non-residents anglers so it is best to qualify one's residence status to avoid confusion.
The Mississippi fishing rules and regulations are formulated and implemented to ensure the healthy propagation of fish populations statewide and nationwide. Laws and regulations may vary throughout the year to accommodate varying needs and conditions of fish species and waterways. In connection, all anglers are advised to read on updates before each fishing trip.
Fishing regulations are put in place to help in the conservation and protection of fish varieties in the all waterways in Mississippi. One does not have to be a seasoned angler to help in the conservation effort of the fisheries department. Proper fishing etiquette, such as catch and release and the basic concept of stewardship on and off water, will greatly help in the general fish conservation movement.
There is no denying that Mississippi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. But do you know that it is also one of the best fishing states? It is one of the best sites to fish for largemouth bass at a spot like the Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson or take the kids out to catch crappie on Grenada Lake.
Planning for a fishing trip across the Mississippi river can be a daunting task. You need to prepare your itinerary, schedules, and of course, your fishing license. A fishing license is required to all anglers (with exemptions to some) before they are allowed to fish in any body of water across the state. It is important that you know the right license to purchase and where to get them so that you will have a stress-free and enjoyable fishing trip.
To help you prepare for your planned Mississippi fishing trip, this article will summarize to you everything that you need to know about fishing licenses in the state: from choosing the right license to knowing what is the most convenient way of ordering one, to the different fishing regulations that you need to follow when catching fish within the state's jurisdiction.
Who is required to purchase a Mississippi fishing license?
Residents anglers ages sixteen (16) through sixty-four (64) are required to purchase fishing when fishing in the fresh or marine waters of Mississippi, including lakes and reservoirs but NOT to include privately owned ponds and streams. Furthermore, a saltwater license is required south of U. S. Highway 90, and a freshwater or saltwater license is valid between I-10 and U. S. Highway 90. It is important to note that the saltwater license is not valid north of I-10. Meanwhile, all non-resident anglers, except minors under the age of sixteen (16), are required to obtain a fishing license while fishing in the fresh or marine waters of the State of Mississippi.
Who is exempted from purchasing a Mississippi fishing license?
The state of Mississippi has set in place several exemptions from the fishing license requirement before being allowed to fish in the waters across the entire state. Here's a summary of these exemptions:
- Any person sixty-five (65) or older, or any person otherwise exempted from obtaining a freshwater fishing license, must have documentation with him/her at all times while fishing.
- Residents who are visually impaired, paraplegic, a multiple-amputee, adjudged totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, or totally service-connected disabled by the Veterans Administration are not required to purchase a fishing license.
Please note that if you qualify in one of these criteria, you are required to have proof of their age, residency, disability status, or other physical impairment in their possession while engaged in hunting and fishing activities.
A Mississippi resident has special privileges and discounts when purchasing a language. In general, any persons domiciled within the state of Mississippi, as defined in Section 49-7-3 of the Mississippi code, as amended, are considered residents. Aside from this, a resident who holds a current driver's license is deemed to be domiciled within the state that issued the driver's license. Special considerations include:
If you hold a current driver's license:
- If you hold a current MISSISSIPPI driver's license, you are entitled to purchase a resident hunting license.
- If you hold a driver's license from any state other than Mississippi, you are required to purchase a non-resident hunting license.
If you do not hold a current driver's license from any state:
- You are entitled to purchase a resident hunting license if Mississippi is your principal or primary home or place of abode. A current Mississippi resident income tax return or a homestead exemption receipt may be considered as evidence of domicile, but these are not necessarily determinative. You may be denied a resident hunting license if you fail to provide adequate proof.
Furthermore, several exceptions are also implemented on the residency requirement in the state of Mississippi. Even if you are a resident of another state, you will be able to purchase a resident Mississippi fishing license if you show either of the following:
- a current identification card from a Mississippi college or university; or
- a current military ID card showing that you are an active member of the Armed Forces (excluding Reserves and the National Guard) and proof that you are stationed on a military base in Mississippi.
Where to buy a Mississippi Fishing License?
The easiest way to purchase a fishing license is through the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks website. You can also purchase one when you visit the agency's license sales office and sales agents in person. Please note that when you buy a license online, you are required to submit a valid driver's license. All major credit and debit cards are accepted as payment methods.
A resident or non-resident who qualified in the age requirement is able to purchase a fishing license in the state of Mississippi. For different purposes, different licenses should also be purchased. Here's a summary:
Does not include saltwater fishing.
All Game Hunting/Freshwater Fishing
Small Game Hunting/Freshwater Fishing
3-Day Freshwater Fishing
Senior Lifetime Saltwater License
Residents of the state of Mississippi can purchase a sportsman’s license, which would allow them to fish in freshwater fishing grounds for only $45.00. If you decide to fish in a saltwater area, then you can also purchase a $10 Saltwater Fishing License. Furthermore, a 3-day Freshwater Fishing License can also be purchased for only $3.00. For Mississippi residents who are over the age of 65 years old, they are eligible to purchase a Saltwater permit for a discounted rate of $5.00. Please note that purchasing a resident fishing license comes with a $1.00 agent fee and a $1.29 process fee.
Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing
Must apply through MDWFP - Application. (Includes Fall Turkey and Archery/Primitive Weapon/Crossbow. Does not include Saltwater Fishing)
3-Day Freshwater Fishing
1-Day Freshwater Fishing
3-Day Saltwater Fishing
Meanwhile, non-residents can also purchase a Freshwater Fishing License for $60.00 with an agent fee of $3.00 and a processing fee of $1.29. A 3-day Freshwater Fishing License is also available for $15.00 plus $2.00 agent fee and $1,29 process fee. A 1-day Freshwater Fishing license can also be purchased for $8.00 plus $1.00 agent fee and $1.29 process fee. Furthermore, if you decide to fish in saltwater regions, then you can purchase a Saltwater Fishing License for $30.00 plus a $3.00 agent fee and a $1.29 process fee. A 3-day Saltwater Fishing License can also be purchased for $15.00 plus a $2.00 agent fee and a $1.29 process fee.
The state of Mississippi adopts creel limits for fishing certain species in its waters. Here is a summary of these limits:
Black Bass (combined largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass)
Striped Bass and Hybrids with 15” minimum size
Crappie (combined black and white)
Bream (combined bluegill, redear and other sunfish)
Paddlefish – must be less than 30”
On top of these limits, the state also imposes specific daily limits per species depending on the area you are going to catch it from. For more information, please read the Mississippi Fishing Guidebook for complete details.
Q: I am from Louisiana, am I required to purchase a fishing license?
Yes. Louisiana residents must purchase both the Freshwater and Saltwater license to fish in the marine waters of Mississippi.
Q: When will my annual fishing license expire?
Licenses are issued every month and are effective for one year (365 days) from the date of purchase.
Q: Is there a lifetime license?
Yes. Resident lifetime license applicants must prove that they have been domiciled in the State of Mississippi for a minimum of eighteen (18) months immediately prior to issuance of such licenses.