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General Fishing Regulations & Requirements

Fishing Seasons & Creel Limits

Fishing License (Saltwater & Freshwater)
All non-exempt persons are required to have a valid fishing license in their possession when fishing public waters.

Resident - Each resident of the State of Mississippi ages sixteen (16) to sixty-four (64), fishing in the fresh or marine waters of Mississippi, including lakes and reservoirs but NOT to include privately owned ponds and streams, shall be required to buy a fishing license. 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.  Saltwater license is not valid north of I-10.   Any person sixty-five (65) or older, or any person otherwise exempted from obtaining a fishing license, must have documentation with him/her at all times while fishing as described in Exemptions. [MS. Code 49-7-9]  However, Effective July 1, 2010, residents sixty-five (65) years of age or older are required to purchase a saltwater fishing license if fishing South of U.S. Highway 90. The Senior Saltwater License is a lifetime privilege.

Any person domiciled within the state of Mississippi shall be entitled to receive a resident fishing license.  The burden of proving domicile shall be on the person claiming such status.  Exempt residents must have in their possession proof of age, residency and/or disability status.  For information about freshwater fishing licenses call (601) 432-2055.  For information about saltwater fishing regulations call the Department of Marine Resources at (228) 374-5000.

Definition of Game Fish
Miss. Code of 1972 defines game fish to include all bream (red ear, bluegill, long ear, war mouth, green sunfish), all crappie (white, black), all black bass (large mouth, small mouth, spotted), shadow bass, walleye, sauger, yellow perch, hybrid striped bass, striped bass, white bass, yellow bass, and all pickerel (red fin, grass and chain).

Legal Methods
Game fish may be taken only by hook and line with one or more hooks (including rod and reel with artificial bait), trolls or trot-lines.  Each person having a valid fishing license may use no more than 100 hooks per person.

The rules and regulations concerning snagging, bow-fishing, hand-grabbing, trot-lines, throw-lines, limb-lines, set hooks, free-floating fishing devices and hook and gear restrictions when fishing at the reservoir spillway areas are on this website as a pdf file.

Illegal Methods
It is unlawful to take any fish species by muddying and by the use of lime, poison, explosives, electrical devices, wire baskets, fish traps or dip net.  It is unlawful to take game fish with minnow seines for use as bait and to fail to return to the water any game fish taken by net, seine or other commercial fishing gear. It is unlawful for any person to fish any equipment in the waters of the sate of any size or type that is not allowed by the commission.

Bait
Minnows may be taken for bait with seines not more than 25 feet long and 4 feet wide, and with minnow traps or jars (no wings or leads) not more than 30 inches long and 12 inches in diameter with an entrance of not more than 1 inch in diameter. Shad and minnows may only be taken with the aid of dip/landing nets, cast nets, boat mounted scoops and wire baskets by residents for personal use during sport-fishing.

Other types of minnow traps must be approved by the Office of Fisheries and Wildlife for use by licensed minnow dealers. All game fish caught in minnow seines or traps must be immediately returned to the water.

Sale of Game Fish
It is unlawful for any person to buy or sell, offer for sale or exchange any game fish taken within Mississippi or coming from another state. It is also illegal for any restaurant or public eating establishment to possess or offer for sale any game fish. 

However, they may prepare and serve game fish for any person who has taken the fish legally.

Transporting Game
No person shall take in any one calendar day, no more than the daily creel or bag limit or bag limit of fish.  No person at any time, by any means, or in any manner, transport more than seven (7) daily creel or bag limits of fish for each qualified angler present in the vehicle.  A single angler may only transport his or her own limit(s) of fish, not to exceed seven (7) daily limits.

Commercial Fishing
For rules and regulations for commercial fishing and the use of slat-baskets. For a mail application for commercial fishing licenses, commercial equipment tags,  slat-basket licenses and slat-basket tags.

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