Mississippi Fishing Law

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Mississippi fishing law. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations, licenses, and rules that govern the state’s waters. By understanding and abiding by these laws, you can ensure a legal and enjoyable fishing experience in Mississippi.

Mississippi fishing laws - a row of fishing boats

Key Takeaways:

  • Mississippi fishing law encompasses regulations, licenses, and rules that govern fishing in the state.
  • It is important for anglers to stay informed about fishing seasons, limits, and specific regulations for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
  • To fish in Mississippi, anglers are required to obtain a fishing license, which can be obtained by following the necessary steps and paying the required fees.
  • Anglers must abide by important rules and regulations such as creel limits, catch and release guidelines, and prohibited fishing methods.
  • For those involved in commercial fishing, there are specific regulations regarding licenses, gear, and fishing methods.

Fishing Seasons and Limits in Mississippi

In Mississippi, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of fishing seasons throughout the year. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has established specific regulations to ensure the sustainability of the state’s aquatic resources. Whether fishing in freshwater or saltwater, anglers must comply with the designated bag and size limits to protect fish populations and maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Freshwater Fishing Regulations

For freshwater fishing enthusiasts, the state of Mississippi has set forth regulations to preserve and enhance the fishing experience. These regulations include:

  • A limit of 20 fish per day, in aggregate, for popular sportfish species such as largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish.
  • Minimum size limits for certain species, like a 15-inch minimum length for largemouth bass and a 12-inch minimum length for crappie.
  • Special regulations for designated fishing areas, which may have different bag limits and size restrictions.

Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, saltwater anglers can take advantage of the diverse marine life found in the Gulf of Mexico. To maintain a sustainable fishery, the state has implemented the following regulations:

SpeciesBag LimitSize Limit
Red Drum3 per angler per day18 to 30 inches slot limit
Speckled Trout15 per angler per dayminimum of 13 inches
Flounder10 per angler per dayminimum of 12 inches

These regulations aim to protect important game fish species and promote responsible fishing practices along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

It is important for all anglers to familiarize themselves with the fishing seasons, bag limits, and size restrictions set by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Noncompliance with these regulations may result in fines or other penalties. By respecting these guidelines, anglers can enjoy a sustainable fishing experience and contribute to the conservation of Mississippi’s aquatic resources.

Mississippi fishing - two men fishing in a boat

Obtaining a Fishing License in Mississippi

To legally fish in the waters of Mississippi, anglers must obtain a fishing license. Whether you are a resident or a non-resident, the process is straightforward. Here’s what you need to know to get your fishing license in Mississippi.

Types of Fishing Licenses

Mississippi offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to different needs. These include:

  • Resident Fishing License
  • Non-Resident Fishing License
  • Senior Resident Fishing License
  • Disabled Resident Fishing License
  • Commercial Fishing License

Each license type has specific eligibility criteria and fees associated with it. Whether you’re a resident, non-resident, or a commercial fisherman, there’s a fishing license that suits your requirements.

Documentation and Fees

To apply for a fishing license in Mississippi, you will need to provide certain documentation. This typically includes:

License TypeRequired DocumentationLicense Fees
Resident Fishing LicenseProof of Mississippi residency (driver’s license, ID card, etc.)$9 for one year
Non-Resident Fishing LicenseNone$17 for three days, $31 for seven days, $56 for one year
Senior Resident Fishing LicenseProof of age (65+ years) and Mississippi residencyFree
Disabled Resident Fishing LicenseCopy of Mississippi disability certificateFree
Commercial Fishing LicenseProof of residency, boat registration, and commercial fishing gearVaries depending on the type of commercial license

These are general guidelines, and it’s always best to check with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks for the most up-to-date information on required documentation and fees.

Where to Apply

You can obtain your fishing license through various channels:

  • Local authorized vendors
  • Online through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website
  • In-person at selected Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks offices

Choose the option that is most convenient for you, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process to obtain your fishing license.

Important Rules and Regulations for Mississippi Anglers

As an angler in Mississippi, it is important to familiarize yourself with the fishing rules and regulations to ensure a safe and responsible fishing experience. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has established guidelines to protect the state’s waterways and preserve its diverse fish populations.

Creel Limits

Creel limits specify the number of fish that an angler can keep in a day. By adhering to these limits, anglers can contribute to sustainable fishing practices and maintain healthy fish populations. It is crucial to be aware of the specific creel limits for different fish species in Mississippi waters.

Below is a table outlining the creel limits for some common game fish in Mississippi:

Game FishCreel Limit
Largemouth Bass10
Bream (Bluegill, Redear Sunfish)30
Channel Catfish10
Striped Bass2

Catch and Release Guidelines

Practicing catch and release helps protect the quality and sustainability of fish populations. Mississippi anglers are encouraged to release fish that are below the legal size limit or fish that they do not intend to consume. When releasing a fish, it is important to handle it with care, minimizing stress and injury. Additionally, using barbless hooks can make the release process easier and safer for both the angler and the fish.

Prohibited Fishing Methods

Mississippi fishing regulations prohibit the use of certain fishing methods to ensure fair and ethical angling practices. These prohibited methods typically include the use of nets, traps, and electric shock devices to catch fish. It is important to familiarize yourself with these restrictions and use only legal fishing methods to avoid potential penalties.

Regulations for Game Fish

Game fish are species that are pursued for sport rather than for commercial purposes. Mississippi has specific regulations in place to protect game fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. These regulations may include size limits, catch and release requirements, and seasonal restrictions for certain species.

It is essential to check the Mississippi fishing regulations for the specific rules pertaining to the game fish you intend to target. This will help you comply with the guidelines and contribute to the preservation of the state’s diverse fish populations.

Commercial Fishing Regulations in Mississippi

In Mississippi, commercial fishing is regulated to maintain sustainable fish populations and protect the environment. Commercial fishermen are required to adhere to specific rules and obtain a commercial fishing license to operate legally. Additionally, law enforcement plays a crucial role in enforcing these regulations to ensure compliance and protect the integrity of the industry.

Obtaining a Commercial Fishing License

To engage in commercial fishing activities in Mississippi, individuals must obtain a valid commercial fishing license. The license can be obtained through the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR). Commercial fishermen are required to provide proof of residency or obtain a non-resident license if applicable. The license fees vary based on factors such as residency status, fishing gear used, and the type of species targeted.

Regulations on Fishing Gear and Methods

The use of appropriate fishing gear and methods is essential to minimize the impact on fish populations and their habitats. Mississippi has specific regulations in place to ensure responsible fishing practices among commercial fishermen. These regulations may include restrictions on the type of nets, hooks, and traps that can be used, as well as the time and location of fishing activities.

Here is a comprehensive table outlining the fishing gear and methods regulations for commercial fishing in Mississippi:

Commercial Fishing Gear/MethodRegulations
Gill netsSize and mesh restrictions, location-based restrictions
TrawlsBycatch reduction devices required, size restrictions, closed areas
LonglinesSize and hook restrictions, limits on number of hooks
Pots and trapsEscape vents required, marked with floatation devices

The Role of Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies, such as the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard, play a vital role in enforcing commercial fishing regulations. These agencies regularly patrol the state’s waters, inspect fishing vessels, and monitor compliance with licensing requirements and gear regulations. Violations of commercial fishing regulations may result in penalties, fines, and license suspensions.

By ensuring that commercial fishing activities adhere to the established regulations, law enforcement agencies help maintain sustainable fish populations, protect sensitive habitats, and promote the long-term viability of the commercial fishing industry in Mississippi.

Mississippi Fishing - a fishing boat floating in water with fishing nets on

Mississippi Fishing Law for Nongame Fish and Invasive Species

In Mississippi, fishing laws are in place to protect not only game fish but also nongame fish and prevent the spread of invasive species. These laws help maintain the delicate balance of the state’s aquatic ecosystem and protect native wildlife.

When it comes to nongame fish, which include species like suckers, bowfin, and gar, there are specific regulations on their capture and handling. Anglers are required to adhere to size and bag limits to ensure sustainable populations of these species.

Invasive species pose a significant threat to Mississippi’s waterways and native wildlife. The state has implemented strict regulations to prevent their establishment and spread. Anglers need to be aware of these regulations and take steps to prevent unintentional introductions.

Anglers should familiarize themselves with the list of prohibited fish species and understand how to properly dispose of any caught invasive fish. In addition, it is essential to clean and dry all fishing equipment, such as boats, trailers, and fishing gear, to prevent the transport of invasive species from one body of water to another.

By following this Mississippi fishing law and regulations, anglers can play their part in preserving the diversity and health of Mississippi’s aquatic ecosystems. Responsible angling practices not only protect nongame fish but also help maintain the balance of the ecosystem, ensuring a sustainable future for both fish and wildlife.

Fishing Safety and Education in Mississippi

When it comes to enjoying a day out on the water and engaging in sport fishing, safety and education should always be top priorities. Mississippi recognizes the importance of boater education and offers resources to ensure that anglers are well-informed and prepared for their fishing adventures.

Boater Education Requirements

Before heading out on Mississippi’s beautiful waterways, it’s essential to understand the boater education requirements. Mississippi law mandates that all boaters born after June 30, 1980, must complete a boater education course to operate a boat with more than 25 horsepower. This course covers crucial topics such as boat handling, navigation rules, and safety regulations.

Safety Precautions while Fishing

While enjoying your fishing expedition, it’s essential to prioritize safety to ensure a successful and incident-free experience. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Always wear a properly fitted and approved personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water.
  • Inform someone about your fishing plans, including your intended location and estimated return time.
  • Check the weather conditions before setting out and be prepared for changes in weather.
  • Carry essential safety equipment, such as a whistle, first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher.
  • Be mindful of other boaters and maintain a safe distance to prevent collisions.

Resources for Learning about Fishing Techniques and Conservation

Whether you’re new to fishing or looking to expand your knowledge and skills, Mississippi offers a range of resources to enhance your fishing education. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks provides valuable information on fishing techniques, species identification, and conservation practices. They also organize workshops and events to educate anglers of all levels.

Becoming a responsible angler involves understanding fishing regulations, protecting the environment, and respecting the waterways we enjoy. By prioritizing safety and continuing to educate ourselves, we can ensure that the joy of fishing remains accessible for generations to come.


In conclusion, understanding and abiding by Mississippi fishing law is crucial for every angler. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have covered essential information about fishing regulations, licenses, seasons, and limits in Mississippi. By familiarizing yourself with these rules, you can ensure a legal and enjoyable fishing experience in the state.

Remember to obtain the necessary fishing license, whether you are a resident or non-resident angler. Familiarize yourself with the Mississippi fishing law and regulations for freshwater and saltwater fishing, including bag and size limits for different species. Adhering to the creel limits, catch and release guidelines, and other important rules is essential to protect the state’s fish populations and enhance conservation efforts.

Additionally, we discussed commercial fishing regulations and the importance of preventing the spread of invasive species. By understanding the guidelines surrounding nongame fish and invasive species, you can contribute to preserving the natural balance of Mississippi’s waterways.

We hope this guide has equipped you with the knowledge needed to navigate Mississippi fishing law responsibly. Enjoy the abundance of fishing opportunities that this beautiful state has to offer, while respecting the regulations in place to protect its aquatic resources. Happy fishing!


What are the Mississippi fishing law and regulations?

Mississippi fishing law has specific regulations regarding fishing seasons, size limits, and bag limits for various species. It is essential to familiarize yourself with these regulations before heading out to fish.

Do I need a fishing license in Mississippi?

Yes, a fishing license is required for anyone 16 years and older in Mississippi. There are different licenses available for residents and non-residents, and they can be obtained from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

What are the fishing seasons and limits in Mississippi?

The fishing seasons and limits vary depending on whether you are fishing in freshwater or saltwater. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources sets specific regulations for each type of water, including restrictions on certain species and information on bag and size limits.

How can I obtain a fishing license in Mississippi?

To obtain a fishing license in Mississippi, you can visit the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website or contact their offices. They will provide you with the necessary documentation requirements, fees, and application processes for both residents and non-residents.

What are the important rules and regulations for Mississippi anglers?

Mississippi has several important rules and regulations that anglers need to follow. These include creel limits, catch and release guidelines, restrictions on certain fishing methods, and specific regulations for game fish. It is critical to be aware of and adhere to these rules to ensure sustainable fishing practices.

What are the commercial fishing regulations in Mississippi fishing law?

Commercial fishing in Mississippi is regulated by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Commercial fisherman are required to obtain a commercial fishing license and adhere to specific regulations regarding fishing gear, fishing methods, and catch quotas. Law enforcement plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with these regulations.

What is the Mississippi fishing law for nongame fish and invasive species?

Mississippi has fishing laws in place that govern the capture and handling of nongame fish and invasive species. These laws aim to protect native species and prevent the spread of harmful invasive species. It is important to understand and comply with these laws to help preserve the state’s natural resources.

What fishing safety and education resources are available in Mississippi?

Mississippi offers resources and educational opportunities to promote fishing safety and education. This includes boater education programs, safety precautions while fishing, and information on national fishing and hunting regulations. Additionally, resources such as boater education courses and information on fishing techniques and conservation can help enhance your fishing experience.

Additional Resources:

1. Commercial fishing, the taking of fish and other seafood and resources from oceans, rivers, and lakes to market them. In the early 21st century about 250 million people were directly employed by the commercial fishing industry, and an estimated one billion people depended on fish as their primary source of animal protein. – https://www.britannica.com/technology/commercial-fishing

2. important rules and regulations that anglers need to follow – https://www.rookieroad.com/fishing/the-top-10-rules/

3. fishing seasons and limits in Mississippi – https://dmr.ms.gov/recreational-catch-limits/

4. boater education requirements – https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/boating/mandatory-boater-education-requirements

5. Invasive specieshttps://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/invasive-species/

Scroll to Top