How to Get a Mississippi Fishing License: Step-by-Step

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

Mississippi is more than a warm, hospitable, southern state. It’s home to some incredible fishing. 

You can find various types of fish in the fresh and salt waters of the state, including largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and more. 

Before enjoying a hopefully successful fishing season in Mississippi, it is essential to purchase a Mississippi fishing license and understand the Mississippi fishing regulations and rules.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Mississippi?

License Age RequirementResidentNon-Resident
Freshwater16-6416 and above
Saltwater16-6416 and above
Senior Lifetime Saltwater Fishing License65 plusN/A

All anglers over age 16 are required to have a fishing license in Mississippi to legally fish. Fishing licenses, whether for freshwater or saltwater fishing, are issued every month and they are effective for one year from the date of purchase. 

Both residents and non-residents cannot legally catch fish in streams and ponds that are privately owned, even with a license.

A senior lifetime fishing license is required for residents over age 65 to fish within Mississippi’s marine waters.

What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in Mississippi

Residents of Mississippi ages 16 through 64 must have a fishing license to legally fish within the state for both fresh and saltwater fish. 

Non-residents age 16 and above are required to have a fishing license to fish in the marine or fresh waters of Mississippi. There are different types of licenses available for residents and non-residents of the state.


A Mississippi resident is considered a person who has a permanent official residence within the state for at least twelve continuous months.

Residents ages 16 through 64 years of age must have a fishing license to fish in the marine and fresh waters of Mississippi. 

These waters include lakes and reservoirs but do not include privately owned streams and ponds. 


A non-resident of Mississippi is considered an individual who resides in a different state.

All non-residents of the state, except for minors under age 16, must have an out-of-state fishing license in Mississippi to fish in both marine and fresh waters throughout the state.

Saltwater Fishing

Residents ages 16 through 64 and non-residents age 16 and above must have a saltwater fishing license if fishing in marine waters south of U.S. Highway 90. 

A saltwater and freshwater fishing license is valid between US Highway 90 and I-10, and the saltwater license is not valid north of I-10. 

Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting and Fishing License

Non-Resident Armed Forces Members are eligible for a 14-day fishing and hunting combination license that may be purchased yearly.

It includes fall turkey and archery, primitive weapons, and crossbows. It does not include saltwater fishing, just freshwater fishing. 

How to Purchase a Mississippi Fishing License

Mississippi USA greetings card

Mississippi is home to some of the best waters to fish for white bass, such as in the Mississippi River, the Gulf Coast inshore reefs, and Grenada Lake. 

You can purchase your Mississippi fishing license either online or in person.


Purchasing your Mississippi fishing license online through their Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website is the easiest way for residents and non-resident anglers to get their fishing license. 

You must complete the form, entering personal information, such as your full name, driver’s license number, date of birth, address, and social security number.

Once you complete the form and submit your payment online, you can conveniently print out your fishing license at home. 

Local Retailers

Residents and non-residents of Mississippi can also purchase their fishing license in person at a Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks office or at an authorized local retailer. 

Some local retailers in Mississippi that can help you get your fishing license include Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or any tackle and bait shop.

The local retailer will help you get your license and give it to you on the same day after purchase. 

How Much Is a Fishing License in Mississippi?

Fishing License TypeResident Fishing License FeeNon-Resident License Fee
Sportsman’s License (no saltwater fishing)$45.00 Agent Fee: 1.00Process Fee: $1.29N/A
Freshwater License for Fishing/All Game Hunting$25.00Agent Fee: $1.00Process Fee: $1.29N/A
Freshwater Fishing/ Small Game Hunting$10.00Agent Fee: $1.00Process Fee: $1.29N/A
Three Day Freshwater Fishing$3.00Agent Fee: $1.00Process Fee: $1.29N/A
Saltwater License for Fishing$10.00 Agent Fee: $1.00Process Fee: $1.29$30.00Agent Fee: $3.00Process Fee: $4.25
Senior Lifetime License Saltwater Fishing (age 65 plus)$5.00Agent Fee: $1.00Process Fee: $1.29N/A
Armed Forces 14 Day Fishing and Hunting LicenseN/A$33.00Agent Fee: $1.00Process Fee: $4.25
Freshwater License for FishingN/A$60.00Agent Fee: $3.00Process Fee: $4.25
One Day License for Freshwater FishingN/A$8.00Agent Fee: $1.00Process Fee: $4.25
Three Day Saltwater License for FishingN/A$15.00Agent Fee: $2.00Process Fee: $4.25

It is necessary to note that all residents of Louisiana must buy both the freshwater and saltwater license to legally fish in the salt waters of the state. 

Residents and non-residents must purchase a saltwater license to fish for Red Snapper fish in Mississippi. There must also be a valid Tails n Scales trip number acquired by at least one angler fishing for Red Snapper.

Exemptions from Purchasing a Fishing License in the State of Mississippi

  • Paraplegic
  • Visually Impaired
  • Multiple Limb Amputee
  • Completely disabled by Social Security Administration

All residents who fall under these categories are exempt from needing a fishing license. 

To become exempt, Mississippi residents must provide proof of residency, age, physical impairment, and disability status while fishing or hunting.

In addition, children under the age of 16 are exempt from purchasing a fishing license.

kids fishing from a dock

Mississippi senior residents age 65 and up are not required to purchase a fishing license, but they must acquire a Resident Senior Exempt License.

This license offers lifetime privileges to fish in the freshwater and salt waters of Mississippi.

Mississippi Everyday Limits and Angling Regulations

There are creel limits for fishing specific species of fish in the state of MS.

Species of FIshCreel
Black Bass10
Alligator Gar2
Bream 100
Paddlefish – less than 30”2

Besides these limits, Mississippi also enforces particular daily limits depending on where you are fishing. 

What Happens If You Lose Your MS Fishing License?

If you lose your Mississippi fishing license, you must order a replacement Mississippi fishing license online or in person at a local retailer or a Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks office. 

You can reprint your replacement license at home if you get it online or obtain it from the local retailer after reviewing your information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a permit to fish in Mississippi?

Yes, residents ages 16 to 64 and non-residents ages 16 and above need a permit or a fishing license to fish in Mississippi.

Do you need a fishing license at age 65 in Mississippi?

All residents age 65 and above must obtain a lifetime recreational saltwater fishing license to fish in Mississippi’s marine waters.

Residents and non-residents ages 65 and above are exempt from purchasing a freshwater fishing license.

Do you need a fishing license to fish off the pier in Mississippi?

Recreational anglers in Mississippi must obtain a saltwater fishing license to fish off the pier in the state.

What happens if you fish without a license in Mississippi?

If residents or non-residents of Mississippi fish without a license, they will be fined $500.00.

There are three days designated out of the year where you can fish without a license and it is legal.

Final Thoughts

Getting your Mississippi fishing license is simple, both online and in person. Before purchasing your Mississippi angling license, you should determine which license is best for you. 

When fishing in freshwater and marine waters throughout the state, it is essential to follow all Mississippi fishing regulations and rules, especially regarding saltwater fishing.

As avid anglers, it is our duty to help protect the waters where we fish. 

Purchasing a fishing license through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, fisheries helps us do just that, as the money we pay for our fishing license helps manage, conserve, protect, and preserve the fish and wildlife population in Mississippi. 

To find some of the best bass in Mississippi, check out our interactive bass fishing map today.