Getting a Mississippi Fishing License

Your Guide to Getting a Mississippi Fishing License: How and Where to Buy

Are you eager to cast your line in Mississippi’s diverse fresh and saltwater fishing spots? Before you head out, it’s essential to obtain a valid Mississippi fishing license. Not only is it legally required, but your license purchase also directly supports crucial conservation efforts to maintain healthy fish populations for generations to come. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting your Mississippi fishing license in 2024.

Who Needs a Mississippi Fishing License?

In Mississippi, most anglers aged 16 and older are required to have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Mississippi residents ages 16-64 must purchase a license to fish in fresh or marine waters, including lakes and reservoirs (but not private ponds and streams).
  • All non-resident anglers 16 and older need a license to fish in Mississippi, regardless of the body of water.

However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Residents who are disabled, including those who are visually impaired, paraplegic, multiple-amputee, or 100% disabled as determined by the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration, are exempt from needing a license. Proof of disability must be carried while fishing.
  • Residents 65 and older are exempt from needing a freshwater fishing license. However, they must purchase a one-time lifetime saltwater fishing license for $7.29 to fish south of Highway 90.
  • Anglers under 16 can fish without a license.

Even if you qualify for an exemption, always carry proof of age, residency, and/or disability status while fishing.

Types of Mississippi Fishing Licenses

Mississippi offers several license types to cater to the needs of resident and non-resident anglers:

Freshwater Fishing License

  • Required for fishing in public waters north of Interstate 10
  • Available as annual licenses for residents and non-residents
  • Short-term options (1-day and 3-day) also offered for visitors

Saltwater Fishing License

  • Required for fishing south of Highway 90
  • Either a freshwater or saltwater license is valid for fishing between I-10 and Highway 90
  • Annual licenses available for residents and non-residents
  • Residents 65+ must purchase a one-time lifetime saltwater license for $7.29

Other License Types

  • Lifetime licenses provide a cost-effective, long-term option for avid resident anglers
  • Disabled exempt licenses available for qualifying disabled residents
  • Youth exempt licenses are voluntary options for residents under 16 to support conservation efforts
  • Freshwater guide licenses required for those providing paid guide services on public waters

Choose the right license based on where you plan to fish and the duration of your fishing activities. Always check the current regulations before purchasing.

Where to Buy a Mississippi Fishing License

You have several convenient options for obtaining your Mississippi fishing license:

Online

The quickest and easiest method is through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) website at mdwfp.com/license/fishing. You’ll need a valid driver’s license (or SSN if under 16) and a credit/debit card. The secure system provides immediate proof of licensing.

In-Person

Purchase your license in person at:

  • MDWFP offices throughout the state
  • Authorized license agents like select Walmart stores, bait shops, and sporting goods stores

Bring valid ID and payment (cash, in-state checks, credit/debit cards typically accepted).

By Phone

Call 1-800-546-4868 to purchase a license by phone.

Why Buying a License Matters

Your fishing license purchase is vital for several reasons:

Supporting Conservation

License fees fund essential MDWFP conservation programs like:

  • Habitat management to ensure healthy ecosystems for fish
  • Fish stocking to enhance angling opportunities
  • Boating/fishing access improvements
  • Research to inform management decisions

By buying a license, you directly contribute to protecting and enhancing Mississippi’s aquatic resources.

Ensuring Sustainable Fisheries

Licenses help regulate fishing pressure and maintain sustainable fish populations. License sales data enables the MDWFP to make informed decisions about regulations like size and bag limits to prevent overfishing and ensure healthy fish communities.

Complying with the Law

Fishing without a valid license is illegal and can result in fines and penalties. Your license purchase helps fund enforcement efforts to protect fisheries from poaching and illegal activities.

Conclusion

Obtaining your Mississippi fishing license is a simple yet crucial step in your angling journey. By understanding license requirements, types, and purchase options, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy the state’s incredible fishing opportunities while supporting vital conservation efforts.

Remember to always stay informed about the latest fishing regulations, size limits, and bag limits set by the MDWFP. By following the rules and practicing responsible fishing, you’ll play a key role in preserving Mississippi’s fishing heritage for years to come.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to get your license, it’s time to plan your Mississippi fishing adventure. From chasing trophy bass in the Ross Barnett Reservoir to exploring the Gulf Coast’s inshore reefs, endless opportunities await. So get licensed, grab your gear, and get ready to make lasting memories on the water. Tight lines!

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