Mississippi Fishing License: The Ultimate Guide
Oct 20, 2021 | 4 minute read Comments
2
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The “Hospitality State” is not just about true southern warmth, although it is true to its nickname. It’s also home to the mighty Mississippi River, the Gulf Coast’s inshore reefs, Largemouth Bass holes like the Ross Barnett Reservoir and Grenada Lake, and many other hotspots for anglers of all sorts. In order to fully enjoy everything these waters have to offer, you’ll need to get a Mississippi fishing license first.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Mississippi fishing permits, where and how to purchase them, who can fish without a license, and what permits are available for residents and non-residents. 

If you’re looking for info on neighboring states, or around the US in general, check out our full list of licensing guides here.

Who needs a fishing license in Mississippi?

All anglers aged 16 and over need to obtain a valid Mississippi license in order to legally fish in the state. Licenses are issued every month and are effective for a year from the date of purchase, covering fresh and saltwater fisheries. However, no matter your residency status, you won’t be able to catch fish in privately owned ponds and streams. 

Both residents and visitors are required to obtain a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) User Permit for hunting, fishing, and trapping on US Forest Service WMAs.

Information for Residents

While there are various options available for both residents and visitors, some types of fishing permits are reserved for Mississippians. 

The Mississippi Lifetime License offers cost-saving benefits and provides lifelong access to the local fisheries. In order to apply for these licenses, you have to be a native-born Mississippian or domiciled in the state for at least 18 months before obtaining the license. Senior residents aged 65 and older are able to obtain a Lifetime Recreational Saltwater fishing license at a discount rate. 

All fees collected by the MDWFP go to the Wildlife Endowment Fund to help various educational activities, research projects, and wildlife management and enforcement programs. 

Resident anglers can also purchase one of the following license packages:

  • Super Sportsman. This fishing and hunting combination package includes a Mississippi Sportsman license and a Saltwater Fishing license, as well as a WMA User Permit, a state waterfowl stamp, and a one-year subscription to the Mississippi Outdoors Magazine.
  • Avid Angler. This is a fishing-only package that includes a Small Game/Freshwater Fishing license and a Saltwater Fishing license, along with a one-year subscription to the Mississippi Outdoors Magazine.

You can learn more about the Mississippi license packages here

Cost for Residents

Resident License Type Cost Agent Fee Process Fee
Sportsman’s (freshwater only) $45.00
$1.00
$1.29
All Game Hunt/Fish* (freshwater only) $25.00
$1.00
$1.29
Small Game Hunt/Fish (freshwater only) $10.00
$1.00
$1.29
3-Day Freshwater Fishing $3.00
$1.00
$1.29
Saltwater Fishing $10.00
$1.00
$1.29
Senior Lifetime Saltwater (65+) $5.00
$1.00
$1.29
Lifetime Sportsman’s (0-12) $500.00


Lifetime Sportsman’s (13+) $1000.00


*Doesn’t include archery, primitive weapons, or crossbows.

Information for Non-Residents

A harbor in Gulfport, Mississippi

While Lifetime licenses are mostly available for Mississippi residents, some non-resident anglers might also qualify. If you hold an original birth certificate that shows that you were born in Mississippi and/or a parent’s address was in the state at the time of your birth, you can apply for a Non-Resident Native Lifetime license

Non-resident active members of the US Armed Forces (except for Reserves and the National Guard) are eligible for a special Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing combination license. Please note that this covers freshwater fishing only, and you can purchase only two licenses of this type a year. Here’s a link to the application form. 

Among other options, visitors can also get a 1-Day freshwater license – an option that MS residents don’t have.

Cost for Non-Residents

Non-Resident License Type Cost Agent Fee Process Fee
14-Day Hunt/Fish* (Armed Forces) $33.00
$0.00
$1.29
Freshwater Fishing $60.00
$3.00
$1.29
3-Day Freshwater Fishing $15.00
$2.00
$1.29
1-Day Freshwater Fishing $8.00
$1.00
$1.29
Saltwater Fishing $30.00
$3.00
$1.29
3-Day Saltwater Fishing $15.00
$2.00
$1.29
Mississippi Native Lifetime $1500.00


*Includes fall turkey and archery, primitive weapons, and crossbows.

Who can fish without a license?

As we mentioned earlier, there are anglers who can fish in Mississippi without a license. However, in some cases, you’ll need to still get a permit, even though it’s complimentary. 

Here’s the list of license exemptions:

  • Disabled residents. Visually impaired, multiple-amputee, paraplegic, and 100% service-connected veterans or residents adjudged 100% disabled by the Social Security Administration can fish without a license. 
  • Senior residents. MS residents aged 65 and over aren’t required to purchase a fishing license. However, they should obtain a Resident Senior Exempt license, which is a lifetime privilege that allows its holders to contribute to various MS wildlife programs. 
  • Younger residents. Residents under the age of 16 can fish license-free. The state offers a voluntary Youth Exempt license, which is similar to the Resident Senior Exempt license. 
  • Free fishing days. You don’t need a license or lake permit to fish in Mississippi’s State Fishing Lakes on the first Saturday and Sunday of the National Fishing Week in June. 

How to purchase a Mississippi fishing license?

An infographic stating "Mississippi Fishing License: Where to buy?" against a blue background

Here’s how you can get your Mississippi fishing license:

  • Online. The easiest way to get your MS permit is through the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks website
  • In person. Visit the agency’s license sales office and buy a physical copy of your license there. 

How can I get Resident Senior Exempt or Youth Exempt licenses? 

Residents can obtain the Senior and Youth Extempt licenses from any vendor that sells fishing and hunting licenses in Mississippi. Note that younger residents need to provide their social security number along with a copy of their parent/legal guardian’s driver’s license to prove their residency.

We’ve tried to cover everything, but if you still have questions it’s best to get in touch with your local MDWFP office. Hopefully, you’re now ready to grab your rod, find a guide near you, and start fishing!

Comments (2)
  • Linda Bullock Heck Kappel

    Nov 18, 2021

    My husband is over 80 & disabled, does he need a fishing license to fish from a pier on the gulf coast ?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Katie Higgins

      Nov 19, 2021

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for your comment. The answer depends on where exactly you’ll be fishing and where you’re from, but if it’s in Mississippi and your husband is a resident of the state, it’s like that he won’t need a need license. Any anglers over the age of 65 simply need to obtain a Resident Senior Exempt license. You can read more about fishing licenses in Mississippi here.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

      Katie

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *