Ronnie McMillan of Lucedale holds up the record-breaking red grouper he caught last July. Anyone may saltwater sportfish without a license in the marine waters of Mississippi on Thursday, July 4, 2013. (Photo source: MS DMR)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -
If you'd like to try your hand at fishing, but don't have a license, make plans hit the water July 4th. The holiday is "Free Saltwater Sportfishing Day" on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and applies to the marine waters of Mississippi, south of Interstate 10.
"I invite all Gulf Coast families and visiting tourists to take time out this Independence Day to enjoy our marine resources by saltwater sportfishing in the Mississippi Sound," said MDMR Executive Director Jamie Miller.
"Please remember to obey all size and possession limits during this free fishing day," said Rusty Pittman, MDMR Marine Patrol's Interim Chief of Enforcement. "Enjoy your fishing and remember to have all safety equipment onboard your vessel in good working order before leaving the dock."
For more information on fish size and possession limits, contact the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources at (228) 374-5000 or visit dmr.ms.gov.
The rest of the year, a Mississippi recreational saltwater fishing license is required for anyone fishing in coastal and marine waters of this state with the following exceptions:
Anyone under the age of 16 and residents who are deemed 100 percent service-connected disabled by the Veteran's Administration or 100 percent disabled through the Social Security Administration.
Residents 65 years of age or older are required to purchase a lifetime saltwater fishing license for a one-time fee.
Temporary residents stationed at a Mississippi military base can use a military I.D. to purchase a resident Mississippi fishing license.
Resident recreational saltwater fishing licenses cost $12.29 ($10 plus $2.29 processing and agent fees) and expire one year from the date of purchase.
Recreational saltwater fishing licenses may be purchased at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and most Wal-Mart, Kmart, sporting goods stores, bait shops and fishing camps or online at www.ms.gov/gf/hunting.
For 24-hour license sales, call 1-800-5GO-HUNT (1-800-546-4868).