New & Longtime Anglers Enjoy Fishing On The Fourth

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Every 4th of July, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources waives the law that requires a fishing license. But, not everyone knows about this free day to fish tradition.

Mary Catherine Price of Gulfport picked up a fishing license Friday morning along with her bait.

"Got one cause I heard they were going to be out today. Didn't want to get caught," Price said.

What she didn't hear was that officials would only be checking size and limits, not licenses. No one told her Independence Day is also a free day for fishing.

"Seriously? They didn't say anything. Probably thought I was a naive teenager so, it's all good," Price said with a laugh.

What's not so good for those who love to fish is the recent price hike. A fishing license used to cost just $5. But starting July 1, it more than doubled to $11.25.

Charles Robinson isn't surprised.

"Well, I mean, they're raising everything else up. Why not that?" Robinson said.

But those who love to fish say regardless of the price, it's a joy to be out on the water reeling in a big one.

"It's something usually that your parents teach you, you have to want to do it," Gene Wade said.

He thinks every day should be a free fishing day on salt water in Mississippi.

"You know, most places in the United States, on the coast, you don't have to have a license to fish on the salt water. It's strange you have to have a license to fish on the salt here."

But, he says, with or without a license law, the joy of fishing will keep luring him and other anglers to the water.