UPDATED JULY 2023
Updated Blog Post: Visit Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket
As you plan your trip to the magnificent Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket, remember to check out the many fishing opportunities available. Massachusetts boasts a diverse geography and location that supports a variety of both colder and cooler water species. There’s an old-school striped bass on Martha’s Vineyard and a plentiful supply of bluefish on Cape Cod. Fearing Pond teems with largemouth bass while the Ipswich River has a healthy trout population. And Spectacle Pond is the perfect spot to catch bullheads. But before you go, it’s important to be familiar with the different fishing licenses available and how to obtain them.
Massachusetts Fishing Licenses
Where to get a Massachusetts Fishing License?
Previously, a license was only required if you fished in freshwater, but not in saltwater. However, since January 1, 2011, every angler is required to have a recreational saltwater fishing permit. This means you now need two Massachusetts fishing licenses, one for saltwater and one for freshwater, if you are 15 years old or older. These are available at most tackle stores, certain City or Town Clerk’s offices, and online at MassFishHunt.
How Much is a Massachusetts Fishing License?
As of 2023, the costs of different Massachusetts fishing licenses and permits are as follows:
Freshwater Fishing License Fees
|License Type Price|
|Resident Minor Fishing (Age 15–17)||FREE|
|Resident Fishing (Age 65–69)||$14.75|
|Resident Fishing (Age 70 or over) or paraplegic, blind, intellectually disabled||FREE|
|Non-resident Minor Fishing (Age 15–17)||$7.10|
|Resident Fishing (3-day)||$12.50|
|Non-resident Fishing (3-day)||$23.30|
|Quabbin Reservoir 1-day Fishing||$5.00|
Saltwater Fishing Permit Fees
|License Type Price|
|Saltwater fishing permit (anglers under 60)||$10.00|
|Saltwater fishing permit (anglers 60 and over)||FREE|
Additional charges include a Wildlands Conservation Stamp fee of $5.00 for the first license purchased each year (included in all non-resident licenses). Administrative fees of $1.45 per license and a 2% convenience fee are applicable for online purchases. In-person vendors may charge an agent fee of up to $1.50.
Expiration of Licenses
When fishing, you must have your license with you, either on paper or on your mobile. When asked, anglers must present a picture of a valid license in a clear, full, and readable form. The licenses expire on December 31 every year. You can choose to print a copy or renew your license at MassFishHunt in case you have missed it.
All funds from freshwater fishing, hunting, and trapping license purchases go directly into the Inland Fish and Game Fund, which can only be used to support the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) programs and services. Similarly, all funds from saltwater fishing permits go into the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund, which is administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries. Each fishing license sold generates funds for state conservation initiatives.
For more information, please visit The Cape and Islands.
Massachusetts provides saltwater fisheries for both colder and cooler water species because of its diverse geography and location. When it comes to fishing spots, Massachusetts has a lot of potential. An old-school striped bass lives on Martha’s Vineyard. Cape Cod is the place to be if you want to catch bluefish. Largemouth bass abound in Fearing Pond. The Ipswich River has a healthy trout population, while Spectacle Pond is the perfect spot to catch bullheads.
Learn about the different fishing licenses available. Know how to get extra saltwater fishing permits. Each Massachusetts fishing license sale generates funds for state conservation initiatives.
Where to get a Massachusetts Fishing?
Earlier, a license was required if you fished in freshwater. But, you never needed it if you didn’t fish in saltwater.
However, Massachusetts brought a new rule on January 1, 2011. This rule made it compulsory for every angler to have a recreational saltwater fishing permit.
So, now you will require two Massachusetts fishing licenses. These are required for both saltwater and freshwater. You have to opt for a freshwater license if you are 15 years old or older.
These are available at most tackle stores. A few easy places are certain City or Town Clerk’s offices, and online at MassFishHunt.
How much is Massachusetts Fishing?
Here are the details talking about the different Massachusetts Fishing License costs.
There are two types of Massachusetts fishing licenses. Such as, freshwater fishing licenses and saltwater fishing licenses.
Licenses for Saltwater
If you want to try fishing in any saltwater area within the state, you shall need a Saltwater Fishing License. The fee for each class of saltwater fishing license is shown in the table below:
|Saltwater fishing license for people of 60 years and above||$0|
|Saltwater fishing license for people below 60 years||$10|
Licenses for Freshwater
If you want to fish in a freshwater fishing area, you are expected to have a Freshwater Fishing License. Here are the various licenses available if you want to fish in a saltwater area around the state:
|Particulars||Fee (per person)|
|Resident freshwater fishing for 3 days||$12.50|
|Freshwater fishing license for intellectually disabled, blind and paraplegic)||$0|
|Resident freshwater fishing license for people with 70 years or above||$0|
|Resident freshwater fishing license for people from 65 to 69||$16.25|
|Resident minor freshwater fishing license for young adults from 15 years to 17 years.||$0|
|Resident freshwater fishing license||$27.50|
|Non-resident freshwater fishing license for young adults from 15 years to 17 years||$11.50|
|Non-resident freshwater fishing license for 3 days||$23.50|
|Non-resident freshwater fishing license||$37.50|
Massachusetts Fishing License Requirements
According to the State of Massachusetts, all anglers, residents and not residents, must buy the required fishing license based on their intent. For this purpose, the age requirements for saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses are mentioned separately by the government.
You have to be at least 15 years old to buy a fishing license if you want to be fishing in freshwater. At the same time, the 15-year olds need a fishing license if they plan to spend some time fishing in a saltwater fishing area.
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Massachusetts Fishing License Cost
It requires other fees and contributions when purchasing a Massachusetts fishing license. During the first time of purchase, you will pay Wildlands Conservation Stamp fee of $5.00 for one time. Both residents and non-resident licenses are subject to this tax. This premium is not included in a second resident license cost for the calendar year.
Then, town and city clerks may add one dollar ($1.00) to the price of each license sold. All sales agents can add up to one dollar and fifty cents ($1.50). Both licenses obtained by a sales agent incur an annual processing charge of $1.50 per warrant. The online license transactions are subject to the same subscription tax, plus a 3% internet handling charge on the final sale. There are no subscription or internet handling costs for licenses obtained at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife offices. Here, you can make the payments in only cash or checks.
Each fishing license sold generates funds for state conservation initiatives. You can go through a range of reading activities that can help you while you fish. This can help you in two ways. Firstly, when you read more about each species’ activities, you can fine-tune your angling strategies accordingly. Secondly, depending on breeding age, you should make smarter choices about releasing legal fish.
Massachusetts Fishing License Expiration Date
When fishing, you must have your license with you. It can either be on paper or on your mobile. When asked, anglers must present a picture of a valid license in a true, full and readable form.
The licenses expire on December 31 every year. You can choose to print a copy or renew your license at MassFishHunt in case you have missed it. For more information, you can visit The Cape and Islands.