Fishing in Massachusetts can be exciting only if you come all prepared. Today, we are going to guide you about the laws and regulations regarding fishing in Massachusetts. So, let’s get rolling-

Fishing License

Fishing Laws in Massachusetts

Fishing in Massachusetts requires a fishing license if you are 15 years old or above that. If you are not willing to get your license offline then you can get it online now! Check out MassFishHunt to get a fishing license online! Your license will expire on December 31 that very year. You can renew your license from the same site. The same procedure is applicable in case you lose the license as well.

Fun fact, if you are either 15 to 17 or over 70 years old then you can get the license for free! So, grab your license today and enjoy fishing in Massachusetts.

Note that, you must carry the fishing license with you. Either carry a hard copy or a soft copy on your phone.

What Bait to Take

Remember, you can carry your own bait for personal use. It is not legal to sell baitfish while fishing. You can take either live or dead fish for fishing. Here are some suitable baitfish options for you in terms of fishing-

  • Fathead Minnow
  • Banded Killifish
  • Golden Shiner
  • Pumpkinseed
  • White Sucker
  • Mummichog
  • Fallfish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Rainbow Smelt
  • Frogs

Note that, you are allowed to take the Rainbow Smelt fish as bait by the hook and line. No other way is applicable. In addition to that, you can use this fish only when it is smelt season, the use of this fish as bait on any other season is strictly prohibited.

Additionally, you can take frogs as bait except for leopard frogs. Not to mention, 2.5 inches or less than that snout to vent is allowed.

Things That Are Strictly Prohibited

Fishing Laws in Massachusetts

Fishing is all fun but a few things you might casually want to do here in Massachusetts which are strictly prohibited while fishing. Again, you might find it pretty normal in other states but you need to look out for these issues in case you were about to do any of these. Let’s get to know more about these actions now before it’s too late-

  1. You are not allowed to catch and take any fish from the inland water of the Commonwealth in terms of selling them afterward.
  2. You are not allowed to release any fish or spawn in the inland waters unless you have a permit.
  3. If you are planning on fishing in the open water then you can carry not more than two hooks. If you want to go ice fishing then make sure you bring no more than five hooks which you will, later on, attach to the fishing line.
  4. You are not allowed to litter in the inland water.
  5. No poisons and explosives are allowed.
  6. You are not allowed to bring in any live fishes to the inland waters except for bait fishes which need to come along with a legitimate permit. In addition, make sure the bait you bring is just for your personal use.
  7. Toggle, jug, or trotline fishing are strictly prohibited.
  8. Snagging is not allowed in the inland waters.
  9. If you plan to use any lead hook, make sure it weighs more than one ounce. Lead-based hooks that weigh less than one ounce are strictly prohibited in inland waters.
  10. Fishes like American brook male prey, sturgeon, lake chub, bridle shiner, Atlantic salmon, eastern silvery minnow, northern redbelly dace are illegal to catch in the first place. In case you catch any of these, release them immediately without wasting second taking photographs and so on. Release the fish to the water the very next moment you catch it. The possession of these fishes is illegal.

Is Ice Fishing Allowed?

Yes, undoubtedly, ice fishing is allowed in Massachusetts. By this time you are aware of the hooks you can bring while ice fishing. A friendly reminder- you can bring up to five hooks each time you go ice fishing. One hook goes once with the fishing line of a jig stick. These hooks can be of many types from plain hooks to treble hooks. In addition, they can be either spinners or plugs. You can pick that as per your preference.

You can make any combination of different hooks in order to lure the fish you are trying to catch. Just make sure no matter what combination you land from the abovementioned options, your total combination does not exceed the number of five hooks. You will be good to go in that case.

One last thing regarding ice fishing, if you are an angler then you must be able to tend your hooks. If you are a minor is tagging along with you, in that case, you are allowed to assist them to a certain extent. For instance, you can assist in removing the hooks or cutting holes for them but no far than this. Each of the minors needs to be able to tend their hooks just like you. You can tend the hook either to jig sticks or tip-ups. That depends on your preference entirely.

Final Words

Fishing is fun when you follow all the laws. Make sure you cross-check all these laws before you step out for your next fishing trip. If you want to check the available dates for fishing or fish sizes and the number of fishes you can catch each day then check out Division of Marine now!

Also Read: Fishing Laws in Nebraska – State Fisher Fishing Laws

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