Massachusetts fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in Massachusetts. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in Massachusetts

Load data spots
9 waterbodies
33 cities
59 fishes

Licenses for fishing in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, fishing licenses are required for various activities with specific fees for residents and non-residents. Special licenses are available for different age groups and circumstances.

For the most accurate and detailed information, it's best to visit the Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife website where you can also purchase a fishing license online.

License Type Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
Freshwater Fishing $33.00 $43.00
Minor Freshwater Fishing (Age 15–17) Free $7.40
Freshwater Fishing (Age 65–69) $16.50 -
Freshwater Fishing (Age 70 or over, or Paraplegic, Blind, Intellectually Disabled) Free -
Freshwater Fishing (3-day) $15.00 $25.70
Quabbin Reservoir 1-day Fishing $5.00 $5.00
Saltwater Fishing Permit (anglers under 60) $10.00 $10.00
Saltwater Fishing Permit (anglers 60 and over) Free Free

Notes:

  • These fees do not include the $5 "Wildlands Conservation Stamp" that is added to the first license purchased each year.
  • The table covers key types of licenses for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
  • Special license types and exemptions are available for seniors, minors, and individuals with disabilities.
  • The fees are as per the latest information but are subject to change. Please refer to the provided link for the most current details and additional license types.

Fishing Regulations in Massachusetts

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Fishing with explosives, poisons, or electrical equipment is illegal.
  • Use of gill nets, trawls, or seines is restricted in inland waters.
  • Snagging fish is prohibited in all public waters.
  • Limited use of trotlines, juglines, and setlines, with specific area restrictions.
  • Spearfishing is allowed only for certain species and in specific waters.
  • Chumming is restricted in some areas, especially in freshwater bodies.
  • Fishing with more than two hooks or two sets of hooks for each rod or line is prohibited.
Catch Limits
  • Striped Bass: Daily limit of 1, minimum size 28 inches.
  • Bluefish: No bag limit for recreational anglers.
  • Black Sea Bass: Varies by season, generally 5 fish per day.
  • Scup (Porgy): Seasonal limits, typically 30 fish per day.
  • Flounder: Daily limit and minimum size vary by species.
  • Trout: Daily limit of 3 in freshwater bodies.
  • Cod and Haddock: Varies by season and area, with size and catch limits.
  • Lobster: Catch limit and size restrictions, license required.
  • Tuna: Regulations vary by species; federal permit may be required.
  • Shellfish: Harvesting regulations vary by town; permits required.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some water bodies may be restricted or closed for conservation.
  • Fishing in private waters requires landowner's permission.
  • Restrictions near dams, fish hatcheries, and other critical habitats.
  • Use of motorboats may be limited in certain waters to protect wildlife.
  • No fishing in designated swimming areas and certain protected areas.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Special trout conservation areas with catch-and-release regulations.
  • Fly-fishing only zones in certain streams and rivers.
  • Seasonal restrictions in specific areas to protect spawning fish.
  • Protected marine areas with specific fishing regulations.
  • Regulations for fishing in state parks and wildlife management areas.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare, threatened, or endangered species.
  • Areas closed to fishing to protect sensitive marine ecosystems.
  • Mandatory reporting of accidental catches of protected species.
  • Regulations aimed at preventing the spread of invasive species.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Seasonal closures for certain species to protect spawning periods.
  • Ice fishing restrictions during the winter for safety and conservation.
  • Special regulations for migratory fish during their spawning runs.
  • Temporary closures for habitat restoration or environmental studies.
  • Varying bag and size limits during different seasons for certain species.