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Everything you need to know about buying a fishing license in MA

Everything you need to know about buying a fishing license in MA

BROCKTON — While Brockton may not be known for its fishing, there are plenty of lakes, rivers and ponds perfect for fishing within a 30-minute drive of the city.

Whether you catch bass and pike at Ames Long Pond in Stoughton, bass and crappie at Lake Nippenicket in Bridgewater, or tuna and marlin at one of the many beaches in southeastern Massachusetts, fishing is the perfect warm-weather escape from the city .

But before you head out for a day on the water, don’t forget this one crucial step.

In Massachusetts, everyone age 15 and older needs a fishing license to fish in freshwater and everyone age 16 and older needs a license to fish in saltwater.

Here’s everything you need to know about purchasing your fishing license, including where to buy it in the Brockton area.

Who needs a fishing license?

Anyone age 15 or older needs a license to fish in freshwater in Massachusetts. If you are 16 years or older, you also need a saltwater fishing license, but state residents with a saltwater fishing license from Connecticut, New Hampshire or Rhode Island are also accepted in Massachusetts.

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Where can I buy a fishing license near Brockton?

Purchase or renew your fishing license online at MassFishHunt or in person at select retailers in the Brockton area, including J&J Wholesale Bait in Brockton, Walmart in Brockton, Abington, Avon and Raynham, and Dick’s Sporting Goods in Brockton and Taunton.

Fishing licenses can also be purchased at any of the MassWildlife offices; However, the MassWildlife Southeast District office is located in Buzzards Bay, about an hour’s drive from Brockton.

How much does a fishing license cost in MA?

For residents of the state of Massachusetts, a freshwater fishing license costs $33. For residents aged 65 to 69, the fee is only $16.50. The fee is waived for minor residents aged 15 to 17 and for residents aged 70 or older.

The fee is also assessed for residents who are paralyzed, blind or mentally challenged, but applicants must apply and submit certifying documents by mail to receive their free license. More information about the application process for residents with disabilities can be found at Mass.gov.

Saltwater fishing permits for anyone under 60 cost $10 and are free for anyone 60 and older.

For residents, minors and residents 65-69 years of age, a $5 “Wildlands Conservation Stamp” is added to the first freshwater fishing license purchased each year.

If you purchase your license online through MassFishHunt or in person from a third-party vendor or at a city office, you will be charged an administrative fee of $1.45 per license, plus additional convenience or agent fees at checkout. Avoid these additional costs by purchasing your license at one of the MassWildlife offices. However, only cash payments or checks are accepted.

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How long is a fishing license valid?

A freshwater and saltwater fishing license is valid from the date of purchase through the end of the calendar year, December 31, 2024.

Do I need to bring the paper copy?

Those who don’t want to carry around a copy of their physical fishing license can display a ‘true, complete and legible’ image of a valid fishing license on their smartphone. However, you must always carry a copy of the license, both in physical and digital form, when fishing in Massachusetts waters.

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What happens if I am caught fishing without a permit?

According to Scott Duncan, coordinator of the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the minimum penalty for fishing without a license is a $60 fine, but this could lead to a higher fine or an arrest depending on the number of fish and species caught.