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Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing Permit

FREE Saltwater Fishing Days:

May 12 & June 16

*No Permit Needed!

Love to fish?

If you're 16 or older, you need a recreational saltwater fishing permit in Massachusetts. Whether you print your permit or have it stored on your mobile device, you must always have a version of your current fishing permit with you when saltwater fishing in Massachusetts. The process for getting your permit is the same for new, returning, and 60+ anglers. Permits expire each year on December 31.

Who Needs a Permit?

All anglers age 16 or older that wish to engage in the recreational activity of finfishing, with the following exceptions:

  • Anglers who regardless of their age otherwise meet the definition of a disabled person in M.G.L. c. 19C
  • Anglers fishing on permitted for-hire vessels (charter/head boat)

Permit Fee

  • The fee for an individual angler (resident or non-resident) is $10
  • Although there is no fee to anglers 60 years and older, you must still get a permit


Massachusetts has reciprocity agreements with:

  • New Hampshire: MA to NH and NH to MA
  • Rhode Island: MA to RI and RI to MA
  • Connecticut: MA to CT and CT to MA
  • Maine: MA to ME only

These agreements allow MA recreational saltwater permit holders to recreationally fish in NH, RI, CT, and ME. Read each agreement for specific details. Be aware that regulations vary from state to state.

How to Get Your 2024 Massachusetts Recreational Saltwater Fishing Permit:

You can get your Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing permit online, by mail, or in person. Here’s how:


You can buy your saltwater fishing permit online at MassFishHunt will walk you through getting your permit. Online permits will include a small additional administrative fee.

By Mail

Visit our Recreational Saltwater Fishing Permit webpage at and download and print the paper application for recreational saltwater fishing permits.

In Person

You can get your permit in person at our Gloucester or New Bedford offices. Those offices are open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday and only accept checks or money orders.

Permits can also be bought at one of our approved vendor locations. Visit to find a location near you.

Gloucester Office

30 Emerson Avenue,

Gloucester, MA 01930

(978) 282-0308

New Bedford Office

836 S Rodney French Blvd,

New Bedford, MA 02744

(508) 990-2860

For questions, please email:

[email protected] or call one of our offices.

Your Permit Dollars at Work

Recreational saltwater permit fees are dedicated to improving your angling experience. Here are a few of the ways:

Public Access

  • Develops and maintains large fishing piers
  • Funds small projects improving or repairing existing access sites
  • Funds the deployment of dedicated recreational artificial reefs

Angler Education

  • Provides free clinics for young anglers
  • Develops online resources for classroom educators

Improved Recreational Catch Data

  • Increases the sample size for the Marine Recreational Information Program's Access Point Angler Intercept Survey

Research and Conservation

  • River herring population management and restoration work
  • Striped bass migratory patterns and genetics