Saltwater Fishing Record Rules
To qualify for saltwater fishing record consideration, anglers must fully and legibly complete an official application that may be obtained from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources or the MDMR website, and must abide by the following rules:
- Fish must be hooked, fought and brought to a net or gaff by the applicant with no help from any person, except that another person may operate the net or gaff. Use of hand lines or any unconventional gear types (e.g. nets, gigs, power-driven reels, ratchet handle reels or reels designed to be cranked with both hands at the same time) will not be permitted.
- Conventional Records: Fish must be caught and landed in a humane manner and in accordance with state and federal fishing laws. Only fish caught using conventional fishing tackle (e.g. rod, reel and line or pole and line) and hooked with any legal hook or lure will be considered.
- Fly Fishing Records: Fish must be caught in accordance with the normal customs and generally accepted practices of fly fishing and by use of conventional fly fishing tackle. The fly must be a recognized type of artificial fly (e.g. streamer, tube fly, wet fly, dry fly, emerger, nymph, terrestrial, popper, etc.). Treble hooks, lures designed to entangle, snagging, using any other lure or natural bait either singularly or attached to the fly is prohibited. The fly must be submitted with the application and becomes the property of the MDMR.
- All Tackle Records: Fish must be caught with legal recreational method of take and will be approved by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR).
- Two color photographs must be submitted with each application:
- One of the angler and fish
- One showing a clear, close-up side view of the fish. Photos submitted become property of the MDMR with publication rights.
- Fish must be weighed on scales that have been certified annually for accuracy by state or federal government agencies or other qualified and accredited organizations, as approved by the MDMR. The weighing must take place in the presence of two witnesses other than the applicant, who must sign and date the application or a separate statement attesting that they witnessed the official weight. The actual weight of the fish at the time of the weighing will be the official weight (i.e. no provisions for weight loss will be allowed). Witnesses to the weight and catch shall not be the same persons. Official fishing rodeo and tournament weights on certified scales will be accepted. Proof of certification must be made available to MDMR upon request.
- Length of the fish must be measured in a straight line from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail and from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail. The girth measurement is to be taken at the widest or thickest part of the fish.
- Applications for a saltwater fish must be positively identified and verified by a professional fisheries biologist. (e.g. a biologist from the MDMR or Gulf Coast Research Laboratory).
- A valid Mississippi fishing license is required for all state record applications. Passengers aboard licensed and certified for-hire vessels also are eligible.
- The MDMR reserves the right to further check fish identification, verification of witnesses and to refuse any application that is questionable. It will be considered “Just Cause” for disqualification of a current application and any previous records established by anyone who falsifies a saltwater record application. All rules shall be strictly adhered to and the decision of the State Record Review Committee shall be final.
- MDMR has a youth division for state fishing records. The initial weight for the division is 50 percent of the current state record weight. All other regulations are the same.
MS Saltwater Fishing Records are classified as all tackle records, we do not recognize separate line classes. For potential world records refer to IGFA’s web page, rules and submission protocols at igfa.org.