Fishing & Boating

Commercial Fishing Gear

Fishing Gear that can be fished by holders of Commercial Fishing License to harvest non-game gross fish (rough fish) and non-native fish.

Please see the Commercial fishing Digest for waters closed to the use of commercial fishing gear.

Gill Net

A net made of multifilament or monofilament twine that is used to entangle fish. A minimum of four (4) inches mesh square measure may be used statewide.


A minimum of three (3) inch mesh square measure gill nets may be used in the main channels of the Mississippi and Pearl Rivers, Pickwick Lake, and in lakes and streams where the Mississippi/Louisiana state line occurs, including any public waters that are within the overflow of the Mississippi River along the MS/LA border.

A minimum of 3.5 inch mesh square measure gill and trammel nets may be used in the main channel of the Mississippi River and all public waters between the main levees of the Mississippi River where the Mississippi/Arkansas state line occurs.

Nets must be set at least 100 yards apart and no nearer than 20 yards to piers. 

Maximum length shall be 3,000 feet.

An equipment tag shall be attached to one end of the float line of each gill or trammel net.


Trotlines are lines with droppers that have hooks. A commercial license is required to run trotlines with more than 100 hooks in aggregate.

Hooks must be at least 24 inches apart and tied so they cannot slip together. No trotlines shall exceed 1,000 feet. An equipment tag shall be attached within 5 feet of one end of the mainline of each trotline.

Hoop Nets or Barrel Nets

A trap made out of hoops and twine with throats that prevent escape of the fish.

Mesh - minimum of 3 inch square measure, made of No. 15 twine or bigger and treated. Twine or cord only. Hearts may be used only between the main levees of the Mississippi River. Hoop nets or barrel nets must be set at least 100 yards apart (Section 49-7-81). Legally licensed residents of Mississippi fishing with barrel nets and/or hoop nets in Mississippi waters, which are a common boundary between Mississippi and another state (oxbow lakes included), may use a mesh size which is the same mesh size allowed in the other state. EXCEPT, leads, hearts and wings are prohibited in Mississippi waters when attached to barrel or hoop nets with minimum square mesh of less than three (3) inches. An equipment tag shall be attached to the front hoop on each hoop net.

A lead net is a hoop net with a net attached that "leads" the fish to the hoop net. A hoop net may be fished on each end of a lead. As such, this constitutes one set and each set must be 100 yards apart. There is a maximum of seven lead nets per fishermen. Leads can be a maximum of 35 yards in length and must be made of three (3) inch square mesh of treated No. 15 twine or bigger.


The use of seines is prohibited for all non-game gross fish.
No open season, except for minnow seines.

Minnow Seines

Totaling no more than 25 feet in length and four (4) feet in depth. The use of minnow seines in any of the public lakes in Mississippi and in certain waters below the flood control reservoir dams is prohibited.

Minnow Traps

Are jars constructed of glass, plastic, non metallic or wire mesh not more than 30 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter having no wings or leads and having an entrance no larger than one inch in diameter may be used for taking minnows for bait only.

Crawfish Traps

Crawfish traps are typically of the pillow or pyramid style which are used for the sole purpose of taking crawfish. Crawfish traps are constructed of coated wire with the opening of the throat or flues not exceeding two inches, with minimum mesh no smaller than 3/4 inch by 11/16 inch. Tagging requirement - Each trap must be tagged with a tag supplied by the owner, with the owners name and MDWFP # number.

Slat Baskets

A wooden trap used to catch, almost exclusively catfish.

Slat baskets shall be made entirely of wood and/or plastic slats in a boxlike or cylindrical shape. Slat baskets shall not exceed six (6) feet in length nor exceed fifteen (15) inches in width and height or diameter. May have no more than two (2) throats, and must have at least four (4) slot openings of a minimum one and one-fourth (1 1/4) inches by twenty-four (24) inches, evenly spaced around the sides of the catch area. The one and one fourth (1 1/4 ) inch wide slots must begin at the rear of the basket and run twenty-four (24) inches toward the throat end of the basket.

Slat baskets shall be placed at least one hundred (100) yards apart and may not be used with any form of leads, netting, or guiding devices. Each slat basket shall have a tag permanently attached to the front end of the basket.

Freshwater Shrimp Traps

Freshwater shrimp traps are wire traps used to capture freshwater shrimp for bait. The traps must be no larger than 36 inches long from the rear of the heart to the leading edge of the trap, and no larger than 24 inches wide between the leading edges of the trap or heart opening and no larger than 12 inches high. The trap cannot have any external or unattached wings, weirs, or other guiding devices intended to funnel shrimp to the trap heart. Shrimp traps fished in public water shall be marked with a waterproof tag provided by the fishermen, with the fishers name and MDWFP # legibly printed on the tag.

TAGS for commercial fishing gear

Commercial Fishing Equipment Tags

All gill nets, trammel nets, hoop nets, slat baskets, commercial trotlines, crawfish traps, and shrimp traps must have a tag attached that identifies the owner of the gear by their unique MDWFP Number (#) as found on the owner's license (found above the license holder's date of birth). A valid tag will be waterproof and have waterproof marking, or engraving, of the fisher's MDWFP Number in legible numbers at least ¼" in height. A valid tag can be either a tag supplied by the fisherman, or, tags previously sold by MDWFP in which the owner had to engrave their MDWFP # on the tag. Tags on crawfish or shrimp traps must also have the fisher's name in addition to their MDWFP #. All tags sold by MDWFP prior to June 25, 2012 are no longer valid, as they do not have the fishers' MDWFP #. However, those tags can be flipped over and will be valid when engraved or marked with gear owner's MDWFP #. The MDWFP # is a number unique to each customer of the MDWFP license system.

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