Mississippi Red Snapper

Federal and state season: Recreational anglers may fish every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 16 through Sept. 4. Federal and state waters will be closed Monday through Thursday with the exception of Monday, July 3, Tuesday, July 4 and Monday, Sept. 4. The season for federally permitted for-hire charter vessels ends Thursday, July 20.

For more information on the 2017 Federal Red Snapper season please visit the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council at

The Red Snapper bag limit is two fish per-person per-day with a 16-inch minimum total length size limit.

All vessels (private and for-hire) landing Red Snapper in Mississippi must use the Tails n’ Scales electronic reporting system regardless of harvest area (federal waters, Mississippi state waters, adjacent states’ waters, etc.) There are no exemptions. Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) requires one report per trip per vessel.

During each season, a trip authorization number must be obtained by a representative of each vessel prior to recreationally fishing for Red Snapper. Trip authorization numbers are only valid for 24 hours and must be closed out each time before a new trip number will be issued.

Registering, obtaining trip authorization numbers and reporting harvest can be done using any of the methods listed below.

Free Downloadable App: Tails n’ Scales

1.    iPhone – search for Tails n’ Scales in the Apple App Store

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2.    Android – search for Tails n’ Scales in the Google Play Store

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Phone: 1-844-MSSNAPP (1-844-677-6277)

*The toll-free number will directly connect you to a call center that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number may be used to register, create new trips and close out trips. In the event that you do not have an email account or do not have access to the Tails n’ Scales electronic reporting system online or on a mobile device, please use the toll-free number. However, MDMR highly encourages using the free downloadable app and/or visiting the website for the reporting process.

Comments or questions may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tails n’ Scales Registration Instructions:
1.    If you do not already have an email and password, launch Tails n’ Scales on your mobile device or visit to create an account.
2.    To register as a user in the system, you must provide your first and last name, a valid email, phone number and home address and either your vessel’s state registration number or your US Coast Guard vessel documentation number. Please indicate your vessel type: private or for-hire, and provide a vessel name if applicable or put NA if your vessel does not have a name.
3.    Once all your information has been entered, click on the Register button at the bottom of the screen.


You will now be able to log in on your mobile device or online. You may use more than one method to create and complete trips. You do not have to complete the entire process using only your mobile device or only the website.

Tails n’ Scales Trip Creation Process:
1.    Input your username and password to log in to the system.

Enter Username and Password

2.    On your mobile device, select the New Trip icon. On the website, click on the CREATE NEW TRIP button.

Create New Trip

3.    The information you used to register should automatically appear in the required fields (Vessel Registration Number, Vessel Name, CG Doc and Target Species). However, you may change or update your information before creating a new trip by using the yellow gear symbol on your mobile device or selecting the MY ACCOUNT tab at the top of the screen on the website or simply input your vessel registration number and/or your Coast Guard vessel documentation number, the name of your vessel or NA if no vessel name is available, and the landing site.

Enter Your Trip Information

4.    On your mobile device, select the Trip Start field to choose the date and time of your trip. On the website, use the calendar icon to the right of the Trip Start field and the clock icon at the bottom of the calendar to change the date and time of your trip. You will not be allowed to choose your Trip Expiration date and time. The trip will expire 24 hours from the trip start time. Trips can only be created up to five days in advance.

Select Date

Click the clock to change start time

Select Start Time

5.    If you create a trip that is not taken or is rescheduled you must abandon that trip and provide a reason code, which will appear in a drop down menu. You will not be allowed to close a trip or create a new one until the current trip is abandoned and a reason is provided.

Abandon Trip

Tails n’ Scales Trip Close Process:
1.    On your mobile device, select the Close Active Trip icon. On the website, click on CLOSE ACTIVE TRIP or the TRIPS tab at the top of the screen then select the CLOSE TRIP button. If the trip is set for a future date you will not be allowed to close the trip. You must abandon the trip instead. Choose No for Trip Taken? Then provide a reason code.
2.    If you are closing a trip you must provide answers to all questions. Enter the amount of time spent fishing to the nearest half hour, the number of people who fished on the vessel, the number of Red Snapper harvested, , the number of Red Snapper released, and the habitat where you spent the majority of time fishing.




Red Snapper Regulations Information

Federal Regulations for Reef Fish Venting and Dehooking Tools

Effective June 1st, 2008, all fishermen fishing for reef associated species (snappers, groupers, triggerfish and amberjack) in Federal waters (EEZ) must possess and utilize the tools described below to be in compliance with new Federal Regulations.

DEHOOKING TOOL: The hook removal device is required to be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without reengaging during the removal process. This requires the dehooking end to be blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the reef fish fishery. An approved de-hooking device must be available aboard the vessel

HOOKS: Federal law requires NON-stainless steel circle hooks when using natural baits while fishing for all reef species (snappers, trigger fish, groupers and amber jacks).

VENTING TOOL: No venting tool is required for the 2016 season.