Ohio Fishing License


With more than 50,000 lakes statewide, Ohio’s numerous rivers and creeks are amazing for the fishing community, and we’re sure you’ll love to go fishing in Ohio. Fishing licenses in Ohio is an important requirement before you can catch fish in  Ohio’s waters.

Who is required a Ohio Fishing License?

In Ohio, You need to buy a license for fishing in the state if you are over 16 years old. This applies to both residents and non-residents. 

Exceptions to Ohio Fishing License

People who work for the Armed Forces while on leave or furlough.  Make sure they carry papers proving their status.

Residents disabled veterans and former Prisoners of War. 

Children under the age of 16 years old. 

Resident seniors over the age of 85 years old. 

Anyone assisting an angler with a mobility – impaired license, as long as they only use one rod.

Residents who are mobility – impaired or legally blind.

People go fishing on free fishing days, which is the first weekend of May each year. 

Where can I buy the fishing license?

1/ Online : You can buy it online at the Division of Wildlife website at And when you buy the license online, you just need to display it on your mobile device if you are asked to present it. 

2/ In person : Go to a license sales agents throughout the state like Walmart. 

3/ By mail : Call 1 – 800  - Wildlife or (614) 264 – 6300 and ask to receive a Mail Order Application Form.

4/ By phone : for 1 or 3-day licenses, call 1 – 866 – 703 – 1928 to talk to a live operator or call 1 – 855 – 764 – 3474 to the automated line. 

A resident is somebody who has been living continuously in Ohio for the past six months. When purchasing your license as a resident, you need to present the following requirements:

A valid Ohio Driver’s License.

A valid Ohio ID Card ( issued by the Secretary of State).

A social security number.

Ohio Fishing License cost

License Type

Resident cost

Senior Resident Cost

Non – Resident License Cost 

1-day License 




3-Day License 




1-Year Upgrade 




1-Year License 




3- Year License




5- Year License 




10 – Year License 




Lifetime License 




Non – Resident Lake Eric Fishing Permit ( 1 Jan – 30 Apr




Lifetime licenses are always valid even though you are no longer a state resident. Make sure to update the relevant information to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife.

A regular Ohio fishing license only covers non – residents from May until the end of the year. From January 1 to April 30, they need to get a Lake Erie Fishing Permit, which costs $11.  Ohio residents don’t need a Lake Erie Fishing Permit. 

Please note that Lake Erie-specific licenses are not sold online.

For those who have lost or damaged their licenses, they can purchase a duplicate license for only $4.

Fishing interstate waters

Ohio has borders with West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana. You can fish on waters of West Virginia, Kentucky with your Ohio fishing license, as long as you obey local regulations because Ohio had made deals with them.  But Ohio does not have any agreements in place with Michigan or Indiana. So when you go fishing along the borders, make sure you hook on Ohio water all the time, or you can pick up an Indiana or Michigan fishing license to be safe. 

You don’t need to have a license but you have to know about size and bag limits when you go fishing in Ohio.


Daily Limit

Min. Size

Blue & Flathead Catfish (under 35 inches)

No limit


Blue & Flathead Catfish (35 inches or larger)

1 of each (statewide)

35 inches

Channel Catfish (under 28 inches)

6 (public lakes under 700 acres)

No limit (all other public waters)


Channel Catfish (28 inches or larger)

1 (statewide)

28 inches

Lake Sturgeon

Possession is prohibited


The lake sturgeon is an endangered species in Ohio, so you must return them  unharmed to the water immediately if caught.)

Largemouth, Smallmouth, & Spotted Bass

5 (singly or in combination)

12 inches




Striped, Hybrid-Striped, & White Bass


No more than 4 over 15 inches

Trout (all species)

5 (singly or in combination)


Walleye, Sauger, & Saugeye

6 (singly or in combination)


Yellow Perch



All other fish

No limit 


Fish  in Ohio are the inspiration for us to create beautiful, quality long sleeve fishing shirts. Take a look some long sleeve fishing shirts and we look forward to accompanying you on your fishing trips.