Given that fishing is a popular sport in Ohio, it stands to reason that fishing license sales play a crucial role in helping the state to maintain its fisheries. Ohio offers its residents a number of fishing license options durations, and a number of exceptions for seniors and youth. With Lake Erie being a popular charter fishing destination, Ohio also offers a single day charter fishing permit option fro non-residents to purchase.  

If you intend to take fish from Ohio waters, you must have a valid Ohio fishing license.

Ohio Fishing Regulations

Ohio residents and visitors must possess a valid Ohio fishing license if you plan to take fish from Ohio waters. Same goes for frogs and turtles – if you want to take them with you then you must have a fishing license.

Fishing License Period

Ohio fishing licenses can be purchased in 1 Day, 1 Year, 3 Year, 5 Year, 10 Year, and Lifetime increments for its residents. It offers it’s senior residents (age 66 or older) 1 Year, 3 Year, 5 Year, and Lifetime licenses.

Non-residents of Ohio may purchase fishing licenses in 1 Day, 1 Day Lake Erie Charter Fishing, or 1 Year variations.

Extra Licensing Fees

While some states require special fishing licenses to fish certain waters, or specific fish species, Ohio has few of those nuances aside from specific requirements around obtaining Lake Erie fishing permits – click the button below for the details.

Free or Reduced Fee Ohio Fishing Licenses

On Ohio’s Free Fishing Days the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational fishermen. If you’re a resident of Ohio, you qualify to fish for free. The most recent dates for Free Fishing Days in Ohio are May 4 and 5, 2019. 

Ohio Fishing Licenses are NOT Required For

Ohio offers its residents a great number of ways to enjoy fishing without permits and tags. Here’s a list of those.

  • Anyone fishing during the Free Fishing Days
  • A fishermen under 16 years of age 
  • A fishermen who is a Ohio resident, and is 66 years old or more – a free license can be obtained at any license outlet or online
  • A fishermen who is an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces while on leave or furlough
  • A fishermen who is a former prisoner of war
  • A fishermen who is fishing, or taking frogs or turtles, on land and water owned by them or their parents, except where the land is within, or borders on state parks or state owned lakes
  • A fishermen who is fishing, or taking frogs or turtles, on land and water where they are tennants, or their parents are,  on which they reside, and from which they derive the majority of their income from agricultural production on that land (except state-owned lakes)
  • A fishermen who is mobility impaired and requires help from another person to cast and retrieve
  • A fishermen who is a holder of veteran license plates which contains the international wheelchair symbol
  • A fishermen who is assisting an angler who has been issued the free mobility impaired or blind fishing license (the two persons together may only use one line)
  • A fishermen who is a resident of state or county institutions

Buy an Ohio Fishing License