Do I Need a License to Fish at Alum Creek?

Do I Need a License to Fish at Alum Creek?

Alum Creek Lake, located in Delaware County about 7 miles north of Columbus, Ohio, is one of the best fishing lakes in the state. With a wide variety of fish including bass, crappie, catfish, saugeye, walleye and muskie, it’s no wonder Alum Creek attracts anglers from all over. But before you cast your line, it’s important to know the fishing license requirements.

The short answer is yes, a valid Ohio fishing license is required to fish at Alum Creek Lake for anglers 16 and older. There are a few exceptions that we’ll cover later in this article. But in most cases, you’ll need to obtain a fishing license from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) before fishing at Alum Creek.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about fishing licenses for Alum Creek Lake, including:

  • Who needs a fishing license
  • Types of licenses available
  • Where to purchase a license
  • Costs of licenses
  • Exceptions to license requirements
  • Fishing regulations to be aware of
  • Tips for fishing at Alum Creek

By the end, you’ll be fully prepared to get your Ohio fishing license and hit the waters of Alum Creek Lake. Let’s dive in!

Who Needs an Ohio Fishing License for Alum Creek?

In the state of Ohio, a fishing license is required for anyone 16 years of age and older to take fish, frogs, or turtles from Ohio waters. This applies to both public and private waters, including Alum Creek Lake.

So if you plan on fishing at Alum Creek and you’re 16 or older, you will need a valid Ohio fishing license. This is true whether you are an Ohio resident or an out-of-state visitor.

The only anglers exempt from needing a fishing license are:

  • Ohio residents age 65 and older (must carry proof of age and residency)
  • Ohio residents who are mobility impaired and have a free mobility impaired card
  • Ohio residents who are blind and have a free blind card
  • Ohio residents who are former prisoners of war and have a free former POW card

If you don’t fall into one of those exempt categories, you must purchase a fishing license before casting your line at Alum Creek Lake. Fishing without a license can result in a fine.

Types of Ohio Fishing Licenses

Ohio offers several different types of fishing licenses to cater to both resident and non-resident anglers. The license options include:

Annual Licenses

These annual licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. If you plan to do a lot of fishing at Alum Creek and other Ohio waters during the year, an annual license is likely your best bet.

Short-Term Licenses

  • 1-Day Fishing License: $14
  • 3-Day Fishing License: $25

If you only plan to fish for a day or a few days, a short-term license may be more cost-effective. These are popular options for tourists or visitors.

Multi-Year and Lifetime Licenses

  • 3-Year Resident Fishing License: $70
  • 5-Year Resident Fishing License: $120
  • 10-Year Resident Fishing License: $240
  • Lifetime Resident Fishing License: $468
  • Lifetime Resident Senior Fishing License (66 and older): $84

Ohio also offers the convenience of multi-year and lifetime licenses for residents. If you know you’ll be fishing the Ohio waters for years to come, these can provide significant savings over buying an annual license each year.

Where to Purchase an Ohio Fishing License

You have a few different options when it comes to purchasing your Ohio fishing license:

  1. Online via the ODNR website (
  2. At a licensed agent, such as a bait and tackle store, outdoor outfitter, Walmart, etc. ODNR has a searchable map of license agents on their website.
  3. By calling 1-866-703-1928

Buying online is quick and convenient, as you can print out your license immediately after purchase. But if you prefer to buy in-person, most towns have several license agents available.

Fishing Regulations at Alum Creek Lake

In addition to having a fishing license, anglers at Alum Creek Lake must also abide by the statewide and site-specific fishing regulations set by ODNR. Some key regulations to be aware of include:

  • Walleye: 15″ minimum size limit, 6 daily limit
  • Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass: 12″ minimum size limit, 5 daily limit
  • Crappie: 9″ minimum size limit, 30 daily limit
  • Muskie: 30″ minimum size limit, 2 daily limit

There are also restrictions on fishing methods and tackle:

  • Anglers can use up to 3 fishing lines at a time
  • Floatlines are permitted in certain areas
  • Specific hook and line regulations apply for trout and salmon

It’s important to check the full regulations before fishing, as they are subject to change. The ODNR fishing regulations guidebook is available online and wherever licenses are sold.

Tips for Fishing at Alum Creek Lake

Now that you know the license requirements and regulations, here are some tips to help you land a big catch at Alum Creek Lake:

  • Best spots: Some of the top spots for saugeye include the Cheshire Road bridge, the dam spillway, Big Run, and the south and middle pools. For bass, try the points, coves, and shallow flats in the spring.
  • Best times: Saugeye bite best in low light conditions, so fish early morning and evening. Bass fishing heats up in the spring as they move to the shallows to spawn.
  • Lures: Jigs, crankbaits, and blade baits work well for saugeye. For bass, try jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics.
  • Hire a guide: If you’re new to Alum Creek, consider hiring a local fishing guide to show you the ropes. They’ll put you on the fish and teach you techniques to use on future trips.


In summary, a fishing license is required to fish at Alum Creek Lake for anyone age 16 and older, with a few exceptions. You can purchase an Ohio fishing license online, at a licensed agent, or by phone, with options ranging from 1-day to lifetime licenses.

In addition to a license, be sure to familiarize yourself with the statewide and Alum Creek-specific fishing regulations before hitting the water. With a license and some basic knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to landing bass, saugeye, muskie, and more at this top Ohio fishing destination.

So get licensed, gear up, and head to Alum Creek Lake for your next fishing adventure! Tight lines!

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