Ohio Fishing License – What You Need to Know

Fishing enthusiasts, both residents and non-residents, know that an Ohio fishing license is the golden ticket to legally enjoy the state’s abundant aquatic life. This comprehensive guide will reel you in with everything you need to know about Ohio fishing licenses, from obtaining one to understanding what it covers, and even some of the state’s popular fishing spots.

Who Needs An Ohio Fishing License?

In Ohio, any angler aged 16 years and older must obtain a fishing license to cast a line in public waters. The only exception is for those fishing in privately owned ponds or lakes. Ohio residents can apply for resident fishing licenses, while non-residents must obtain a non-resident fishing license. If you’re unsure about your residency status, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is your go-to resource.

Types Of Ohio Fishing Licenses

The ODNR offers a variety of fishing licenses, catering to different needs and circumstances:

  • Resident Fishing License: Available to Ohio residents at $19 per year.
  • Non-Resident Fishing License: Non-residents can fish in Ohio for $40 per year.
  • One-Day Fishing License: This $11 license allows you to fish for one day only.
  • Three-Day Nonresident Tourist’s Fishing License: Non-residents can fish for three consecutive days for $19.
  • Youth Fishing License: Youths aged 16 and 17 can fish for $10 per year.
  • Senior Fishing License: Ohio residents aged 66 and above can fish for $10 per year.
  • Lifetime Fishing License: This license allows Ohio residents of all ages to fish for life. The cost varies depending on age.
Resident Fishing License $19.00
Non-Resident Fishing License $40.00
One-Day Fishing License $11.00
Three-Day Nonresident Tourist’s Fishing License $19.00
Youth Fishing License $10.00
Senior Fishing License $10.00
Lifetime Fishing License Varies

Where To Buy An Ohio Fishing License

There are several ways to purchase an Ohio fishing license:

  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Service Centers: You can buy your Ohio fishing license in person at any of the ODNR service centers spread out across the state. Visit the ODNR contact page for a full list of service center locations.
  • Sporting Goods Stores: Stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart sell fishing licenses.
  • Bait Shops: Bait shops like Fisherman’s Headquarters, Tackle Shack, and John’s Bait & Tackle also sell fishing licenses.
  • Online Through The Ohio DNR Website: You can purchase your Ohio fishing license online through the Ohio DNR website.

What Does An Ohio Fishing License Cover?

An Ohio fishing license grants the ability to fish in state-owned waters, including Lake Erie and its tributaries, and to keep fish caught ethically. It also covers fishing for frogs and turtles, as well as the use of a dip net or cast net to take nongame fish species.

Ohio is home to many excellent fishing spots, including Lake Erie, one of the most popular fishing destinations in the country. Other popular fishing spots in Ohio include Rocky Fork Lake, Lake Milton, Mosquito Lake, Caesar Creek Lake, Alum Creek Lake, Buckeye Lake, Deer Creek Lake, Grand Lake St. Marys, Indian Lake, and Paint Creek Lake.


In Ohio, a fishing license is your passport to enjoy the state’s rich fishing heritage. With different types of licenses available, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Remember, by following all fishing regulations, you’re helping to preserve Ohio’s fishing heritage for future generations. So, get your license, cast your line, and enjoy the thrill of the catch!

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