Ohio fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in Ohio. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in Ohio

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32 waterbodies
405 cities
50 fishes

Licenses for fishing in Ohio

For more detailed information and to purchase a license online, please visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.

Category License Type Resident Price Non-Resident Price
Annual Fishing Annual $19.00 $40.00
  3-Year $50.00 $110.00
  5-Year $75.00 $175.00
One-Day Fishing 1-Day $11.00 $11.00
Senior Fishing Annual $10.00 -
  Lifetime $25.00 -
Special Permits Pond Fishing $10.00 $10.00
  River Fish Ohio $20.00 $20.00
  Lake Erie Sport $10.00 $10.00

Fishing Regulations in Ohio

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is prohibited.
  • Commercial fishing nets are restricted to licensed individuals and specific areas.
  • Using live fish as bait is limited to avoid spreading invasive species.
  • Snagging fish is illegal except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Chumming or baiting fish with feed is not allowed in most public waters.
Catch Limits
  • Walleye, Sauger, and Saugeye: Daily bag limit of 6, with size limits varying by water body.
  • Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass: Daily bag limit of 5, minimum size 12 inches.
  • Crappie: Daily limit of 30, no size limit.
  • Trout: Daily limit of 5, no minimum size limit.
  • Catfish: Daily limit of 6 channel catfish, only 1 may be over 28 inches.
  • Yellow Perch: Daily limit of 30, no size limit.
  • Muskie: Daily limit of 1, minimum size 30 inches.
  • Bluegill and other sunfish: No daily limit, no size limit.
  • White Bass: Daily limit of 30, no size limit.
  • Steelhead Trout: Daily limit of 5, no minimum size limit.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to certain waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or public safety reasons.
  • Private waters require landowner's permission for access and fishing.
  • Specific rules apply to fishing in state parks and wildlife areas.
  • No fishing zones around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for wildlife management and spawning protection.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout.
  • Special regulations in designated state scenic rivers.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or fly fishing zones.
  • Slot limits for bass in certain lakes and rivers.
  • Special rules for fishing in Lake Erie and its tributaries.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is prohibited.
  • Restrictions in areas with habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Special permits required for research involving rare species.
  • Reporting accidental catches of rare species is encouraged for conservation efforts.
  • Areas with significant ecological value may have additional fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species to protect during spawning or migration.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including shelter and equipment guidelines, during winter months.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species protection and habitat restoration.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or population studies.
  • Special regulations for early and late seasons in specific areas.
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