Indiana Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
Indiana offers a variety of fishing opportunities in lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. There’s monster chinook salmon in Lake Michigan, steelheads in the St. Joseph River, walleye in Brookville Lake, largemouth bass in Patoka Lake, to name a few. However, unless it is a free fishing day, you will need a current Indiana fishing license. State fishing license fees are not for free as they are used to administer, protect, maintain, and maintain the Indian fish population.
It’s easy to purchase a 24/7 fishing license online from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources with just a few clicks. However, if you want to buy a fishing license in person, can you stop by the Land Secretariat or an authorized dealer at any time during office hours?
Indiana Fishing Licenses
If the government has not pushed ahead with the development of fishing rules and regulations, the chances are our internal waters are now depleted of fish. These rules and regulations are in place to ensure that fish populations remain healthy and grow in number so that future generations can experience fishing. In addition to national regulations, there are also guiding rules that apply to certain waterways and species. Rules for size and baggage restrictions also apply.
Fishing has become a very popular activity. The number of fishing enthusiasts has grown over the years. Without fishing regulations, the numbers of anglers in Indiana’s waterways would have put pressure on the many species of fish and most likely destroyed their habitats. In order to maintain a healthy fishery, state biologists and fishery managers implement programs to protect habitats and fish stocks.
How do I get an Indiana fishing license?
To obtain an Indiana fishing license, you can use four different methods to obtain a license.
- Online: Visit on.IN.gov/INHuntFish
- Click the big green button that says “Buy License”
- Next click under the heading “Licenses for Hunting, Trapping and Fishing” on “Start Shopping”.
- Tap the Licenses button on the left. From there, you will be prompted to log in or sign in.
- Users have to enter their information such as name, email and the desired password.
- From there, a series of questions will ask you to purchase the right license for you.
- In person: you can find a dealer / agent near you. Go to Fishing.IN.gov and enter your zip code to find a location that’s convenient for you. To get there, click “Find an Authorized License Provider Near You” or visit the Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Center. This is located at Indiana Government Center South – 402 W Washington St. Room W160, Indianapolis IN 46204.
- By mail: You can send a check, money order (payable to DNR), or accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Please note that you should expect your fishing license to be delivered within 2-3 weeks. Please enclose the following information on the envelope to enable precise processing:
- Name, date of birth, Indiana driver’s license number, and Social Security number
- Full address, city, state, zip code, and phone number
- Height, weight, gender, hair and eye color
- Please provide the exact licenses and dates that you need for one-day or multi-day licenses
For the address please email to:
DNR customer service center
402 W. Washington St. Room W160
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- By phone – call 317-232-4200. on
Things to know before buying:
Accepted forms of payment for credit and debit cards are Mastercard, Visa, and Discover. Online transactions will incur an additional fee of $ 1 per licensee to support maintenance updates. There is an additional fee of $ 1.99 for each credit card company transaction fee.
To obtain an Indiana resident license, individuals must have resided in Indiana for at least 60 consecutive days prior to obtaining a fishing license or permit. All licenses are non-transferable and non-refundable.
What to do after buying:
Individuals must have their signed license or electronic copy with them when fishing. Be sure to show or present your fishing license or permit at the request of the Department of Natural Resources officer or other law enforcement officer.
A Department of Natural Resources license may be revoked at any time, at the discretion of a court, if convicted of violation of the Fish and Wildlife Act or any failure to comply with the terms to which the license was granted.
Types of Indiana Fishing License and Costs:
|Licenses||Residents||Not resident||Assistant apprentice||Non-resident apprentice|
|Annual fishing||$ 17||$ 35||N / A||N / A|
|One day fishing (including trout / salmon||$ 9||$ 9||N / A||N / A|
|Seven days of fishing||N / A||$ 20||N / A||N / A|
|Senior Annual Fishing (including trout / salmon)||$ 3||N / A||N / A||N / A|
|Senior Fish for Life (including trout / salmon)||$ 17||N / A||N / A||N / A|
|Trout / salmon stamp privilege||$ 11||$ 11||N / A||N / A|
|Annual hunt||$ 17||$ 80||$ 17||$ 80|
|Annual hunting and fishing||$ 25||N / A||$ 25||N / A|
|Five day hunt||N / A||$ 31||N / A||$ 31|
|Disabled American veterans hunt / fish||$ 2.75||N / A||N / A||N / A|
|DAV 10-year hunt / fish||$ 27.50||N / A||N / A||N / A|
Who Needs an Indiana Fishing License?
In addition to the exception list, all individuals must have a valid fishing license issued by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to fish in public lakes, streams, rivers, or tributaries in Indiana and its border waters. A printed permit is only valid if the license is signed in ink or must have an electronic copy. When fishing, you must carry it with you when fishing and show it to an Indiana Conservation Officer on duty if requested.
To claim the residence fishing permit, you must have resided in another state for at least 60 days without an existing fishing permit. A fishing license can be withdrawn if the license holder is convicted of violating fish and wildlife regulations. Equipment used while violating Indiana’s fish and wildlife laws may also be confiscated for evidence and confiscated upon conviction.
Who is exempt from the fishing license?
Please read carefully below to see if you or someone who is accompanying you on your trip is on the exception list.
- Individuals born prior to April 1, 1943 who must be Indiana residents. Have your driver’s license or identity verification with you in case you need to verify your date of birth.
- Both residents and non-residents under the age of 18
- Residents who are legally blind. Proof of legal blindness is not required.
- Individuals residing in an Indiana state mental health rehabilitation facility.
- Resident of a licensed Indiana health facility participating in a supervised fishing activity sponsored by the facility.
- Residents who have permission from the property owner or who own a private pond. The pond must not have any fish entering or leaving public waters.
- Residents who are on active duty but are currently on approved military leave. Must Carry a vacation order and a valid driver’s license or voter registration card.
- Indiana residents or tenants of farmland.
How do I renew my Indiana license?
To renew your license, go online and buy the license again under the account you have already created. Or follow the other channels like mail order, phone or in person to extend.
Indiana fish size and limits
Here is a table of all of the size and baggage restrictions for the state of Indiana. Please read this guide before you go on your next Indiana fishing trip.
Indiana statewide size and baggage restrictions:
|species||Daily luggage limit||Minimum size|
|Black bass (in lakes)||5 Individually or together||14 in|
|Black bass (in rivers and streams)||5 individually or together (no more than 2 over 15 inches)||12 to 15 inches|
|Smallmouth bass (in Lake Michigan)||3 individually or together||14 in|
|White bass, hybrid striped bass||12 individually or together, no more than 2 fish may exceed 17 inches||None|
|Walleye, Walleye Sucker, Hybrid Saugeye Sucker||6 individually or together||For pikeperch: 14 inches for teat and suction eye, no size limit|
|Muscle lungs and tiger muscle lungs||1 individually||36 in|
|Northern pike||311||24 inches|
|Yellow perch||None (15 only on Lake Michigan)||None|
|Catfish: Canal, Blue, Flathead (in creeks)||109||13 in|
|Shovel nose sturgeon||None||25 inches|
Please note that individually or collectively means that the daily baggage limit includes any combination of the types. Pale bass includes largemouth bass, smallmouth, and cichlid.
Fishing hooks and hand lines
It is mandatory that you cannot fish with more than three rods or hand lines at the same time. Each line must not have more than three single or multi-pronged hooks.
In Indiana, the endangered fish are Dwarf Sunfish, Hoosier Cave Fish, Canal Darter, Gold Darter, Great Redhorse, Northern Brook Lamprey, Pale Shiner, Redside Dace, Variegate Darter.
Free fishing days
Indiana celebrates fishing by giving residents four free days of fishing in 2020 without purchasing a fishing license. The dates are May 3rd, June 6-7th and September 26th. This is an excellent opportunity to bring your family, friends, children, and loved ones to introduce them to fishing.
The Best Fishing Spots in Indiana
Most people don’t think Indiana is an ideal fishing spot, but the state has so much to offer. There’s plenty of variety all year round, such as striper, pikeperch, pike, coho salmon, steelhead trout, musk, crappie and largemouth bass to name a few.
Lake Michigan is the largest and one of the most popular places in Indiana. You can fish from the edge or a pier, or take a boat into the deeper water for deep sea fishing. Lake Michigan is the perfect place to catch coho, chinook salmon, steelhead, lake trout, yellow bass, and many others.
If you would like to take your children with you fishing or if you are a beginner yourself, we recommend visiting Centennial Park in the heart of Munster, right across from the Community Veterans Memorial. Centennial Park has a small fishing pond that is great for kids and offers a great catch and release experience. Seeing your first largemouth bass catch will be incredibly memorable.
Indiana Fishing Licenses
For those of you who are more experienced and want to go deep sea fishing, you should visit the Kankakee River. This is one of the widest and most extensive rivers in the entire United States – it spans about 90 miles in total. You have the opportunity to catch perch, pikeperch and pike. A record breaking 20 pound pike from the north was caught right in the Kankakee River!
There is never a guarantee that you will catch a fish, but Burns Ditch offers very high catch rates. You’re sure to catch a couple here by simply dropping a fishing line and bait around the mouth of the trench. Burns Ditch connects to the Little Calumet River and Lake Michigan. It’s an excellent place to catch large catfish, fairly large largemouth bass, pikeperch, and coho salmon. Fishing in Indiana offers fantastic summer and spring fishing, as well as ice fishing in the winter. There are also plenty of campsites along these rivers, streams, ponds, and fishing spots.