Fishing is a beloved pastime for many Hoosiers and visitors to the state of Indiana. However, before casting your line, it’s important to understand the fishing license requirements. In 2024, a valid fishing license issued by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is required for most individuals to fish in public lakes, streams, rivers, tributaries, and boundary waters in Indiana.
Who Needs a Fishing License in Indiana?
If you’ve celebrated your 18th birthday – Indiana resident or not – you’ll need a fishing license. The state offers different licensing options for everyone, whether you’re a Hoosier or just visiting.

However, there are some exceptions to the fishing license requirement in Indiana:

Indiana residents born before April 1, 1943

These individuals are exempt from needing a fishing license when fishing in Indiana waters. They should carry their valid Indiana Driver’s License or other identification to verify their age and residency.

Residents and nonresidents under age 18

If you’re under 18, you’re also good to go without a license, whether you call Indiana home or are just visiting.

Legally-blind Indiana residents & those with developmental disabilities

There’s no need for proof while fishing, just enjoy the experience.

Residents of state-owned mental rehabilitation and licensed healthcare facilities

Your fishing adventures during all supervised activities require no license.

Private pond fishers

If you’re fishing on private property where the fish can’t mingle with public waters, you’re in the clear. Just make sure the pond’s owners are okay with it.

Resident military personnel

Those on active duty or on leave with a valid Indiana ID are exempt from getting a license. Non-resident service people stationed in Indiana are eligible for a resident license, meanwhile.

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Farm owners or leasees & their families

If you’re fishing on your own Indiana farmland, no license is needed. This doesn’t apply to commercial entities, though.

Non-resident landowners

Here, similar exemptions apply, depending on your home state’s reciprocal rules with Indiana.

Disabled American veterans

Special DAV licenses are available – just reach out to the County Service Officer or check the official DNR website for to apply.
How to Purchase a Fishing License in Indiana
If you don’t fit into any of the above categories, you’ll need a permit. There are several options for purchasing a fishing license in Indiana:

Online

Go to on.IN.gov/INHuntFish. Online license purchases have a 40 cents per license fee for system support maintenance.

In Person

You can purchase your license in person at authorized retailers across the state.

By Mail

You can also purchase your license by mail by sending a completed application form to the DNR Customer Service Center in Indianapolis.
License Fees and Types
Indiana offers different licensing options for residents and non-residents. Resident licenses include:
Annual Fishing License
One-Day Fishing License
Senior Annual Fishing License (for those 64 and older born after March 31, 1943)
Senior Fish for Life License (for those 64 and older born after March 31, 1943, valid for the rest of the holder’s life)
Non-resident licenses include:
Annual Non-Resident Fishing License
One-Day Non-Resident Fishing License
Seven-Day Non-Resident Fishing License
To legally fish for or take trout and salmon from public waters, you must have a valid trout/salmon stamp and a valid fishing license.
Important Reminders
A licensee must hold an ink-signed copy of a license while fishing, signed electronic copies are acceptable.
You must present the license to an Indiana Conservation Officer (or any other authorized law enforcement official) upon request.
There are fines and penalties for fishing without a license.
To qualify for resident fishing licenses, a person must have established a true fixed and permanent home and primary residence in Indiana for 60 consecutive days prior to purchasing a license or permit and may not claim residency for fishing, hunting, or trapping in another state or country.
A fishing license may be revoked if the license holder is convicted of violating fish and wildlife regulations.
Indiana is a paradise where anglers can chase their dreams. From the calm embrace of Lake Michigan’s shores to the wild rushes of the White River, there’s a lot more than first meets the eye here. But before you reel in a monster Bass or sleek Walleye, make sure you have the appropriate fishing license for 2024.

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