Indiana Fishing Regulations

Fishers, both amateur and professional, who want to catch fish in the state of Indiana must adhere to the state’s fishing regulations, which are outlined below. The Department of Natural Resources provides information on special regulations pertaining to specific rivers, lakes, and fish species, which you can consult for more information.



Who needs a license

Before you can apply for a resident fishing license, you must have lived in the area for at least sixty days. If you were born after the 31st of March 1943 and are a resident of the state, you can apply for a Senior Annual or Senior Fish for Life License. In order to obtain an annual license as a non-resident, you must pay a higher fee, but you can also obtain a one-day or seven-day license.

In order to fish for salmon and trout in public waters, you’ll need a fishing license as well as a salmon or trout privilege.

If you are under the age of eighteen, you do not require a driver’s license. The same is true for some landowners and farmers, as well as for people who are physically or mentally challenged.


Fish size and bag limits

The following are the species of fish that can be caught in Indiana, as well as the amount of fish that can be taken home at the end of the day. Some of them have regulations that state that you can either harvest a single species or include any combination of species in your daily bag depending on the time of year. Take note that Indiana has a possession limit of two times the daily bag, which means you can’t have more than that.

Bluegill, yellow bass, yellow perch, and bullhead are all legal to catch, and there are no bag or size restrictions. The only exceptions are Lake Michigan, where you can only catch 15 yellow perch per day, and J.C. Murphey Lake in Newton County, where you can catch 25 sunfish per day, both of which are in the state of Michigan.

Redear sunfish, rock bass, and crappie have generous bag limits, as do other species. You can have 25 pieces per day, and there is no restriction on the size of the pieces. Except for Dogwood Lake in Daviess County and Hardy Lake in Scott County, where crappies must be at least 9 inches in length, there are no size restrictions on crappies.

Other species with generous bag limits include white or hybrid striped bass (with a daily limit of 12), catfish (with a limit of 10) and lake whitefish (also 10). There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule.

The daily limit for black bass is five fish, either individually or in groups of three or more, but the size limit varies depending on the body of water where the fish are caught. Black bass caught in a river must be a minimum of 14 inches in length, while those caught in rivers and streams must be between 12 and 14 inches in length, depending on the species. You are only permitted to take three black bass that are at least 14 inches in length from Lake Michigan.

Other limits are placed at a much lower level. The daily bag limit for northern pike is three, two for striped bass, and one for each of the muskellunge and tiger muskellunge species.


Lake Michigan

It is important to note that because the species found in Lake Michigan are of particular interest to both fishermen and natural conservationists, the lake and its tributaries are subject to additional regulations.

It is required that you catch a salmon or a trout by hooking them in the mouth, according to one of the rules. If you do not, you will have to return them to the water. You are not permitted to use trotline, set line, or throw line. Single hooks up to 12 inches in length are acceptable, but double or treble hooks should only be used with artificial lures and should not be longer than 3/8 inch in length.

On Lake Michigan, it is permissible to use bows and arrows to catch carp, buffalo, gar, bowfin, and shad; however, bringing spear guns, clubs, gigs, crossbows, grab hooks, and other types of equipment to the tributaries is strictly prohibited. The use of spear guns, clubs, gigs, crossbows, grab hooks, and other types of equipment is strictly prohibited.

The bag limit for salmon and trout is set at five per person, and you are not allowed to take more than two lake trout. On the lake and its tributaries, the minimum size for salmon and trout is 14 inches, and the maximum size is 20 inches.