Ohio Fishing Regulations

Ohio has one of the most user-friendly websites if you want to find out more about getting a fishing license, what species you can target in the area, and what days you are allowed to fish in that particular area. There are some regulations that apply throughout the state, while others that are only applicable in specific regions.

Catfish under 35 inches in length are allowed to be caught in unlimited quantities throughout the state, while catfish measuring 35 inches or larger are limited to one per angler. You are permitted to catch up to five spotted bass, smallmouth bass, or largemouth bass with a minimum size of twelve inches on each trip. White, striped, and hybrid-striped bass are the most common species, and you can catch up to thirty of them in a single day. There are no restrictions on catching any other fish, with the exception of yellow perch, walleye, sauger, saugeye, muskellunge, lake sturgeon, and channel catfish, all of which are protected species.


ODNR Division Wildlife announces free fishing days throughout the year on their Facebook page, which you can find here. For example, the dates for May 6 and 7 in 2017 were 6 and 7. At the time this article was written, the cost of a fishing license was more than reasonable, considering that you would only have to pay nineteen dollars if you were a resident and forty dollars if you were a nonresident.

This fee is for permits that are valid for one year. Given that a one-day fishing license costs eleven dollars, it should go without saying that purchasing a fishing license for the entire year is far more cost-effective. Furthermore, a three-day nonresident license is only nineteen dollars, so if you do not intend to spend a significant amount of time in the area, we recommend that you take advantage of this option.

If you are under the age of sixteen, you are permitted to fish without a license in Ohio, as is the case in other states. In contrast to other locations, you are permitted to offer assistance to other fishermen or women who may be having difficulty reeling in their catches. If you are assisting someone who does not have a fishing license, you do not need one yourself as long as both you and the person you are assisting are using the same line.

Fishing on private property is prohibited, but this is a rule of common sense, as is the case with most laws. Veterans who are permanently disabled, former war prisoners, and people over the age of eighty are all eligible to receive free licenses.

The waters of Lake Erie are subject to different regulations than those that apply throughout the state. According to theory, the vast majority of the rules that you will be required to follow in other locations will also apply to Lake Erie. It is important to note that there are some differences between the two areas, such as the fact that you are permitted to fish for white bass year-round and that there is no daily limit or minimum size requirement. There is a limit of five trout and two salmon that can be caught and kept per person. Both fish must be at least 12 inches in length.

Another feature that distinguishes Ohio from other states is the existence of regulations governing the capture of reptiles and amphibians. In frog season, you can catch green frogs and bullfrogs provided you do not use any of the following methods to do so: snagging, trapping, or poisoning.

  • Chemicals
  • Smoke Explosives
  • Substances that are stupefying
  • Traps
  • Using a weapon other than a bow and arrow to shoot

During turtle season, it is important to avoid using the same methods. At the time of writing, the season for legally harvesting turtles was open from July 1 to December 31, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day. Because these dates can change from year to year, we recommend that you double-check the ODNR Division Wildlife website to ensure that you do not inadvertently break the law by not following the rules.