Indiana Fishing License: The Complete Guide for 2024

Mar 5, 2024 | 5 minute read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

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. 

The state flag of Indiana flying in the wind from a flagpole against a clear blue sky

But before you reel in a monster Bass or sleek Walleye, you need that golden ticket – an appropriate Indiana fishing license. It’s not just a simple pass to dip your line, but a necessary contribution to keeping Indiana’s waters brimming with life. 

The good news is that we’re here to walk you through all the ins and outs of who needs one, the different types available, and how to get yours. So without further ado..

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.

Who doesn’t need an Indiana fishing license?

A man and teenage boy pose with two small Bluegills, which they're holding by their fishing lines aboard a fishing charter on a day with sunny intervals
Photo courtesy of Unwrapped Outdoors

In Indiana, the call of the water is for everyone, but not everyone needs a license to answer it. Here’s a handy list of those who can skip the license part and head straight to the waters:

  • Indiana senior residents. If you were born before April 1, 1943, and live in the Hoosier State, Indiana’s fishing grounds are yours to enjoy license-free. Just bring along something to prove your age and residency status, like a driver’s license.
  • Younger anglers. 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.
  • 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.

If you don’t fit into any of the above categories, you’ll need a permit. We’ll now proceed to break down the information depending on whether you’re an Indiana resident or not.  

Information for Residents

First off, Indiana residents have the opportunity of an annual pass. This is a year-round ticket to cast and reel everything that this side of the Mississippi has to offer. Remember, fish don’t have a zip code preference, they’re just waiting for the right lure!

Then there’s the one-day option. This one’s for you if you have a free day and an itch to fish. It’s perfect for those spur-of-the-moment decisions to hit the water for a healthy dose of Bass and Crappie. 

There are also special senior licenses. These are a salute to the seniors who’ve been casting lines for years. With an annual option and a deal that covers a lifetime, the state has multiple ways of saying thank you for keeping the fishing tradition alive.

Last but certainly not least, the Trout/Salmon stamp is your ticket to targeting these elusive creatures. Just bear in mind that you’ll also need a license alongside this. 

Information for Non-Residents

Just like for residents, there are annual and one-day options for non-residents who want to go fishing in Indiana. However, there’s also a seven-day license – great for those of you visiting the state on vacation. These options offer flexibility for those passing through or planning a dedicated fishing trip to the state.

And let’s not forget about the Trout/Salmon stamp – a must-have for any angler, resident or not, aiming to cast for these specific species. 

Special Indiana Fishing Licenses

A view across the water from some reeds towards a man fishing from a wheelchair in Indiana at sunset, with a woman stood behind him, with the sun setting in the distance and creating a bright orange hue across the entire image

Special licenses in Indiana ensure that the call of the water is heard by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or background. 

There’s also salute waiting for local military and veterans with special licenses designed as a token of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. 

Then, there are permits for disabled individuals, acknowledging the barriers they overcome every day. And let’s not forget about the youth! Special licenses for young anglers invite them to learn, grow, and develop a lifelong connection with nature. 

How much does an Indiana fishing license cost?

These few dollars contribute to stocking fish, keeping habitats healthy, and ensuring future generations have even bigger tales to tell. Did you know that license fees have helped restore the native Brook Trout population? Now that’s a success story worth being a part of!

License TypeResidentsNon-Residents
Annual $23$60
One-day + Trout/Salmon Stamp$10$15
Voluntary annual senior $3N/A
Senior lifelong $23N/A
Trout/Salmon Stamp $11$11

Where to Buy an Indiana Fishing License

Can infographic featuring the Indiana state flag above a text that says "Indiana fishing license, where to buy" and with an illustration of a boat underneath

Getting your hands on an Indiana fishing license is as easy as catching a Bluegill on a sunny day. You’ve got several options:

  • Online. The digital route is quick and convenient. A few clicks and you’re ready to go, whether it’s day or night.
  • In-Person. Swing by any authorized retailer, like your local bait shop or sporting goods store, where you can get your license and maybe some hot fishing tips along with some gear.
  • By Phone. If you’re more of a talker, there’s a hotline for that. Dial in, and you’ll have your license in no time.

Once you get that Indiana fishing license, keeping it handy is crucial – whether it’s a tangible printed copy or conveniently saved on your smartphone. 

If your permit happens to swim away from you, there’s no need to worry. A quick visit online allows you to reprint your license. It might not even cost you anything if you lose it within five days of your initial purchase! If you’re not sure which license to get, the Sport License Finder is available to guide you through the options online.

Indiana Fishing License FAQs

We hope we covered all your questions about getting an Indiana fishing license. If there’s still something you’re unsure about, contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Once you’ve got your permits, book a fishing trip with a charter near you and get ready for some action!

And if you want to learn more about how to fish in the Hoosier State, read our detailed article.

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Lisa traded the lecture hall for the vast expanse of the world's waters, transforming her love of teaching into an insatiable passion for angling and storytelling. She would sail through oceans, lakes, and rivers, reeling in the world’s fish stories one catch at a time.

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