Are you an angler eager to cast your line in Indiana’s abundant lakes, rivers, and streams? Before you head out on your fishing adventure, it’s crucial to understand the state’s fishing license requirements, particularly the age restrictions. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about Indiana fishing license age requirements to ensure you’re fishing legally and responsibly.

Who Needs an Indiana Fishing License?

In Indiana, a fishing license is required for most anglers, with a few exceptions based on age:

  • Anglers 18 and older: If you’re 18 years of age or older, you must purchase a valid Indiana fishing license to fish in public waters.
  • Anglers under 18: If you’re under 18 years old, you can fish without a license. However, you must still follow all fishing regulations and bag limits.
  • Indiana residents born before April 1, 1943: If you’re an Indiana resident born before April 1, 1943, you’re exempt from needing a fishing license. Just carry a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license, to prove your age and residency while fishing.

It’s important to note that even if you’re exempt from needing a license based on age, you must still follow all other fishing regulations, such as daily bag limits, size restrictions, and seasons.

Types of Indiana Fishing Licenses

Indiana offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to different angling needs:

  1. Annual Fishing License: This license is valid from April 1 of the current year through March 31 of the following year. It allows you to fish in all public waters in Indiana.
  2. One-Day Fishing License: If you only plan to fish for a single day, you can purchase a one-day fishing license. This is a great option for visitors or those trying out the sport.
  3. Senior Annual Fishing License: Indiana residents who are 64 years of age or older can purchase a discounted senior annual fishing license. This license includes the trout/salmon stamp privilege.
  4. Senior Fish for Life License: Indiana residents who are 64 years of age or older can opt for the Senior Fish for Life License. This one-time purchase is valid for the rest of the license holder’s life and includes the trout/salmon stamp.

Where to Purchase an Indiana Fishing License

You can easily obtain your Indiana fishing license through several convenient methods:

  • Online: Visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website to purchase your license online. You can print your license immediately or save a digital copy on your mobile device.
  • In-Person: Stop by any authorized license retailer, such as sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, or Indiana DNR properties, to purchase your license in person.
  • By Phone: Call the Indiana DNR Customer Service Center at (317) 232-4200 or toll-free at (877) 463-6367 to purchase your license over the phone.

Remember to carry your fishing license with you whenever you’re fishing, either as a physical copy or a digital version on your mobile device. Conservation officers may request to see your license to ensure compliance with state regulations.

Do I need a fishing license if I’m assisting a child who is exempt from needing a license?

Yes, if you’re actively fishing or assisting a child under 18 who doesn’t need a license, you must have a valid Indiana fishing license.

Are there any free fishing days in Indiana?

Yes, Indiana typically offers a few free fishing days each year where anglers can fish without a license. Check the Indiana DNR website for the current year’s free fishing dates.

Do I need an Indiana fishing license to fish in a private pond?

No, you don’t need a fishing license to fish in a private pond as long as the pond is not connected to public waters and you have permission from the property owner.


Understanding Indiana’s fishing license age requirements is essential for any angler looking to enjoy the state’s fantastic fishing opportunities. By obtaining the proper license for your age and residency status, you’re not only following the law but also contributing to the conservation and management of Indiana’s fisheries. So, grab your gear, secure your fishing license, and get ready to make unforgettable memories on the water!

Remember, your fishing license fees directly support Indiana’s fish stocking programs, habitat restoration efforts, and public access improvements. By purchasing a license, you’re playing a vital role in preserving the sport for generations to come.

For the most up-to-date information on Indiana fishing licenses, regulations, and opportunities, visit the official Indiana Department of Natural Resources website. Happy fishing!

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