How Many Fishing Rods Per Person In Ohio? – The Law Has Changed

As one of the best game fishing states in the country, Ohio is situated between the east and west shores of Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In the “Buckeye State,” you will be sure to find delicious crappie and walleye, as well as plenty of Steelhead and Pike. You’ll need an Ohio fishing license to fish in Ohio. Here’s a handy guide to getting yours!

How Many Fishing Rods Per Person Allowed In Ohio?


The rod rules have been changed in a way that will please many fishers. Anglers fishing in Ohio waters from Lake Erie for the first time in January 2020 will be able to fish with three rods for the first time.

The New Rule

There are different opinions about the change, especially among big water walleye trollers, who are delighted at the new three rod limit per person. Yet some in other areas who still have the two-rod rule think it’s very unfair.

Even if you fish with a guide or charter, you need a license if you are over 16. It’s cheaper if you’re a state resident, but it applies to both residents and visitors.

Fishing License Exceptions

A few exceptions apply to every rule. For example, the following groups may fish in Ohio without a license: If you have a child under 16, whether or not you are a resident of Ohio.

  • Members of the military who are on leave from active duty, provided they are carrying papers that prove that they are on leave from active duty.
  • Anyone assisting a license holder with a mobility impairment may do so, so long as they are using only one rod.
  • Each year on the first weekend in May, “Free Fishing Days” are held at local parks for everybody to enjoy.


Licenses To Fish Without Charge

You may be able to get a license for free if you’re living in Ohio. It is a lifelong fishing license that is available for the following categories and is only required to be applied for once:

•            Residents born prior to December 31 in the year 1937.

•            People with disabilities or legal blindness.

•            Residents of the county or state institutions.

•            Veterans with disabilities and former POWs.

How Does A License Last For?

Licenses purchased for one day or three days expire at midnight on the particular day of

expiration. Purchasing a license in advance will ensure that it will be valid on whichever date you choose at the time of purchase.

A license for the year allows you the privilege of fishing for a full 365 days from the date the license was purchased.  You can also purchase a multi-year fishing permit which ranges in time-frames. The date of expiry will be printed on the permit. If you intend to fish Ohio’s stunning waters in the future and your license is not valid, you must renew your license before you can fish.

What Happens If I Lose My License?

There’s no need to worry about your license being lost or stolen. A new one can be printed for free if you use the online service! A replacement plastic card is available for just $4.

Help For Those Who Have Small Boats

Small boaters that are either fishing in pairs or alone like the idea of being able to have another rod in the water. This will give them more trouble-free handling along with an extra hand to locate the fish. 

There is no doubt that the fishing officials of states that have allowed three rods will confirm that they haven’t experienced any adverse effects. Walleye fish populations on the big lake are not expected to be affected by the change.


Walleyes are widely distributed throughout North America, occurring on virtually every continent. Both as a sports fish and as a food fish, lake trout is a valuable species. Anglers of all skill levels and age groups are fully accommodated in Ohio with excellent fishing opportunities. To book your next family vacation, purchase your fishing license online and a waterproof holder to keep your license safe.


Is It Possible To Upgrade A Three-Day Non-Resident License To An Annual License?

At the moment, the annual upgrade can only be used for one one-day license.

My Kids/Grandkids Want To Go Fishing, Is There A License Required?

Depending on the situation. It is not necessary to buy a license if you are simply watching them fish. Any participation, however, could count as fishing. In case you are needed to help them, you should always get a license.