Tennessee fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in Tennessee. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in Tennessee

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17 waterbodies
65 cities
44 fishes

Licenses for fishing in Tennessee

For the most accurate and detailed information, and to purchase a fishing license online, please visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's website.

Category License Type Price
General Fishing Licenses Annual Hunting and Fishing Combination $33.00
  Junior Hunt/Fish/Trap (ages 13–15) $9.00
  One-Day Fishing (No Trout; ages 13–64) $6.00
  One-Day Fishing (All Species; ages 16–64) $11.00
  Annual Trout Supplemental (ages 16–64) $21.00
  County of Residence Fishing - No Trout $10.00
Specialty Licenses Annual Sportsman (ages 16–64) $165.00
  Annual Resident Senior Citizen (65 and over) $4.00
  Permanent Senior Citizen (65 and over) $49.00
Lifetime Licenses Infant (Under 3 years) $320.00
  Youth (Ages 7–12) $988.00
Non-Resident Licenses Three-Day Fishing—no trout $20.00
  Ten-Day Fishing—no trout $30.00
  Annual Fishing—no trout $49.00
  Three-Day All Species—includes trout $40.00
  Ten-Day All Species—includes trout $61.00
  Annual All Species—includes trout $98.00

Fishing Regulations in Tennessee

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is illegal.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is allowed only with specific permits and in designated areas.
  • Use of live fish as bait is restricted in certain waters to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Snagging fish is not allowed except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing and bowfishing are permitted for certain species in specified waters.
Catch Limits
  • Trout: Daily limit varies by area, typically 7 fish with size restrictions in some waters.
  • Bass (Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted): Daily limit of 5, with size limits varying by water body.
  • Crappie (White and Black): Daily limit of 15, with a minimum size in certain waters.
  • Catfish: No daily limit for channel and blue catfish, but restrictions apply for larger fish.
  • Striped Bass: Daily limit and size restrictions vary, especially in reservoirs and rivers.
  • Panfish (Bluegill, Sunfish): No daily limit, no size limit.
  • Walleye: Daily limit varies by water body, often with a minimum size.
  • Muskellunge: Daily limit of 1, with a minimum length of 36 inches.
  • Sauger: Daily limit varies, often 10 fish with size restrictions.
  • Paddlefish: Seasonal and area-specific limits, with a tag system in place for certain waters.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or public safety reasons.
  • Fishing on private property requires explicit permission from the landowner.
  • Special regulations for fishing in state parks and wildlife refuges.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for fish spawning and habitat management.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout and bass.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or fly fishing zones.
  • Slot limits for bass and other species in certain lakes and rivers.
  • Special regulations in waters with high fishing pressure or ecological sensitivity.
  • Trophy fisheries with enhanced size and bag limits in selected areas.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Research fishing for rare species requires special permits.
  • Reporting accidental catches of rare species is important for conservation efforts.
  • Areas with significant ecological value may have additional fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species during spawning or migration periods.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including shelter and gear restrictions, during winter months.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species protection and habitat restoration.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or for population studies.
  • Special regulations for early and late fishing seasons in certain areas.
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