Fishing is tremendously popular in Tennessee. The lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority produced many opportunities to fish. Smaller rivers and streams in all parts of the state are also good for fishing.
Some of the most common types of fish caught in Tennessee rivers and lakes are bass, trout, crappie, perch, pike, catfish, and carp. Various rivers and lakes are stocked regularly with fish.
Subject to a few exceptions, everyone who is 13 and older and who attempts to take fish from a body of water should have a valid Tennessee fishing license. License fees vary by type and duration: A one-day fishing license for a Tennessee state resident is $5.50; an annual fish-hunt license for a state resident is $28. Out-of-staters pay more: An annual license for all types of fish costs $81.
Annual licenses go on sale every year on February 18, and are good until the last day of February the next year.
You can buy a fishing license from county clerks, sporting good stores, boat docks, and offices of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. You can buy a license online at www.tnwildlife.org; licenses processed online are subject to a $3.25 processing fee. You can also buy licenses by mail or over the phone by calling 888/814-8972.
Rules about limits, minimum sizes, and seasons are detailed and depend on the lake or stream. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency publishes a comprehensive guide to fishing regulations every year. This guide includes fish stocking schedules, dam release timetables, detailed information about limits, and warnings about contaminates in certain types of Tennessee fish. You can request a copy of the guide from any TWRA office, or download a copy online from www.tnwildlife.org.
TWRA offices are located in Crossville (931/484-9571), Nashville (Ellington Agricultural Center, 615/781-6500), Morristown (423/587-7037), and Jackson (731/423-5725).
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition