Tennessee Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
The waters of Cherokee Lake in Panther Creek State Park and Tim’s Ford Lake are teeming with large and black bass, making it a popular destination for both seasoned anglers and weekend enthusiasts.
You can easily purchase your own Tennessee fishing license online through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website or from registered agents such as a fishing shop or one of your local sports stores. The links below answer all of your questions about license information and online registration.
Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
Fishing laws and regulations are strictly enforced in the region. For this reason, researching and reading the local logs should be high on your list before you begin your trip. Don’t forget to check for updates as some regulations change depending on the time of year and current fish stocks. The link below gives you an updated list of Tennessee fishing regulations. It also gives you detailed information on size and ownership restrictions and fishing logs.
Taking care of your surroundings should be a priority during your visit. Local fishing rules and regulations apply for the benefit of marine life and its respective habitats. This is to preserve their population and beauty for future generations.
Tennessee Fishing Licenses
Are you planning to go to Tennessee for a fishing weekend? Nice choice! The state is home to more than 20,000 miles of streams, many lakes and reservoirs, and rare species of fish, making it a unique fishing destination. But before you can get your hands on the largemouth bass that bite on Cherokee Lake in Panther Creek State Park or many largemouth bass land on Tims Ford Lake, you need to get a fishing license first.
Much like other states, Tennessee also sells fishing licenses to fund fisheries management, habitat development, endangered species programs, and conservation education. It is being done to ensure that the state maintains a healthy fishing population in its state waters so that other anglers can continue to fish across the state in the future.
Getting a Tennessee fishing license is very easy. This article will tell you how to buy it and what type of license you need to fish in TN’s abundant waters.
Here is everything you need to know:
Who Must Get a Tennessee Fishing License?
In general, you must have a valid fishing license if you are taking fish with you or attempting to catch fish (including crabs) in any way, or assisting someone else in the state of Tennessee. There are a few exceptions, however. You do NOT need to obtain a fishing license prior to fishing in Tennessee state waters if you are one of the following:
- You are under 13 years of age (resident or non-resident).
- Landowners, their spouses, and children who fish on their farmland owned by an individual or family. Landowners, their spouses, and children must be Tennessee residents but do not need to reside in the country.
- Renters, their spouses and dependent children fishing on farmland owned by an individual or family. Renters, their spouses, and dependent children must be Tennessee residents, reside on the land and have the landowner’s permit to fish. A tenant is a person who tends arable land for cash, free rent, or other consideration. The tenancy must be agricultural.
- Resident grandchildren (under 16 years of age) and resident great-grandchildren (under 16 years of age) who fish on farmland owned by their resident grandparents or great-grandparents.
- First cousins who jointly or jointly own farmland are allowed to fish on the farmland. Your children can fish too.
- You are on military leave and have a copy of your leave order with you. A pass does not meet this requirement.
- You are a Resident born before March 1, 1926. (To qualify for this exemption, you must have proof of your age and place of residence, which you can provide to a wildlife officer upon request.)
Additionally, if you head to Tennessee during the annual Free Fishing Day and Free Fishing Week, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a fishing license. Please note that children under the age of 15 can fish for free on these days!
Of course, residents are granted some privileges such as discounted fares and special licenses by the state of Tennessee. Several criteria had to be met in order for an angler to be regarded as a “resident” and to enjoy the associated advantages. If you qualify as follows, you can earn your fishing license as a Tennessee resident:
- Individuals who have a valid driver’s license in Tennessee. Tennessee law requires drivers to obtain a Tennessee driver’s license within 30 days of their residence. A foreign driver’s license is only accepted for military personnel and students who meet the following criteria:
- Military personnel on active service in this state and dependents under the age of 16 who live with them, regardless of residence status.
- Students enrolled in a Tennessee school, college, or university for at least six months (must provide student ID or other proof of enrollment
- Individuals who do not drive a car or do not have a valid foreign driver’s license but have lived in Tennessee for 90 consecutive days to make Tennessee their permanent residence can provide proof of residence by providing any two TWRA license agents of the following documents :
- Current Tennessee voter registration card
- Current vehicle registration or title in Tennessee
- Form I-94 issued by the US Citizenship & Immigration Service
- Current rental / mortgage agreement or receipt including purchase agreement for property or receipt for payment of Tennessee real estate taxes within the past year
Please note that you must include the last four digits of your Social Security number when purchasing a Tennessee fishing license.
Where can you buy a fishing license in Tennessee?
You can easily purchase your Tennessee fishing licenses through the following channels:
- Online from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
- Approved fishing license agents from Tennessee Wildlife Resources, e. B. a fishing shop or an outdoor sporting goods shop.
- Any community clerk can give you anything you need to get a fishing license.
- The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency can also issue you a fishing license.
Various fishing licenses in Tennessee
Both residents and non-residents can obtain a fishing license in the state of Tennessee. Different licenses can be purchased, but there are two basic types:
- State TN fishing license – Compulsory for all anglers aged 13 and over.
- Separate permits – Required for fishing on the Gatlinburg and Bedford city limits, Tellico-Citico creeks and any government agency owned lake.
State TN fishing license
The following matrix shows the various state fishing licenses issued by the state of Tennessee:
Resident fishing licenses
|Annual hunting and fishing combination||$ 34.00|
|Jr. Hunt, Fish & Trap (Age 13-15)||$ 10.00|
|District of the residence fishing||$ 11.00|
|One day fishing||$ 6.50|
|Annual trout||$ 22.00|
|One day fishing – All types||$ 11.50|
|South Holston Lake permit||$ 22.00|
|Lifetime athlete (under 3 years of age)||$ 200.00|
|Athlete for life (3-6 years)||$ 659.00|
|Athlete for life (7-12 years)||$ 988.00|
|Athlete for life (13-50 years)||$ 1,976.00|
|Athlete for life (51-64 years)||$ 1,153.00|
|Athlete for life (65+ years)||$ 329.00|
|Annual Elderly hunt / fish / trap||$ 5.00|
|Constant senior hunt / fish / trap||$ 50.00|
|Annual senior athlete||$ 50.00|
Depending on their age, residents can purchase different licenses. You can buy a combination license that allows them to both fish and hunt in the state of Tennessee, or they can buy annual fishing licenses alone. They can also purchase a County of Residence license, which allows an angler to fish with natural bait (worms, crickets, corn, etc.), but not minnows, in their area of residence. A resident fisherman can also purchase a one-day fishing license instead of an annual fishing license.
Permanent fishing licenses for residents
Residents can also apply for a permanent fishing license. These licenses are only available to people who qualify in certain criteria. All important information is in a. summarized matrix below:
|Permanent sport fishing license for the blind||$ 10.00|
|Continuous hunting and fishing in a wheelchair
A medical certificate must be attached to the application, stating that the applicant is permanently confined to a wheelchair. Covers all license requirements for hunting and fishing, but the holder must obtain all appropriate permits.
|Permanent DAV hunting and fishing
Available to resident veterans who are recognized by the VA as 30 percent incapacitated or 100 percent connected on duty.
|Permanently mentally disabled
Must be receiving SSI benefits due to an intellectual disability.
Fishing licenses for non-residents
Non-residents can also purchase different types of licenses with different terms. Here is a summary:
|Jr. hunting / fish
Required for non-residents ages 13-15, fishing and small game only
|Annual fishing – no trout||$ 50.00|
|3 day fishing – no trout||$ 20.50 each|
|Three Day Fishing – All Types||$ 40.50 each|
|Ten days of fishing – no trout||$ 30.50 each|
|Ten Day Fishing – All Types||$ 61.50|
|Annual fishing – All species||$ 99.00|
Non-residents have the option to purchase an annual fishing license. This license is also available in all species (including trout) or without trout. Short term licenses such as three or ten day licenses are available, and the cost depends on whether or not they include a trout permit.
Special permits (residents and non-residents)
Here are more permits that both residents and non-residents of Tennessee can obtain:
|One-day trout permit for residents or non-residents of Gatlinburg
The only requirement to fish for a day in Gatlinburg is 13 years and older.
|Gatlinburg trout – daily
Required for residents and non-residents ages 13-64 in addition to appropriate fishing permits, except for non-residents who purchase the Type 097 license.
|Gatlinburg 3 day trout permit
Required for residents and non-residents aged 13 to 64 in addition to appropriate fishing permits, except for non-residents who purchase the permit (Type 097).
Required for all ages. Tellico-Citico Permit is required seasonally to fish Tellico River, Citico Creek and all year round on Green Cove Pond.
|Agency Lake – day pass
Required to fish the agency’s fishing lakes, except for those under 16 years of age and residents over 65 years of age.
|Agency Lake – Annual License
Valid for all Agency Lakes, this permit is sold in Agency Lake offices.
|Day pass for Bedford Lake||$ 6.50|
Fishing regulations and other laws
The state of Tennessee strictly enforces various laws and regulations to protect its natural resources from abusive anglers. Please download the. down Tennessee fishing guide Familiarize yourself with the various rules and laws that you must follow while fishing across the state.
Please note the following restrictions when fishing in Tennessee:
|SPECIES||GREEL BORDER||MINIMUM LENGTH LIMIT|
(including trout mouth, narrow mouth, spotted, Alabama, and Coosa)
No more than 5 black bass per day in any combination may be consumed
|Crappie (all types together)||fifteen||10 inches|
|Region I Crappie
Exception: unless otherwise noted for certain waters
|Rock Bass or Redeye and Shadow Bass (all types together)||20th||none|
|Striped Bass or Hybrid Striped Bass (any combination)||2||15 inches|
|Muscle lungs||1||36 in|
|Sucker or Sucker / Walleye hybrid||10||15 inches|
|Trout (all types of trout together)||7th||none|
|Lake trout||Only 2 trout are allowed to be lake trout||none|
|Redeem sunfish or mussel crackers||20th||none|
|YesEllow Bass, Bluegill, Warmouth, Bream, Bullheads, Pickerel, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Non-Wild Species||no limit||none|
|Alligator Gar: No harvest allowed. Must be put back into the water immediately|
|catfish: Only one catfish over 34 inches may be harvested per day. No harvest limit for catfish 34 inches or less.|
|Paddle fish: Paddle fish can be fished from April 24th to May 31st. The daily gate limit is 2 fish per day with no size limit. Cutting off is prohibited. For exceptions at Center Hill, Cherokee and Watts Bar Reservoir.|
frequently asked Questions
Q: What if I lose my Tennessee fishing license?
You can print a new one from your online account for free. Every TN license holder has an account, regardless of whether you paid online or in person. If you’d like a hard copy of your license, contact a TWRA office and you can get a new one for $ 8.
Q: When should you renew your license?
The TN fishing season runs from March 1st to February 31st of the following year.
Q: How old should my child be before they can purchase a license?
A sport fishing license is required for everyone over the age of 14.