View More

Fishing In Tennessee

On land, the "The Volunteer State" has excellent live music, The Smokies, and Graceland. In the water, it has fast-action, trophy-sized fishing that will leave you "all shook up."

If you're wondering what kind of fish species live in this great state, take a look at the Smallmouth bass (a state symbol as the Tennessee state fish), crappie, and largemouth bass. You can have your choice of rod and reel, or you can experience fly fishing Tennessee!
  • Best Fishing in Tennessee

    Fishing Near Nashville

    • This city is famous for its live country music, and rightfully so, but when you aren't dancing and singing along enjoying your Nashville nights, head out to one of the great rivers and lakes, located just minutes from downtown.
    • Places to fish near Nashville are numerous, we recommend during the spring heading out on the Cumberland River with one of the many great Tennessee Fishing Charters for some excellent striper fishing. Towards the end of the summer, Striped Bass fishing tends to really heat up just 10 miles east of downtown Nashville, TN on Percy Priest Lake.

    Chickamauga Lake

    • One of the best fishing lakes in Tennessee and a World-Class Largemouth Bass destination, one that might prove to be the best overall by the end of 2019. Since 2011 it has produced two state records for Black Bass. A largemouth weighed in at 15 lbs and 3 ounces, while a Spotted Bass weighed in at an impressive 6 pounds and 1 ounce.
    • If you're a trophy bass angler and find yourself in the state of Tennessee, especially during the summertime, head up just above the dam to the reservoir and cast your lure, so it sinks into some structure located deep in the water.

    Cherokee Lake Fishing

    • Fishing near Knoxville, Tennessee, is pretty convenient with the Cherokee Reservoir located just 50 minutes north of the city. This lake is also under an hour from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, perfect for an outdoor adventure-filled weekend of hiking and fishing.
    • Not only is this body of water a prime location for a fast get-a-way, but the lake is filled with Spotted Bass, which have a high limit per angler per day and come with no size limits. So leave the cities concrete in your review, book a fishing trip with a nearby fishing guide, and fill your cooler!

    Other Fishing Spots

    • Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee River, Clinch River, Hickory Lake, Center Hill Lake, and Kentucky Lake
  • Fishing Licenses and Regulations

    • First, if you're under 13 years old (resident or non-resident), you don't need a fishing license. Also, if you're the landowner fishing on a private body of water, then you do not need a fishing license.
    • Residents have numerous options to choose from when purchasing a fishing license in Tennessee. The most basic fishing license is an Annual Hunting and Fishing Combination for $34 and allows anglers to fish and/or hunt smaller game. One-Day Fishing All Species license can be purchased for $11.50.
    • Children ages 13 to 15 years old can purchase a junior license for $34. Special season and WMA permits will still need to be purchased.
    • Special permits and licenses are needed for South Holston Lake and for Trout.
    • If you're visiting the state or recently now call it your home, you can purchase a three-day all fishing species license for $20.50. If you aren't fishing for Trout, you can buy a fishing license for $20.50.

    Before you head out to go fishing in Tennessee, make sure you check with the Tennesse Wildlife Resources Agency for the most up to date and accurate information.

Fishing Calendar for the Best Times to Fish in Tennessee


Where: Melton Hill

Species: Musky


Where: Smallmouth Bass

Species: Dale Hollow


Where: Lake Barkley

Species: Crappie


Where: Cherokee Lake

Species: Largemouth Bass


Where: Cumberland River

Species: Striped Bass


Where: Smoky Mountains

Species: Trout


Where: Pickwick Lake

Species: Largemouth Bass


Where: Piercy Priest Lake

Species: Striped Bass


Where: Cherokee Lake

Species: Spotted Bass


Where: Norris Lake

Species: Walleyes


Where: Tennessee River

Species: Crappie


Where: Dale Hollow

Species: Smallmouth Bass


What is the biggest fish in Tennessee?

Robert E. Louis, who snagged a 112-pound Blue Cat on the Cumberland River in June 1998, per the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency he holds the state record.

What day is the free fishing day in Tennessee?

Where can you fish for trout in Tennessee?

What is the crappie limit in Tennessee?

What is Tennessee State Fish?

What is the best bass fishing lake in Tennessee?