Tennessee, renowned for its picturesque landscapes and diverse fishing opportunities, offers many choices for anglers seeking the perfect catch.
With hundreds of miles of streams, rivers, and lakes scattered throughout the state, fishermen can access an outstanding range of species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, white bass, and more.
The best fishing in Tennessee can be found in various regions of the state – from the majestic mountains of East Tennessee to the Mississippi River, as well as the numerous reservoirs and lakes managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Read on to learn more about Tennessee’s best fishing spots.
Best Fishing Lakes in Tennessee
Tennessee has long been known for its excellent fishing opportunities, especially when it comes to its beautiful lakes. In this section, we’ll review a few of the best fishing lakes in the state, discussing the species you can expect to find and the best times to visit.
Chickamauga Lake, located in Eastern Tennessee, is a renowned fishing destination known for its expansive shoreline spanning an impressive 810 miles. Anglers flock to this lake, which offers a diverse range of fish species and excellent opportunities for fishing enthusiasts.
Largemouth bass fishing is particularly popular on Chickamauga Lake, making it one of the premier bass fishing lakes in the United States. The lake’s abundant vegetation, submerged structures, and favorable water conditions create an ideal habitat for largemouth bass.
Anglers can test their skills and aim for trophy-sized bass, with many reports of catches exceeding the 10-pound mark.
In addition to largemouth bass, Chickamauga Lake also offers opportunities to catch other fish species. Smallmouth bass can be found in certain lake areas.
White crappie are another popular species in Chickamauga Lake.
For those interested in trout fishing, Chickamauga Lake offers rainbow trout. Although not as abundant as bass or crappie, rainbow trout can be caught in the year’s cooler months when the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency stocks the lake.
Best Spots to Fish on Chickamauga Lake:
- Grass Patches: Look for areas with submerged grass patches, such as hydrilla and milfoil. These areas provide cover and attract largemouth bass.
- Submerged Structures: Fish around submerged structures, such as fallen trees, brush piles, and boat docks. These areas serve as hiding spots for various fish species, including crappie and bass.
- Rocky Points and Bluffs: Target smallmouth bass by fishing around rocky points and bluffs, especially in areas with stronger currents.
- Creek Channels: Fish along the creek channels that run through Chickamauga Lake. These channels provide structure and serve as travel routes for fish.
- Tailwater Areas: Fish congregate in the tailwater areas when the TVA releases water from the dam. These spots can offer excellent fishing opportunities for a variety of species.
Marinas on Chickamauga Lake:
- Chickamauga Marina – Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Chickamauga Marina offers a range of amenities, including boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. It also has a restaurant and a swimming pool.
- Sale Creek Marina – Situated in Sale Creek, Tennessee, Sale Creek Marina provides boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. They also have a restaurant on-site.
- Island Cove Marina – Found in Harrison, Tennessee, Island Cove Marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a convenience store. They have a restaurant with lake views as well.
- Hales Bar Marina and Resort – Located in Guild, Tennessee, Hales Bar Marina and Resort offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. It also has a restaurant, cabins for rent, and RV campsites.
- Chattanooga Yacht Club – Situated in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, Chattanooga Yacht Club provides slip rentals, fuel, and a clubhouse for its members. It offers a vibrant community of boaters and hosts various events.
Dale Hollow Lake
Dale Hollow Lake, situated on the scenic Cumberland Plateau, is a prime destination for smallmouth bass fishing enthusiasts. Known for its exceptional fishing opportunities, this lake holds the state record for the largest smallmouth bass ever caught.
Anglers flock to Dale Hollow Lake for trophy-sized bass and an unforgettable fishing experience.
Apart from smallmouth bass, Dale Hollow Lake offers a variety of other fish species to target. Largemouth bass, known for their aggressive strikes and powerful fights, can be found in abundance.
Walleye fishing is another popular pursuit on Dale Hollow Lake. This lake boasts a healthy walleye population, particularly in the colder months.
Catfish angling is also rewarding on Dale Hollow Lake. Channels, blues, and flathead catfish can be found throughout the lake, offering exciting battles and delicious table fare.
For those seeking a different angling experience, rainbow trout are stocked in Dale Hollow Lake during certain times of the year.
Dale Hollow Lake is known for its crystal clear water, enhancing the fishing experience. The visibility in the lake allows anglers to spot fish and tailor their presentations accordingly. Additionally, the lake features numerous boat ramps, providing easy access for boating and fishing activities.
Best Fishing Spots on Dale Hollow Lake:
- Obey River: The lake section near the Obey River inlet is known for its productive smallmouth bass fishing. Focus on rocky points, submerged structures, and areas with current for success.
- Standing Stone Creek: This tributary of Dale Hollow Lake is renowned for its excellent smallmouth bass fishing—target areas around fallen trees, boulders, and deeper pools.
- Willow Grove Recreation Area: The area around Willow Grove Marina is known for its productive largemouth bass fishing—fish around the submerged structures and coves for success.
- East Port Ramp Area: This lake area is popular for walleye fishing. Look for rocky points, ledges, and drop-offs where walleye often congregate.
Marinas on Dale Hollow Lake offer convenient services and amenities for anglers and boaters. Some of the prominent marinas on the lake include:
- Dale Hollow Marina: Located on the Kentucky side of the lake, this full-service marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, and tackle. It also features a restaurant and a convenience store.
- Star Point Resort: Situated on the Tennessee side of the lake, this marina provides boat rentals, cabin rentals, campground facilities, and a store stocked with fishing supplies and groceries.
- Cedar Hill Resort: This family-friendly marina offers a range of amenities, including boat rentals, cabin rentals, RV sites, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. They also have a tackle shop for anglers.
- Mitchell Creek Marina: This marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a convenience store. They also have a restaurant on-site.
Kentucky Lake, situated on the Tennessee River, is a renowned fishing destination offering a vast expanse of water with approximately 2,300 miles of shoreline. This massive lake provides anglers with a wide range of fishing opportunities and is celebrated for its excellent bass fishing.
However, Kentucky Lake is also home to other popular game fish species such as white bass, crappie, catfish, sauger, and redear sunfish, making it a diverse and rewarding fishing destination.
Bass fishing is a highlight on Kentucky Lake, with large and smallmouth bass attracting anglers from far and wide. The lake’s expansive structure, including submerged timber, rock formations, and vegetation, provides abundant cover and forage for bass.
White bass fishing is another popular pursuit on the lake. Spring and fall are particularly fruitful seasons for white bass as they migrate to tributaries and main lake points.
Crappie fishing on Kentucky Lake is highly sought after, particularly during the spring and fall months when crappie move into shallow water for spawning and feeding.
Catfish angling is also popular on Kentucky Lake, with various catfish species available, including channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish.
Sauger, a close relative of the walleye, is another prized game fish found in Kentucky Lake. Anglers often target sauger in the colder months, particularly during their spawning season.
Best Fishing Spots on Kentucky Lake:
- Blood River: Located in the northern part of the lake, Blood River is known for its excellent bass fishing. The shallow flats and weed beds attract largemouth bass, particularly during the spring and fall seasons.
- The LBL (Land Between the Lakes): This vast area between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley offers abundant fishing opportunities. Anglers can find prime spots for bass, crappie, catfish, and other species. The bays, coves, and channels within the LBL are worth exploring.
- The Big Sandy River Area: Situated on the eastern side of Kentucky Lake, the Big Sandy River Area is renowned for its crappie fishing. Anglers target submerged brush piles and standing timber for productive crappie catches, especially during the spring spawning season.
- Paris Landing State Park: Located on the Tennessee side of Kentucky Lake, Paris Landing State Park offers excellent fishing opportunities. Bass, crappie, and catfish can be found in the area. The fishing pier and jetties are popular spots for anglers.
- Jonathan Creek: Situated near Aurora, Kentucky, Jonathan Creek is a popular location for bass and crappie fishing. The creek mouth, standing timber, and submerged structure provide ideal habitats for these species.
- Rock Quarry Area: Found near the Kentucky Dam, the Rock Quarry Area is known for its quality bass fishing. The rock formations and drop-offs attract both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
- Tennessee River Channel: Targeting the main river channel can yield success for various species, including bass, crappie, catfish, and sauger. Pay attention to current breaks and drop-offs along the channel edges.
Here are a few notable marinas on Kentucky Lake:
- Kentucky Dam Marina – Located near Gilbertsville, Kentucky, Kentucky Dam Marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. It also features a restaurant, lodging options, and RV campsites.
- Moors Resort and Marina – Situated in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, Moors Resort and Marina provides boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. They have a restaurant, cabins for rent, a swimming pool, and a campground.
- Paris Landing State Park Marina – Found in Buchanan, Tennessee, Paris Landing State Park Marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. It is part of Paris Landing State Park, which offers lodging, a restaurant, and recreational facilities.
- Kenlake Marina – Situated near Hardin, Kentucky, Kenlake Marina provides boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. It is part of Kenlake State Resort Park, offering lodging, a restaurant, golfing, and other recreational activities.
Reelfoot Lake, a natural wonder formed by an earthquake along the Mississippi River, offers anglers a unique fishing experience in Tennessee.
Known for its shallow waters and abundant aquatic vegetation, Reelfoot Lake provides a fertile habitat for various fish species, making it a prime fishing destination.
One of the most sought-after fish on Reelfoot Lake is crappie. The lake is renowned for its exceptional crappie fishing, attracting anglers from near and far. During the spring spawning season, crappie move into the shallows, offering fantastic opportunities for quantity and quality catches.
Largemouth bass also thrive in the waters of Reelfoot Lake. The lake’s shallow and weedy areas provide ideal cover for bass.
Catfish are another popular species in Reelfoot Lake, with channel and blue catfish being the primary targets.
Reelfoot Lake is also home to abundant bluegill, providing enjoyable angling experiences for adults and children.
When planning a fishing trip to Reelfoot Lake, it is essential to visit during the spring and fall seasons, considered prime fishing times. These seasons provide favorable conditions and increased fish activity.
Some popular access points on Reelfoot Lake include:
- Samburg Public Boat Ramp
- Kirby Pocket Wildlife Management Area Boat Ramp
- Blue Basin Boat Ramp
- Reelfoot Lake State Park Boat Ramp
Old Hickory Lake
Old Hickory Lake, located near the Cumberland River in Tennessee, offers excellent bass fishing opportunities, making it a popular destination for anglers. With its expansive size covering over 22,000 acres, Old Hickory Lake provides ample space and diverse habitats for various fish species.
Bass fishing is a major draw on Old Hickory Lake, with both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass present in good numbers. The lake’s structure, including submerged brush piles, fallen trees, rocky points, and ledges, offers ideal hiding spots for bass.
Crappie fishing is another highlight of Old Hickory Lake. These panfish can be found throughout the lake, particularly near submerged structures such as brush piles, bridge pilings, and fallen trees. Spring and fall are prime seasons for crappie fishing as they move closer to the shoreline to spawn and feed.
Catfish angling is also popular on Old Hickory Lake, with channels, flatheads, and blue catfish available to target. Anglers can succeed by bottom fishing with cut bait, live bait such as nightcrawlers or chicken liver, or prepared stink baits.
Fishing in deeper holes, along channel edges, and near structures can increase the chances of hooking into a catfish.
White bass, sand bass or stripe can be found in Old Hickory Lake. These fish often gather in schools and provide exciting fishing action, particularly during their spring spawning runs.
Old Hickory Lake also features several marinas that offer convenient services and amenities for boaters and anglers. Some notable marinas on Old Hickory Lake include:
- Creekwood Marina – Located in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Creekwood Marina provides boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store.
- Blue Turtle Bay Marina – Situated in Old Hickory, Tennessee, Blue Turtle Bay Marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a convenience store.
- Drakes Creek Marina – Found in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Drakes Creek Marina provides boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a convenience store.
- Cedar Creek Marina – Located in Mt Juliet, Tennessee, Cedar Creek Marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store.
Douglas Lake, a reservoir formed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), is a popular fishing destination in Tennessee. Anglers are drawn to the lake for its diverse range of fish species and its abundance of fishing opportunities.
Douglas Lake is known for its excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing, but anglers can also target crappie, walleye, catfish, and bluegill.
Largemouth bass fishing on Douglas Lake is particularly popular, with the lake’s structure providing ample cover for these fish.
Smallmouth bass fishing is equally rewarding on Douglas Lake. These hard-fighting fish are commonly found near rocky areas, drop-offs, and ledges.
Crappie can be found throughout Douglas Lake, and anglers can target them near submerged structures, including brush piles and submerged trees.
Spring and fall are productive seasons for crappie fishing on the lake. Vertical jigging, casting with small jigs, or using live minnows as bait are popular methods for catching crappie.
Walleye fishing is another popular pursuit on Douglas Lake. These elusive fish can be found in deeper lake sections, particularly near points and rocky structures.
Catfish, including channel catfish and flathead catfish, can also be caught on Douglas Lake.
Bluegill, a popular panfish, can be found near shallow areas, particularly around vegetation and submerged structures.
Douglas Lake boasts over 550 miles of shoreline, allowing anglers to explore numerous fishing spots. Some notable fishing spots on Douglas Lake include:
- Nolichucky Creek Area: This area is known for its productive largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing: target rocky points, submerged structures, and areas with vegetation for success.
- French Broad River Area: Anglers can find a variety of fish species in this area, including smallmouth bass, catfish, and walleye. Focus on deeper sections, rocky banks, and eddies for productive fishing.
- Rankin Bottoms: Rankin Bottoms is a renowned crappie fishing spot at the upper end of the lake. Target submerged trees, stumps, and shallow coves for successful crappie catches.
- Dandridge Point: This point is known for its productive bass fishing. Focus on the submerged structures, drop-offs, and rocky areas for a chance to hook into largemouth or smallmouth bass.
Marinas on Douglas Lake:
- Mountain Cove Marina: Situated in Sevierville, Tennessee, Mountain Cove Marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. They also have a restaurant on-site.
- Dandridge Point Marina: Located in Dandridge, Tennessee, Dandridge Point Marina provides boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a convenience store. They have a restaurant as well.
- Douglas Lake Marina: Found in Dandridge, Tennessee, Douglas Lake Marina offers boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a ship store. They also have restaurant and cabin rentals.
- Indian Creek Boat Dock: Situated in Dandridge, Tennessee, Indian Creek Boat Dock provides boat rentals, slip rentals, fuel, bait, tackle, and a convenience store.
Best Rivers and Streams for Fishing in Tennessee
South Holston River
The South Holston River is a premier trout fishery located in East Tennessee. This picturesque river meanders through the rolling hills and pastures of the Volunteer State, offering not only some of the best fishing opportunities in the country but also breathtaking scenery.
Clear water and a healthy ecosystem support a diverse and abundant fish population, especially rainbow and brown trout.
The South Holston River’s reputation as a prime trout fishing location has been fostered by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). The agency routinely stocks the river with rainbow and brown trout, ensuring that the population remains healthy and abundant for anglers.
This intensive management strategy has proven successful, resulting in a river teeming with healthy, sizable fish.
Rainbow trout are especially popular among anglers due to their striking colors, fighting spirit, and culinary appeal. They typically feature a unique array of colors ranging from silver to green with a pinkish hue on their sides.
Similarly, brown trout, while not as vivid, are equally sought-after due to their size and the challenge they pose to anglers.
The river’s structure also contributes to its allure among fishing enthusiasts. With miles of shoreline, the South Holston River has a diverse range of fishing spots.
Anglers can choose from swift runs and riffles, deep pools, undercut banks, and fallen trees – each providing unique challenges and rewards. Moreover, the river’s water clarity allows for excellent sight-fishing opportunities, adding another excitement for trout fishing.
The best time to fish in the South Holston River is summer. During this period, the water temperature is typically between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15.5 degrees Celsius) – the optimal range for trout activity.
Trout are cold-water species, and these temperatures keep them active and feeding, increasing the chances for anglers to land a catch.
However, anglers should also be aware of the aquatic insects that populate the river. The South Holston River has one of the most prolific hatches of Sulphur mayflies in the United States. These hatches provide excellent dry fly fishing opportunities, particularly in the late spring and early summer.
French Broad River
The French Broad River, winding through the heart of East Tennessee, is an angler’s paradise with its 60 miles of streams and rich diversity of fish species.
This river is part of the Mississippi River watershed system, one of North America’s largest and most ecologically diverse. As a result, the French Broad River boasts an impressive variety of fish, including sought-after species like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and redear sunfish.
The river’s structure is as diverse as its fish population. With swiftly flowing sections, calm pools, and abundant aquatic vegetation, the French Broad River offers ideal habitats for various fish species, creating a dynamic fishing environment. This biodiversity, combined with the river’s size and accessibility, makes it a standout destination for those looking to fish for various species.
To aid in accessibility, several boat ramps and fishing piers have been strategically placed along the river. These amenities make it easy for anglers to access prime fishing spots, whether from shore or boat.
They also provide excellent locations for anglers to cast their lines, making the river suitable for both experienced and beginners.
Several state parks near the French Broad River offer additional fishing opportunities. These parks provide easy river access and amenities like camping sites, picnic areas, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing spots, making them ideal for extended fishing trips or family outings.
Caney Fork River
Caney Fork River, located in Middle Tennessee, is another popular spot for fishing enthusiasts in the Volunteer State. Known for its excellent trout fishing, the Caney Fork is home to rainbow trout, brown trout, and the occasional brook trout.
The river is relatively small, but the Tennessee Valley Authority helps manage the water levels, ensuring a consistent flow.
The best locations to catch trout on the Caney Fork River are near the Center Hill Lake dam and the numerous access points. Anglers should be aware of state regulations, as some areas may have strict rules about catch limits and fishing techniques.
Bass fishing is also popular on the Caney Fork River, with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and white bass all present in good numbers.
Fishing near shorelines and submerged structures can yield some great catches. The best times for bass fishing on the Caney Fork are spring and fall, when water temperatures are optimal for the bass species.
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Popular Fish Species in Tennessee
Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass are prevalent in Tennessee, especially in the Cumberland River, Tennessee River, Percy Priest Lake, and other large lakes like Norris Lake and Dale Hollow Lake.
- Largemouth Bass: Known for their aggressive feeding habits, largemouth bass can be found in various locations, including shallow cover and deep water. Some of the best fishing spots for largemouth include Chickamauga Lake, Dale Hollow Reservoir, and Old Hickory Lake.
- Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass prefer deeper, clearer water and rocky habitat. They are abundant in East Tennessee, particularly in the Clinch and South Holston Rivers. Cherokee Lake is also a popular destination for smallmouth bass fishing.
- Spotted Bass: Spotted bass are most commonly found in the Mississippi River and the Tennessee River system, with Pickwick Lake and Kentucky Lake being key locations for spotted bass fishing.
Catfish and Crappie
Catfish, especially the channel catfish and flathead catfish, and crappie are abundant throughout the lakes and rivers of Tennessee. Gibson County Lake and Melton Hill Lake offer excellent opportunities for catfish fishing, while Reelfoot Lake is known for its abundant crappie population.
Center Hill Lake and Douglas Lake are popular spots for white crappie fishing, often best during summer.
Rainbow and Brown Trout
Rainbow and brown trout are favorites among many anglers in Tennessee, with some of the best fishing spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest. The Clinch River, Hiwassee River, South Holston River, and Watauga River are well-known for their trout populations.
- Rainbow Trout: These colorful fish can be found in the clear, cold waters of numerous rivers, including the Little River, Caney Fork, and the Watauga River. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cumberland Plateau are some of the best locations for rainbow trout fishing.
- Brown Trout: Wild brown trout can be found in many eastern Tennessee rivers, including the South Holston River and the Watauga River. The Hiwassee River also boasts a popular trout fishery.
White Bass and Sunfish
White bass and sunfish, including the redear sunfish, are present throughout the lakes and rivers of Tennessee.
Boone Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, and Tims Ford Lake are great locations to target white bass, while sunfish can be found in the shallow waters around boat ramps and fishing piers in various lakes and rivers.
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Fishing Techniques and Tackle
Fishing in Tennessee offers diverse opportunities for anglers targeting numerous fish species, such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and more.
In this section, we will cover some essential fishing techniques and tackle widely used in the great fishing spots throughout the state, including East Tennessee and the Mississippi River areas.
Crankbaits and Soft Plastics
Crankbaits are popular for targeting largemouth and smallmouth bass in Tennessee’s lakes and rivers, such as the Tennessee River, Kentucky Lake, and Cumberland River.
They are highly effective in areas with structure or vegetation, and various crankbaits can cover different water depths and structures. Here are some types of crankbaits to consider:
- Shallow Divers: Ideal for fishing around shallow cover like boat ramps, shallow flats, and submerged vegetation.
- Medium Divers: Great for probing the edges of points, creek channels, and ledges in places like Percy Priest Lake, Old Hickory Lake, and Reelfoot Lake.
- Deep Divers: Perfect for targeting bass holding near drops and channel ledges in deeper lakes such as Cherokee Lake and Clinch River.
Soft plastics are equally important in Tennessee and can be highly effective in enticing bites from fish that are hesitant to commit to hard baits. Some popular soft plastics for bass fishing include:
- Texas-rigged worms: Excellent for flipping and pitching around cover in areas like Chickamauga Lake and South Holston River.
Ned rigs: A finesse presentation that works well for targeting smallmouth bass in clear waters like Dale Hollow Lake and Pickwick Lake.
Tennessee boasts an extensive network of rivers and streams, such as the Little River, Douglas Lake, and the Watauga River, where fly fishing is popular.
Rainbow, brook, and wild brown trout can be found in many of these waters, especially in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest. Fly fishing techniques and tackle for trout in Tennessee include:
- Dry Flies: Ideal for imitating insects on the water’s surface in areas like the Hiwassee River and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
- Nymphs: Effective for targeting trout feeding on aquatic insects in rivers such as the Clinch River and South Holston Lake.
- Streamers: Useful for imitating small baitfish and attracting larger predator trout in deeper pools and runs in places like North Carolina and Melton Hill Lake.
Trolling is a popular technique for covering large stretches of water relatively quickly. Tennessee’s many large lakes, such as Watauga Lake, Stones River, and Lake Barkley, are well suited for this method.
Trolling can be highly effective for walleye, white bass, and striper species. Key aspects of trolling tackle and techniques include:
- Crankbaits: Deep-diving crankbaits can be trolled at different depths and speeds to find fish in lakes like Dale Hollow Reservoir and Cordell Hull Lake.
- Downriggers: Useful for targeting fish at specific depths, such as walleye and striped bass, in lakes like Norris Lake and Boone Lake.
- Side Planers: Can be attached to the line, helping anglers cover a wider area for fish like white bass in Tims Ford Lake and Anderson County.
Utilizing these techniques and tackle can help make your fishing trip in Tennessee more successful and enjoyable. The state offers a wide variety of species to target, and these methods have proven effective in many of the best fishing spots throughout Tennessee.
Fishing Amenities and Recreation
Tennessee is home to some of the best fishing spots in the United States. It’s the ideal place for any angler with various species to catch and miles of shoreline to explore.
This section will cover Tennessee fishermen’s various amenities and recreation options, including boat rentals and launching ramps, houseboats, and Wildlife Resources Agency-supported areas.
Boat Rentals and Launching Ramps
Renting a personal watercraft is a popular option to enjoy the diverse waterways and fishing opportunities. Many providers throughout the state offer boat rentals for various needs, from small lake fishing vessels to larger boats for exploring the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers.
Additionally, the state provides numerous conveniently-located launching ramps at popular fishing destinations such as:
- Percy Priest Lake
- Dale Hollow Lake
- Pickwick Lake
- Douglas Lake
- Norris Lake
These boat ramps make it easy for fishermen to access the water, whether they own their boats or opt for rentals.
Houseboats and Wildlife Resources Agency
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) ensures the state’s abundance and conservation of fish and wildlife. One of the ways TWRA supports recreational fishing is by maintaining rental houseboats on several of their managed lakes, including:
- Center Hill Lake
- Cumberland River
- Old Hickory Lake
- Reelfoot Lake
- Cherokee Lake
- Clinch River
- Chickamauga Lake
- South Holston River
Houseboats provide a unique fishing experience, allowing anglers to find the best locations for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, and more while experiencing the natural beauty of East Tennessee.
Tennessee Fishing License Information
Tennessee is home to some of the best fishing spots in the United States, offering a variety of species and locations for anglers to enjoy.
The Volunteer State’s waterways are ideal for casual and experienced fishermen, from largemouth and smallmouth bass to rainbow trout and white crappie.
Before casting a line, obtaining a Tennessee fishing license is essential, which ensures compliance with state regulations and contributes to wildlife conservation efforts.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) manages the state’s fishing licenses, which are required for all residents and non-residents aged 13 and older. Licenses are available as annual or short-term passes, with discounts for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.
Military personnel and their dependents may also be eligible for discounted rates. Anglers can purchase a Tennessee fishing license online, at regional TWRA offices, or with authorized retailers.
- Annual Fishing License: Ideal for residents who fish regularly throughout the year. This license covers many species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and more.
- Short-term Fishing License: This option is perfect for visitors, weekend getaways, or those who only fish occasionally. The short-term license is available in daily increments or as a three-day pass.
- Special Licensing: For specific species like trout or for fishing in designated areas, additional permits may be required. Always check local regulations to ensure compliance.
Conclusion – Best Fishing in Tennessee
As you can see, Tennessee has some of the best fishing around. I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. We love hearing from our readers!
Until next time Happy Fishing!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are some of the best fishing spots in Tennessee?
There are a plethora of fishing locations across Tennessee that are renowned for their excellent fishing. Some of these include:
- Norris Lake: Known for its large bass, crappie, and walleye populations.
- South Holston River: This is one of the top fly fishing destinations in the state, primarily for trout.
- Kentucky Lake: This vast body of water is famous for its crappie and bass fishing.
- Reelfoot Lake: Famous for crappie, bluegill, and catfish fishing.
- Dale Hollow Lake: A great spot for smallmouth bass fishing.
What types of fish can I catch in Tennessee?
Tennessee offers a diverse array of fish species, providing ample opportunities for various types of fishing. Anglers can expect to find largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, trout, walleye, and even muskellunge in certain areas.
What is the fishing season in Tennessee?
Fishing in Tennessee is a year-round activity. However, different species have peak seasons throughout the year. For instance, bass fishing is excellent in the spring and fall, while trout fishing is best in the colder months. It’s recommended to consult the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s official guidelines for exact fishing seasons and regulations.
Do I need a fishing license to fish in Tennessee, and how do I get one?
You need a fishing license to fish in Tennessee if you are 13 or older. You can purchase a license online through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website, at a local sporting goods store, or any Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency office. Prices vary depending on the license type and the individual’s age, residency status, and intended fishing activities.
What are the fishing regulations in Tennessee?
Tennessee has specific regulations regarding fishing to maintain its aquatic ecosystems. These regulations cover bag and size limits, fishing methods, and seasons for different species. It’s essential to be familiar with these rules before you go fishing. They can be found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s official website.