Get Hooked: Buy Your Fishing License in Tennessee Today!

Get Your TN Fishing License: The Ultimate Guide

Are you ready to cast your line and reel in some big catches in the beautiful waters of Tennessee? Before you head out on your fishing adventure, make sure you have a valid Tennessee fishing license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining your fishing license, so you can focus on enjoying the great outdoors and landing that trophy fish.

Why Do You Need a Tennessee Fishing License?

A fishing license is required for anyone 13 years or older who wants to fish in Tennessee’s public waters. By purchasing a license, you’re not only complying with state regulations but also contributing to the conservation and management of Tennessee’s fish populations. Your license fees support the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s (TWRA) efforts to maintain healthy fish habitats, stock waters, and ensure a thriving fishing experience for generations to come.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Tennessee?


If you’ve been living in Tennessee for at least 90 consecutive days, you’re considered a resident and can purchase a resident fishing license. You’ll need to provide proof of residency, such as a state-issued driver’s license, student card, voter registration card, or vehicle registration.


If you don’t meet the residency requirements, you’ll need to purchase a non-resident fishing license. Non-residents have the option of buying a 1-day, 3-day, 10-day, or annual license, with or without trout fishing privileges.


There are a few exceptions to the fishing license requirement in Tennessee:

  • Children under 13 years old
  • Residents born before March 1, 1926 (proof of age and residency required)
  • Landowners, their spouses, and children fishing on their own property
  • Military personnel on leave with valid leave papers

Where to Buy Your Tennessee Fishing License

Obtaining your fishing license is easy and convenient. You have several options:

  1. Online through the TWRA website or
  2. At a TWRA-licensed agent, such as sporting goods stores, hardware stores, or marinas
  3. By phone at 888-814-8972
  4. At a TWRA regional office

When purchasing your license, you’ll need to provide your personal information, including your Social Security Number, as required by federal law.

Types of Tennessee Fishing Licenses

Tennessee offers a variety of fishing licenses to suit your needs and preferences:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Fishing License: Allows fishing in all public waters, except trout streams
  • Trout Fishing License: Required in addition to the Annual Fishing License for trout fishing
  • Combination Hunting and Fishing License: Covers both hunting and fishing privileges
  • Lifetime Sportsman License: A one-time purchase that includes hunting, trout fishing, and sporting privileges

Non-Resident Licenses

  • 1-Day, 3-Day, or 10-Day Fishing License: Short-term options for non-residents
  • Annual Fishing License: Valid for 365 days from the date of purchase
  • Trout Fishing License: Required in addition to the non-resident fishing license for trout fishing

Trout Fishing in Tennessee

If you plan on fishing for trout, you’ll need a trout fishing license in addition to your regular fishing license. Tennessee is home to numerous trout streams and tailwaters, offering excellent opportunities for both wild and stocked trout.

Some popular trout fishing destinations include:

  • Clinch River
  • Hiwassee River
  • Obey River
  • South Holston River
  • Watauga River

Be sure to check the TWRA website for trout stocking schedules and any special regulations that may apply to specific trout waters.

Fishing Regulations in Tennessee

To ensure the sustainability of Tennessee’s fish populations and promote fair and ethical fishing practices, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s fishing regulations. These regulations cover:

  • Daily creel limits and size restrictions for various fish species
  • Seasons and area-specific rules
  • Allowed fishing methods and gear
  • Boating and safety requirements

You can find the complete Tennessee Fishing Guide, including regulations, on the TWRA website or at any license vendor location.

Get Hooked on Fishing in Tennessee

With your Tennessee fishing license in hand, you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable angling adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, Tennessee’s diverse waters offer something for everyone. From the scenic lakes and rivers of the Great Smoky Mountains to the mighty Mississippi River, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to cast your line and create lasting memories.

So what are you waiting for? Get your Tennessee fishing license today and start exploring the Volunteer State’s incredible fishing destinations.

Do I need a fishing license to fish on private property in Tennessee?

If you’re fishing on private property with the landowner’s permission, you generally don’t need a fishing license. However, it’s always best to check with the property owner to ensure you’re following their rules and regulations.

Can I purchase a fishing license for someone else?

Yes, you can buy a fishing license as a gift for someone else. Just make sure you have their personal information, including their Social Security Number, to complete the purchase.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you lose your fishing license, you can easily obtain a replacement online at or by visiting a TWRA-licensed agent. There may be a small fee for the replacement.

Are there any free fishing days in Tennessee?

Yes, Tennessee offers Free Fishing Day on the Saturday of the first full week in June. On this day, anyone can fish without a license in Tennessee’s public waters. Additionally, children under 16 can fish without a license during Free Fishing Week, which includes Free Fishing Day and the following week.

Where can I find more information about fishing in Tennessee?

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website ( is an excellent resource for all things related to fishing in Tennessee. You’ll find fishing regulations, stocking schedules, lake and river information, and much more.

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