Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Fishing License in Tennessee

Fishing is a popular pastime in Tennessee, known for its rich variety of fish species and beautiful fishing locations. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ll need a fishing license to enjoy this activity legally. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the necessary information about obtaining a fishing license in Tennessee, including costs, types of licenses, and where to purchase them.

Understanding the Cost of a Fishing License in Tennessee

The cost of a fishing license in Tennessee varies depending on several factors, including the type of license, the applicant’s age, and residency status. Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with different types of fishing licenses:

  • Annual Hunting and Fishing Combination (ages 16–64): This license, which allows for both hunting and fishing, costs $33.
  • Junior Hunt/Fish/Trap (ages 13–15): This license, good for hunting all game, fishing, and trapping, costs $9 and must be purchased before the holder’s 16th birthday.
  • Lifetime Sportsman License: This all-inclusive lifetime license, valid for hunting, trapping, and sport fishing, varies in cost depending on the age of the applicant. For instance, it costs $320 for infants under 3 years, $659 for toddlers aged 3–6, $988 for youth aged 7–12, $1,976 for adults aged 13–50, $1,153 for older adults aged 51–64, and $329 for seniors aged 65 and over.
  • Permanent Senior Citizen Hunt/Fish/Trap (ages 65 and over): This license, available for a one-time fee of $49, is valid as long as the holder remains a resident of Tennessee.

Where to Purchase a Fishing License in Tennessee

You can purchase a Tennessee fishing license online at Licenses are also available from most sporting goods stores, hardware stores, marinas, county clerks, the On The Go APP, GoOutDoorsTennessee, at a TWRA Licensed Agent, or at a Regional Office.

Contact Information

  • TWRA Central Office – Nashville
    • Address: 5107 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
    • Phone: 615-781-6500
    • Office Hours: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday (local time).

Understanding the Exceptions

Certain individuals are exempt from needing a fishing license in Tennessee. These include:

  • Individuals under 13 years of age, regardless of their residency status.
  • Landowners, their spouses, and children who fish on their farmland owned by an individual or a family. These individuals must be residents of Tennessee but need not reside on the land.
  • Tenants, their spouses, and dependent children who fish on farmland owned by an individual or a family.

Exploring the Best Fishing Locations in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to numerous fishing locations that cater to different types of anglers. Some of the top bass lakes in the state include Chickamauga, Dale Hollow, Kentucky Lake, Douglas, and Old Hickory. Smaller management lakes such as Pin Oak, Williamsport, Browns Lake, Woods Reservoir, Melton Hill, Caney Fork River, South Holston, Reelfoot, Laurel Hill, and Parksville Lake also offer fantastic opportunities for anglers.


Fishing in Tennessee is a rewarding experience, but it’s essential to have the right license. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, understanding the cost and process of obtaining a fishing license will ensure you’re ready to cast your line in the Volunteer State’s beautiful waters. Happy fishing!

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