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Discover Tennessee’s Fishing License Age Requirements

Are you planning a fishing trip in the beautiful state of Tennessee? Before you cast your line, it’s essential to understand the state’s fishing license requirements, especially when it comes to age. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the details of Tennessee’s fishing license age requirements, so you can ensure a worry-free and enjoyable fishing experience.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, anyone 13 years of age or older must have a valid fishing license to fish in the state’s public waters. This requirement applies to both residents and non-residents. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Children under 13 years old (resident or non-resident) can fish without a license.
  • Landowners, their spouses, and their children can fish on their own farmland without a license, as long as they are Tennessee residents.
  • Resident grandchildren and great-grandchildren under 16 can fish on their grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ farmland without a license.
  • Military personnel on leave can fish without a license if they carry a copy of their leave orders.
  • Residents born before March 1, 1926 can fish without a license, but must carry proof of age and residency.

It’s important to note that even if you don’t need a license, you must still follow all other fishing regulations, such as daily catch limits and size restrictions.

Types of Fishing Licenses for Different Age Groups

Tennessee offers a variety of fishing licenses to accommodate anglers of different ages and residency statuses. Here’s a breakdown of the available options:

Resident Licenses

  • Junior Hunting & Fishing (Type 002): This license, which costs $10, is available for Tennessee residents between 13 and 15 years old. It covers both hunting and fishing privileges.
  • Annual Fishing (Type 096): Residents 16 and older can purchase this $34 annual fishing license, which is valid for one year from the date of purchase.
  • Annual Senior Citizen Fishing (Type 166): Residents 65 and older can buy this lifetime fishing license for a one-time fee of $10.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Junior Hunting & Fishing (Type 070): Non-residents between 13 and 15 years old can purchase this $11 license for hunting small game and fishing.
  • Annual Fishing (Type 076): This $50 annual fishing license is available for non-residents 16 and older.
  • 3-Day Fishing (Type 078): Non-residents 16 and older can opt for this short-term, $20.50 fishing license, valid for three consecutive days.

Remember, additional permits may be required for certain activities, such as trout fishing or fishing in specific lakes or rivers.

Free Fishing Opportunities for All Ages

Tennessee also offers special events throughout the year when anyone, regardless of age or residency, can fish without a license:

  • Free Fishing Day: Held annually on the second Saturday in June, this event allows anyone to fish without a license for one day.
  • Free Fishing Week: During the week following Free Fishing Day, children 15 and younger can fish without a license.

These events provide an excellent opportunity for families to introduce children to the joys of fishing without the need for a license. However, all other fishing regulations, such as daily limits and size restrictions, still apply during these times.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

You can easily print a new copy of your license, including lifetime licenses, from your online account at no cost. Alternatively, you can visit a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) office and obtain a replacement for an $8 fee.

When should I renew my fishing license?

Most Tennessee fishing licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Be sure to renew your license before it expires to avoid any interruptions in your fishing adventures.

Can I purchase a fishing license online?

Yes! You can conveniently purchase your Tennessee fishing license online through the TWRA website, as well as from authorized license agents across the state, such as sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and some county clerk offices.



Understanding Tennessee’s fishing license age requirements is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience in the Volunteer State. By familiarizing yourself with the different license types, exceptions, and free fishing opportunities, you can ensure that you and your loved ones are properly licensed before heading out on the water. Remember, purchasing a fishing license not only keeps you in compliance with state regulations but also supports vital conservation efforts that help maintain Tennessee’s thriving fisheries for generations to come. So, grab your gear, secure your license, and get ready to make unforgettable memories on Tennessee’s stunning lakes, rivers, and streams!

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