Get Hooked: Where to Score Your Fishing License in Gatlinburg TN

Get Hooked: Where to Score Your Fishing License in Gatlinburg TN

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a true angler’s paradise, boasting over 2,900 miles of pristine streams teeming with a variety of fish species, including the highly sought-after wild trout. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a newcomer to the sport, the opportunity to cast your line in these picturesque waters is an experience not to be missed.

However, before you can embark on your fishing adventure, you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper licenses and permits in hand. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining your fishing license in Gatlinburg, TN, and provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of your time on the water.

Fishing License Requirements in Tennessee

In the state of Tennessee, both residents and non-residents aged 13 and older are required to possess a valid fishing license when engaging in any fishing activities. This includes not only catching fish but also assisting others in doing so.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Children under the age of 13 (residents and non-residents) are exempt from the license requirement.
  • Landowners, their spouses, and children are permitted to fish on their own farmland without a license, provided they are residents of Tennessee.
  • Tenants, their spouses, and dependent children who reside on and have permission from the landowner to fish on the farmland are also exempt.
  • Resident grandchildren and great-grandchildren under the age of 16 can fish on their grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ farmland without a license.
  • First cousins who jointly or commonly own farmland, along with their children, are exempt when fishing on that land.
  • Active-duty military personnel on leave are not required to have a license, provided they carry a copy of their leave orders.
  • Residents born before March 1, 1926, are exempt from the license requirement but must carry proof of age and residency.

It’s important to note that these exemptions apply only to the requirement for a fishing license. Certain fishing locations or activities may still necessitate the purchase of additional permits or stamps, which we’ll cover in the following sections.

Obtaining Your Fishing License in Gatlinburg

If you plan to fish in Gatlinburg or the surrounding areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate fishing license. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Determine Your Residency Status

The cost of your fishing license will vary depending on whether you are a resident of Tennessee or a non-resident. To qualify as a resident, you must possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license or state-issued ID.

2. Choose Your License Type

Tennessee offers several types of fishing licenses, each with its own set of privileges and fees. Here are some of the most common options:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Sportsman’s License: This all-inclusive license covers hunting, fishing, and trapping without the need for additional permits or stamps. Cost: $175.00
  • Annual Fishing License: Allows fishing for all species, including trout. Cost: $34.00
  • One-Day Fishing License: Valid for one day of fishing (all species). Cost: $11.50

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Fishing License (No Trout): Permits fishing for all species except trout. Cost: $49.00
  • Annual Fishing License (All Species): Allows fishing for all species, including trout. Cost: $99.00
  • 3-Day Fishing License (No Trout): Valid for three consecutive days of fishing, excluding trout. Cost: $20.50
  • 3-Day Fishing License (All Species): Permits fishing for all species, including trout, for three consecutive days. Cost: $40.50

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and it’s always advisable to check the official Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) website for the most up-to-date information.

3. Purchase Your License

You can purchase your Tennessee fishing license through various channels, including:

  • Online: Visit the TWRA’s online license portal at to purchase your license instantly.
  • By Phone: Call the TWRA’s toll-free number (1-888-891-8444) and purchase your license over the phone (additional service fees may apply).
  • In Person: Visit any TWRA-approved license agent, such as sporting goods stores, hardware stores, marinas, or county clerks’ offices in the Gatlinburg area.

When purchasing your license, be prepared to provide your personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, and (for residents) your Social Security number.

Additional Permits and Fees

Depending on where you plan to fish and the specific activities you intend to engage in, you may need to obtain additional permits or pay additional fees. Here are some of the most common scenarios:

Fishing in Gatlinburg City Limits

If you plan to fish within the city limits of Gatlinburg, you’ll need to purchase a special Gatlinburg Trout Permit in addition to your Tennessee fishing license. This permit is required for both residents and non-residents aged 13 and older.

  • 1-Day Gatlinburg Trout Permit: Cost: $11.00 (no additional license required)
  • 3-Day Gatlinburg Trout Permit: Cost: $9.00 (in addition to your fishing license)

Please note that the City of Gatlinburg operates a trout farm and stocks the city streams with trout year-round, except on Thursdays when no fishing is allowed to facilitate restocking.

Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

While a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is valid throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, no additional trout stamp is required. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the park’s specific regulations, such as daily possession limits, size limits, and permitted lures and baits.

Other Special Permits

Depending on your fishing location, you may need to obtain additional permits, such as:

  • Agency Lake Permit: Required for fishing on lakes managed by the TWRA.
  • Tellico-Citico Trout Permit: Necessary for fishing on the Tellico River, Citico Creek, and Green Cove Pond.
  • Bedford Lake Permit: Required for fishing at Bedford Lake.

Be sure to check the TWRA website or consult with local authorities to ensure you have all the necessary permits and licenses before embarking on your fishing adventure.

Tips for First-Time Anglers and Visitors

If you’re new to fishing or visiting the Gatlinburg area for the first time, here are some helpful tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience:

  1. Familiarize Yourself with Regulations: Before heading out, take the time to review the fishing regulations specific to the area you’ll be fishing. This includes daily possession limits, size limits, and any restrictions on lures or baits.
  2. Seek Local Expertise: Consider hiring a local fishing guide or visiting a reputable outfitter in Gatlinburg. These knowledgeable professionals can provide valuable insights, recommend prime fishing spots, and offer tips and techniques tailored to the local waters.
  3. Respect the Environment: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a protected area, and it’s essential to practice responsible fishing practices. Properly dispose of any litter or fish remains, and avoid disturbing the natural habitat.
  4. Prepare for the Weather: The weather in the Smoky Mountains can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and be prepared for sudden changes in temperature or precipitation.
  5. Prioritize Safety: Fishing in streams and rivers can be hazardous, with slippery rocks and swift currents. Wear appropriate footwear with good traction, and exercise caution when wading or standing in the water.

By following these tips and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, you’ll be well on your way to an unforgettable fishing experience in the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains.

For the most up-to-date information on fishing licenses, regulations, and pricing, please refer to the following official resources:

Remember, regulations and fees are subject to change, so it’s always advisable to consult these official sources for the most current information before planning your fishing trip.

With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain your fishing license and embark on an unforgettable angling adventure in the stunning Great Smoky Mountains. So, grab your rod, tie on your favorite lure, and get hooked on the thrill of fishing in Gatlinburg, TN!

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