Top 5 Things to Know About Getting a Fishing License in TN
January 14, 2021

Some people love to relax on vacation by going fishing. There’s nothing better than sitting by the water and enjoying being out in nature while you wait on a fish to bite the line. Whether you’re a Tennessee resident or coming into town for vacation, you can enjoy this leisurely activity as long as you have a fishing license in TN! Here are the top 5 things to know about getting a fishing license in TN.

1. Who Needs a Fishing License

fishing in the smoky mountainsYou need to know who needs a fishing license. Anyone who plans on taking fish, including crayfish, will need a license. Any person who is 13 years old and older will need a valid fishing license in TN. If you have kids who are 12 and younger, they do not need a fishing license. There are a couple of other exceptions to who needs a fishing license. If you are on military leave, you just need to be carrying a copy of your leave orders. Landowners who fish on their farmland do not need a license. A resident born before March 1926 does not need a license. On free fishing day, you don’t need a license, and kids who are 15 and younger don’t need a license during free fishing week.

2. Where to Get One

Since you know if you need a fishing license in TN or not, you need to know where to get one. There are several places where you can get a license. You can go to any of the county clerk offices or TWRA offices. Many sporting goods stores, hardware stores, and boat docks also sell licenses. The easiest place for most people to get the fishing license is online.

3. Tennessee Resident Qualifications

Fly fishing in Gatlinburg streamIf you currently live in the state of Tennessee, then you need to get a resident license. You will need a valid Tennessee drivers license. If you have recently moved to the state, you are required to obtain a Tennessee license within 30 days. Out-of-state licenses are only accepted for military personnel and students if they are stationed or go to school in the state. The only other thing you will need is your social security number.

4. Types of Fishing Licenses

There are several types of fishing licenses in TN. Here are the most popular resident licenses:

  • Annual Hunting & Fishing Combination
  • Jr. Hunt, Fish & Trap (Ages 13-15)
  • One-Day Fishing
  • Sportsman
  • Lifetime Sportsman

Here is a list of non resident fishing licenses in TN:

  • Jr. Hunt/Fish
  • Annual Fishing – No Trout or All Species
  • Three-Day Fishing – No Trout or All Species
  • Ten-Day Fishing – No Trout or All Species

5. Fishing in the National Park

A fish being caughtIf you plan on fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will need a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license. Either of these licenses allows you to fish anywhere in either state within the national park.

Now you know more about how to get a valid fishing license in TN as a resident or as someone visiting the area. There are several places in Gatlinburg for fishing. If you want to stay close to a creek where you can fish, look through our condos in Gatlinburg and book your next trip today!