Where Can I Buy A Tn Fishing License in the USA

Fishing is a beloved pastime in Tennessee, with its abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams offering diverse angling experiences. However, before you can cast your line into the state’s waters, you need to obtain a valid Tennessee fishing license. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about purchasing a fishing license in Tennessee, including who needs one, the different types available, and where to buy them.

Who Needs a Tennessee Fishing License?

In Tennessee, anyone aged 13 and older is required to have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters, including residents and non-residents. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Residents born before March 1, 1926: These individuals are exempt from the fishing license requirement but must carry proof of age and residency.
  • Legally blind or developmentally disabled residents: These individuals are also exempt from the fishing license requirement.
  • Residents fishing on private farmland: Landowners, their spouses, and children can fish on their own farmland without a license. Tenants, their spouses, and dependent children residing on the farmland are also exempt if they have the landowner’s permission.
  • Military personnel on leave: As long as they carry a copy of their leave orders, military personnel are exempt from the fishing license requirement.

Types of Tennessee Fishing Licenses

Tennessee offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to different needs and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the most common options:

Resident Licenses

  1. Annual Fishing License: This license allows residents to fish for all species, except trout, across Tennessee for one year from the date of purchase. The cost is $33.
  2. Trout Fishing License: If you want to target trout, you’ll need to purchase an additional trout fishing license, which costs $22 annually.
  3. County of Residency License: This license is valid for one year and allows residents to fish with natural bait (excluding minnows) in their county of residence. It costs $10 and does not permit the use of artificial lures.
  4. Junior Hunt & Fish License: For residents aged 13-15, this license costs $9 and covers both fishing and small game hunting.
  5. Sportsman License: The Sportsman License is a comprehensive option that covers fishing (including trout), hunting, and trapping statewide. It costs $165 annually.
  6. Lifetime Licenses: Tennessee offers lifetime fishing licenses for residents, with prices varying based on age. These licenses cover fishing for all species, including trout.

Non-Resident Licenses

  1. Annual Fishing License: Non-residents can purchase an annual fishing license for $50.50, which allows them to fish for all species except trout.
  2. Trout Fishing License: To target trout as a non-resident, you’ll need to purchase an additional trout fishing license for $48.50, bringing the total cost to $99 for an annual license that covers all species.
  3. Short-Term Licenses: Non-residents can also opt for shorter-term licenses, such as a one-day license ($6.50 for basic fishing or $11.50 for trout fishing), a three-day license ($20.50 or $40.50 with trout), or a ten-day license ($30.50 or $61.50 with trout).
  4. Junior Hunt & Fish License: For non-resident anglers aged 13-15, a junior hunting and fishing license costs $11.

Special Licenses and Permits

Depending on where you plan to fish in Tennessee, you may need to purchase additional permits or licenses. For example:

  • Gatlinburg: A daily trout permit is required for anglers aged 13-64, costing $3.50 for residents and non-residents with a Tennessee fishing license. A one-day trout permit for those without a license costs $11.50.
  • Tellico-Citico: A seasonal daily permit is required for all ages to fish on the Tellico River, Citico Creek, and year-round on Green Cove Pond.
  • Agency Lake: An annual permit ($48) or daily permit ($6) is required for anglers aged 16 and over, as well as residents under 65.
  • Bedford Lake: A daily permit costing $6.50 is required to fish on Bedford Lake.

It’s essential to check the specific regulations for the areas you plan to fish to ensure you have the necessary permits or licenses.

Where to Buy a Tennessee Fishing License

Tennessee offers several convenient options for purchasing fishing licenses, both online and in person:


The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) website, GoOutdoorsTennessee.com, allows you to purchase fishing licenses online. This option is available 24/7, and you can print your license immediately after purchase.

By Phone

You can also purchase a Tennessee fishing license by calling the TWRA’s toll-free number (1-888-814-8972). However, there is an additional $3.95 service fee for phone orders.

In Person

Fishing licenses are available for purchase at various locations throughout Tennessee, including:

  • TWRA Regional Offices: You can visit any of the TWRA’s regional offices to purchase a fishing license in person.
  • County Clerks’ Offices: Most county clerks’ offices in Tennessee are authorized to sell fishing licenses.
  • Sporting Goods Stores: Many sporting goods stores, such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and local bait and tackle shops, are licensed agents for selling Tennessee fishing licenses.
  • Hardware Stores: Retailers like Walmart, Ace Hardware, and other hardware stores often sell fishing licenses.
  • Marinas and Boat Docks: If you’re planning to fish on a lake or river, check with nearby marinas and boat docks, as they may sell fishing licenses.

When purchasing a fishing license in person, be prepared to provide your social security number and a valid form of identification to confirm your residency status.

Tips for Buying a Tennessee Fishing License

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience when purchasing your Tennessee fishing license, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Plan Ahead: If you’re buying your license in person, call ahead to ensure the retailer or office has licenses in stock and is open during your preferred time.
  2. Have Your Information Ready: Be prepared to provide your social security number, date of birth, and proof of residency (if applicable) when purchasing your license.
  3. Consider Your Fishing Plans: Think about where you plan to fish and for what species. This will help you determine the appropriate license type and any additional permits or licenses you may need.
  4. Check Expiration Dates: Annual licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, but some permits or licenses may have fixed expiration dates. Make sure to note the effective and expiration dates when purchasing.
  5. Renew on Time: If you’re renewing an existing license, you must do so within 10 days of its expiration date to be eligible for renewal.
  6. Keep Your License Accessible: Once you’ve purchased your license, keep it readily available while fishing, as wildlife officers may request to see it.

Enjoying Tennessee’s Fishing Opportunities

With its diverse waterways and abundant fish populations, Tennessee offers anglers of all skill levels and interests a wealth of fishing opportunities. By obtaining the appropriate fishing license and familiarizing yourself with the regulations, you can embark on unforgettable angling adventures while contributing to the conservation and management of the state’s aquatic resources.

Remember, fishing regulations are in place to protect and preserve fish populations, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy this beloved pastime. By adhering to these regulations and practicing responsible angling, you can do your part in maintaining Tennessee’s rich fishing heritage.

So, grab your rod, purchase your license, and get ready to experience the thrill of fishing in the beautiful waters of Tennessee!

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