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Are you an aspiring angler or do you have a fisherman in your family? While in Gatlinburg, you may want to try your hand at fishing in one of the beautiful rolling streams. Gatlinburg fishing is a popular option for many. Visitors and residents alike, enjoy the quest to catch the biggest trout possible. 

The city of Gatlinburg owns and operates a trout farm that is used to stock the streams within the city. Each Thursday, the streams are restocked and fishing is not allowed in the city limits. 

Do I Need a Fishing License? 

Fishing in Gatlinburg

Yes! Tennessee residents and visitors both need a valid fishing license in order to cast a line in Gatlinburg. 

All non-residents ages 13-15 need to purchase at least a One-Day Trout Fishing Permit. They must also have a Gatlinburg Trout-Daily or 3-Day Permit. 

Non-residents aged 16 and up are required to purchase a Gatlinburg One-Day Trout Permit or a combination of the Gatlinburg 3-Day Trout or Gatlinburg Trout-Daily. You must also purchase a 3-Day, 10-Day, or annual All Species Non-Resident Fishing License. 

Tennessee resident fishing requirements are slightly different. 

Residents ages 13-15 must purchase a Junior Hunt/Fish/Trap license as well as a Gatlinburg Trout-Daily, Gatlinburg One-Day Trout Permit or a Gatlinburg Three-Day Trout Permit. 

All residents 16-64 have a different set of requirements. Each person must possess three different licenses in order to fish in Gatlinburg. You will need an Annual Trout License, Annual Hunting and Fishing Combo, and a Gatlinburg Trout-Daily or Gatlinburg Three-Day Trout Permit. 

If you plan to fish for only one day, you may purchase just the Gatlinburg One-Day Trout Permit.

Residents 65 and older will need to purchase a senior permit. 

Children age 12 and under are not required to purchase a permit. 

Best Gatlinburg Fishing Spots

Gatlinburg Fishing
  • Herbert Holt Park – This park is home to the trout farm in Gatlinburg. The streams surrounding the park are reserved for “Children Only”. This is a great spot to bring the kids and you can feel confident that they will catch something. 
  • West Prong of the Little Pigeon River – This is located between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and Gatlinburg. You are likely to catch rainbow trout here. 
  • The Roaring Fork – This stream is located in the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Fishermen have good luck fishing for rainbow and brook trout at this location.

What are the Regulations for Gatlinburg Fishing? 

Gatlinburg Fishing

There are a few special rules you will need to follow to enjoy Gatlinburg fishing. 

  • Year-round, fishing is only allowed during daylight hours. 
  • Multiple hooks are not allowed. 
  • Children can only use the dedicated Children’s Streams (12 and under)
  • No fishing on Thursdays

December 1-March 31 is officially Catch and Release Season. Please follow these rules: 

  • Single Hook only
  • Everything must be released back into the stream
  • Possession of trout is prohibited

April 1-November 30 is Open Season. Please follow these rules: 

  • Five trout per person is the daily creel limit and 2 trout per child
  • You cannot be in possession of anything over the daily limit
  • No size limits or bait restrictions

If you love to fish or know someone that does, Gatlinburg fishing is a wonderful option. Be sure to purchase the proper license, bring your equipment (or consider hiring a guide), and have a wonderful time fishing the waters of beautiful Gatlinburg. 

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