On Saturday June 9th, 2018 Tennessee opens all access fishing at no fee. The purpose is to promote the sport and allow friends and family the opportunity to fish and enjoy all the countless beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams that Tennessee offers. In addition, children ages 15 and younger may fish without a license beginning on free fishing day through June 15th (the following Friday).
Tennessee has more than 22,000 miles of streams, 29 major reservoirs, and at least 315 species of fish. The mountainous eastern part of the state offers some of the best fly fishing opportunities, while middle and western Tennessee are full of scenic rivers and lakes that can furnish even the novice angler with some of the best fishing in the country.
Here are some of the most family-fishing friendly locations in the state:
Little River -. Little River is a 60-mile river which drains a 380-square-mile area containing some of the most spectacular scenery in the southeastern United States. The first 18 miles of the river are all located within the borders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The remaining 42 miles flow out of the mountains through Blount County to join the Tennessee River at Fort Loudon Lake in Knox County.
South Holston River – The South Holston River is the premier fly fishing destination in east Tennessee. Nearly 85 percent of the fish population is wild brown trout that are caught in good numbers and impressive sizes.
Clinch River – Located in north-central Tennessee, the tailwaters below the Norris Damoffer has ideal fishing conditions because of the consistent water temperatures (around 50 degrees) and large brown and rainbow trout. Brown trout ranging from four to eight pounds are not uncommon.
Hurricane Creek – Located in west Tennessee, is one of the best sections for wading in Houston County and Humphreys County; and there are plenty of convenient access points. Many people come here to target rainbow trout, which are stocked three times in the spring by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA). Besides rainbow trout, you can expect to find large mouth and small mouth bass, rock bass, and several species of sunfish, including bluegill.
Duck River – The Duck River has more than 30 public access points and is located in middle Tennessee. In addition to brown and rainbow trout, the diversity of species is what makes this river attractive to anglers. The river has several varies of bass, as well as, channel catfish, freshwater drum, and sunfish. Rainbow and brown trout are stocked annually below the Normandy Dam.
Cane Creek – Cane Creek, located just north of Fall Creek Falls State Park in middle Tennessee, is great for wading and fishing for a number of species of trout, bass, bluegill, and sunfish. Cane Creek follows the road, so you will find many access points to the water. Trout are stocked in February, March, and April before the waters warm up in the spring.
Don’t miss the free fishing day this year. It is an opportunity for the family to try out the sport and give youngsters a chance to experience the joy of catching a fish, being on the water, and seeing some of Tennessee’s scenic streams, lakes, rivers, and wildlife. And keep in mind that for those age 15 and under the chance to catch any amount of fish runs for six consecutive days, beginning June 9, 2018.