Fishing License Requirements
Who Must Have a Tennessee Fishing License?
If you take fish or attempt to take fish (including crayfish) by any method or if you assist someone else to do so, you must have a valid fishing license. There are some exceptions:
No Fishing License Needed If:
- You are under 13 years of age (resident or nonresident).
- Landowners, their spouses and children, who fish on their farmland which is owned by an individual or a family. Landowners, their spouses and children must be residents of Tennessee but need not reside on the land.
- Tenants, their spouses and dependent children who fish on farmland owned by an individual or a family. Tenants, their spouses and dependent children must be residents of Tennessee and must actually reside on the land and have permission of the landowner to fish. A tenant is a person who, for money or free rent, or other consideration, cares for farmland. The tenancy must be agricultural in nature.
- Resident grandchildren (under 16) and resident great-grandchildren (under 16) who fish on farmland which is owned by their resident grandparents or great-grandparents.
- First cousins who own farmland jointly or in common may fish on the farmland. Their children may fish as well.
- You are on military leave, carrying a copy of your leave orders. A pass does not meet this requirement.
- You are a resident who was born before March 1, 1926. (To qualify for this exemption, you must carry proof of your age and residency to show to a wildlife officer, if requested.)
- It's Free Fishing Day!
- It's Free Fishing Week! Children all ages 15 and younger can fish free during free fishing week.
Farmland Owner License Exemption
Persons hunting without a license under a resident farmland owner exemption must complete and sign a statement, attesting where the property is located and how this land qualifies for a landowner exemption. Persons may complete the form in advance and carry it with them while hunting or they may complete the form when requested in the field by a TWRA official or when checking game. Resident landowners and their children hunting on their parent's land under this exemption are also exempt from Hunter Education Certification requirements.