How to Get a Fishing License

Family fishing
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Memphis may be a city but there is no shortage of great fishing spots in the Metro area. There are a number of lakes, rivers, and streams both inside and out of the city that is ideal for fishing. Before you head to the water with your rod and reel, though, you need to make it legal by getting a fishing license. Fortunately, they are fairly inexpensive and easy to obtain. Here's what you need to know:

  • Tennessee fishing licenses go on sale annually on February 18th.
  • In most cases, trout fishing requires a supplemental license in addition to the primary fishing license.
  • Fishing licenses may be ordered online at the State of Tennessee website or purchased in person at a variety of locations including Walmart stores (excluding Neighborhood Markets), most sporting goods stores, bait shops, and the Tipton County and Fayette County clerks offices.
  • All fishing license applicants must provide proof of identity and a Social Security Number when applying for a license. Those applying for a resident's license must also bring proof of Tennessee residency.
  • Fishing licenses are available for both residents and non-residents. Tennessee residents can purchase single day, annual, or lifetime licenses while non-residents can purchase three days, ten days, or annual licenses.
  • Some people, such as senior citizens and young teenagers, may be eligible for a discounted rate on their fishing license.
  • There are also some individuals who do not need a fishing license at all. These people include children under 13, those who are fishing on their own land, individuals on military leave, and others. Visit the State of Tennessee website for a complete list of exemptions.
  • At least once a year, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency observes a free fishing day in which no fishing license is required. Their website is updated each year to announce the new date.