Tennessee River

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Fishing in Tennessee River

Known for its legends of monster fish and record-breaking catches, the Tennessee River has captured the imagination of anglers for decades. When it comes to fishing on the Tennessee River, you’ll have your fair share of action and stories to tell for years to come!

The Tennessee River is home to some of the best Striped Bass and Catfish action. This mighty river produces the biggest specimens caught in Tennessee as well as Alabama. Other top targets include Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Rainbow Trout, Musky, and Sauger.

Many Tennessee River fishing guides offer full day as well as half day trips. Full day trips typically last up to eight hours and are excellent for covering more ground and targeting multiple species. Half days are great for families with small children looking to spend a few hours on the river while learning some of the basic techniques.

There are plenty of guides scattered along the entire river in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky. There’s also a number of guides in northern Georgia that can take you up to the Tennessee River and many of its tributaries. Chattanooga, TN is a popular fishing destination with a number of launching areas. The river funnels large game fish right through town, making it an excellent spot for some urban fishing.

Rules & Regulations

If you’re older than 16, you’ll have to purchase a fishing license, regardless of the state you’re fishing in. However, Tennessee residents between the ages of 13 and 15 must obtain a youth license before heading out. Some state licenses cover all species, while others may require an additional permit. Pay attention to the local laws in your area and if you’re not sure, you can always ask a guide or licensing agent before heading out on your adventure.

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Tennessee River Fishing Seasons

January is a great time for targeting Blue Catfish and Musky. Just be sure to dress warmly and pick a knowledgeable guide who knows the best winter spots on the Tennessee River!

Catfish and Musky are still putting up a fight in February. These fish are known to tip the scale, so test your skill on light tackle and be sure to bring extra elbow grease!

Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass fishing starts to heat up throughout the river. Striped Bass fishing is in full swing as well. Other likely catches include Crappie and Catfish.

April provides some of the most pleasant conditions for fishing. The weather is perfect for a full day of fishing, so pick a guide that will take you chasing Stripers or find a hole to target Blue Catfish.

This is the peak season for Largemouth Bass. This is a popular time to go fishing on the Tennessee River, so be sure to book your trip well in advance.

Night fishing for Smallmouth Bass is known to produce record catches along the river this time of the month. Other top catches include Bluegill, Crappie, and Striped Bass.

As the weather starts to heat up, so do your chances of catching multiple fish. Get ready to target Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish, Striped Bass, and many other highly sought-after species.

August in Chattanooga is a great time to plan a family trip, combined with fishing and other fun outdoor activities. There are lots of summer events happening throughout the city, so plan your trip in advance and get ready to experience America’s “Scenic City!”

September is an excellent time to target Striped Bass. Other key species include Largemouth Bass, Crappie, and Rainbow Trout.

Check out the Bluegrass & Country Jam in Chattanooga and experience the true soul of the South. In terms of fishing, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to target Striped Bass, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, and Rainbow Trout.

Even as the temperatures cool, you can still head out for a productive day of fishing. Catfish, Stripers, Largemouth Bass, Crappie, and Trout are some of the species actively biting during this time of year.

Musky is the number one target this month. You can still go after Striped Bass, Catfish, and Trout as well, so you’ll have plenty of work cut out for you!

Tennessee River Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Tennessee River

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Bass (Largemouth)

Bass (Largemouth)

Catfish

Catfish

Bass (Smallmouth)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Brown Trout

Brown Trout

Brook Trout

Brook Trout

Bass (Striped)

Bass (Striped)