Remember all the times Dad or Grandpa took you out on the water? You learned to bait, catch, and reel in fish for fun. Or maybe you took up fishing all on your own as a peaceful hobby to clear your mind occasionally. No matter where your fishing story began, the next chapter is almost here — with National Go Fishing Day just around the corner! On June 18, 2020, anglers of all ages are encouraged to get out there and cast a line. And if you’ve been stuck inside for a while, heading to a new fishing location may be just what you need to liven things up a bait (…bit).
If you’re interested in a historic area with stunning mountain scenery and well-stocked waters, Pigeon Forge is the perfect place to lug your tackle, bait your hook, and go fishing! This Tennessee town and the neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park is stocked to the brim with rainbow, brook, and brown trout plus smallmouth and rock bass. With the Little Pigeon River flowing through town plus many streams and rivers dispersed in the national park, finding your sweet fishing spot won’t be a problem. Fishing in Pigeon Forge is a great way to get out in nature yet remain socially distanced so you can enjoy angling without worry!
Great Places to Fish in the Smokies
Whether you’re looking to stick close to the city and your accommodations or venture deeper into the mountains, Pigeon Forge and the nearby national park have plenty of fishing sites to choose from.
- Little Pigeon River
The Little Pigeon River runs straight through the City of Pigeon Forge, where fishing is allowed. Follow the Riverwalk Greenway walking path and pick your favorite from plenty of access points. There are also plenty of great spots along the river inside the national park.
- Dudley Creek
Pop on your fishing playlist as you reel in a whopper from Dudley Creek that follows Highway 73 in close by Gatlinburg. While this small creek may not be as easy to access as other fishing locales, it has plenty of fresh catch just waiting for you!
- Abrams Creek
Known as one of the better streams to go fishing in the national park, Abrams Creek can be reached from a trail off Cades Cove. This stunning valley area harbors an 11-mile loop road with historic structures, hiking trails, and tons of wildlife. It’s a spectacular place to enjoy the journey!
Do You Need a Fishing License?
Short answer: yes. Is it difficult to get a Tennessee fishing license? No, simply purchase yours online via the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Once the transaction is complete, you’re good to go! You just need to be 13+ years old (anglers 65+ need to apply for a special license), and there’s no trout stamp required for visitors. Kids under 13 do not require a license, just a responsible fisherman to guide them. Please note nearby Gatlinburg requires a special fishing permit.
Rules to Kindly Follow
Along with grabbing a Tennessee fishing license, be sure to adhere to local and national park rules to help keep our waters clean and healthy so you and future generations will be able to fish happily in the Smokies for many years to come.
- Fishing begins 30 minutes before sunrise and ends 30 minutes after sunset.
- A handheld rod and artificial flies or lures must be used within park perimeters.
- The daily possession limit is 5 of any combination of the following fish (7-inch minimum): rainbow, brook, or brown trout and smallmouth bass. In addition to these 5, fishermen can keep up to 20 rock bass.
- Rocks must not be moved. Why? Fish nest under them and aquatic insects use them for protection. When moved, many die and upset the delicate environmental balance.
- Fishing gear and garbage must be picked up and/or properly disposed of when leaving.
Prepare Your Catch at the Cabin
Every angler needs a place to prepare the catch of the day and rest up for the next fishing haul. At Pigeon Forge TN Cabins, we have everything from secluded 1-bedroom retreats to 16-bedroom lodges loaded with amenities. Whether you’re taking a work hiatus to escape and recharge alone or taking the whole family on a fishing trip, we have you covered. As a matter of fact, we even have river cabins in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, so you can fish nonstop! Check out River’s Edge and River Retreat for starters.
Our cabins come with fully equipped kitchens so you can prepare all kinds of fish dishes as soon as you step inside. Or hang outside and toss some trout on the gas or charcoal grill for dinner. Want to try new recipes? Hop on the complimentary Wi-Fi and take your pick! When mealtime is over, rehash your craziest fishing stories over a beer and games in the rec room. End the night with The Deadliest Catch reruns on the big screen in the home theater or slip into the hot tub to soothe tired muscles before snoozing in the king size bed.
Are you ready for your next fishing adventure? Celebrate National Go Fishing Day in Pigeon Forge, TN!