View Full Version : Gatlinburg fishing violations

stephen thrift
01-07-2008, 01:33 AM
Hello and Happy New Year to all,
I spent a few days in Gatlinburg during the New Years holiday (just celebrating with the family - no fishing). I could not believe the number of fishing violations I saw. Night crawlers, corn, rapalas, you name it. I only saw two fly fishermen and one of those was throwing something the save of a chicken leg (not quite that bad but pretty big). If it was just kids not knowing any better I could understand, but this was adults, and judging by equipment, experienced adults including locals. Am I misreading or is the regulation for flys only at this time of year?

01-07-2008, 08:58 AM
I was also in Gatlinburg with a new lady friend both Sat. and Sun and saw the same thing. Many people on the water with powerbait, powerworms, corn, worms, etc... Watched them for about an hour and not one fish was caught but plenty in the water. I also saw the 2 Fly-Fishermen and they had no luck also.

I am pretty sure that this time of the year it is artificial only with no scent baits allowed. I may be wrong but I think all it would take would be one license check a day to clear this up.


01-07-2008, 01:05 PM
Does anyone out there have contact info for when we see this stuff going on. I have never seen it in the Smokies, but I did have an old man in Cataloochee last time tell me that he has his best luck using crikets that he catches in the field beside the church. It is the other way around on the Clinch with people keeping stringers full of fish from 6" up. I am asking more for when fishing outside the park. I imagine you have to try and hunt down a park ranger while in the smokies to get something done.


01-07-2008, 07:53 PM
Unless I'm mistaken, since Gatlinburg is outside the park boundaries, what you fish with is pretty much fair game including natural baits, treble hooks and all. Within the park, you are limited to artificial lures and single hooks but outside the park, it's a different story. I have only fished in Gatlinburg and that has been a couple of decades ago at least but I don't remember different regulations than anywhere else outside the park. Anyone have any more current info on that?

01-07-2008, 09:00 PM
I have never seen it in the Smokies, but I did have an old man in Cataloochee last time tell me that he has his best luck using crikets that he catches in the field beside the church. ...


We had a similar experience this summer, along Straight Fork. We fished upstream of the bridge, and when we were hiking back to the car, we passed a biker who seemed amazed that we were using flies. He asked us if we had ever tried corn, and it was then that first my daughter, then myself, explained to him the park fishing regulations - it didn't seem to faze him. The irony was, we headed downstream a ways to fish some more, and sure enough, a ranger pulled up behind us and checked my license (which I was happy to present).

P.S. Geaux Tigers!

01-07-2008, 10:23 PM
the city website:

Open Season: April 1 through November 30

Daily creel limit is five (5) trout for General Streams and two (2) trout for Children's streams. Total creel limit is five (5) trout.
While fishing or while afield, possession of more than the daily creel limit is prohibited, regardless of whether trout are fresh, stored in an ice chest, in a vehicle, or otherwise preserved.
There is no size limit and any type of bait may be used.
Catch and Release Season: December 1 through March 31

Only single-hook artificial lures are permitted. The use or possession of any bait is prohibited. Definition of bait: any living or dead organism, or prepared substance, designed to attract fish by taste or odor. Bait includes, but not limited to fish, fish eggs, crayfish, worms, grubs, crickets, corn, cheese, bread, pork rinds, putty or paste-type products, and flavors or scents applied to or impregnated into artificial lures.
All trout must be immediately returned unharmed to the water.
Possession of any trout is prohibited.

Here's the link: http://www.gatlinburg-tennessee.com/todo/fishing.html


01-07-2008, 10:25 PM
Gatlinburg has it's own fishing regulations and requires a Tennessee fishing Lincenses with a trout stamp and a Gatlinburg stamp. right mow is the artifical only catch and release season.. see link www.gatlinburg-tennessee.com/todo/fishing.html

01-08-2008, 12:21 AM
Supposed to be "delayed harvest" areas during this time of year and artificial only, but there's never been much in the way of enforcement - year around for that matter. Right now there they throw in the brood stock and I'm suprised they haven't been poached out...during the rest of the year the issue is overloaded stringers...
Granted G-burg is not a holy water of a fly/trout destination, but if fills a small fishing niche and should have better enforcement year round...

01-08-2008, 06:36 AM
Thanks for the enlightenment guys. Didn't realize Gatlinburg had such regulations. Doesn't seem to matter, though.

P.S. Geaux Tigers, indeed!

01-09-2008, 12:04 PM
Does anyone out there have contact info for when we see this stuff going on.
Poacher Hotline 1 800 831 1174. I have it programed into my cell phone