Fishing is one of the most popular activities in the Smoky Mountains, and for very good reason. The angling in the springtime results in record catches for fisherman from around the world every year. It’s worth heading to Blount County this year for a great weekend getaway featuring you, the water, and your favorite fishing pole! Here are some things you’ll need to know to have a great time angling this spring.

Free Fishing Day in Blount County

For the rest of the spring, you’ll need to purchase a license to fish in the public waters in Tennessee, which includes the state park waters and any lakes or water owned and operated by agencies, like campgrounds. But if you schedule your visit during the Saturday that falls at the tail end of the first full week of June, you’ll be here for Free Fishing Day! This is the one spring day every year during which anyone can fish for free in Tennessee – visitors and residents, alike. The entire week following Free Fishing Day is Free Fishing Week for kids under the age of 15.

Get Your Fishing License for Other Days

Fishing season starts on April 1 in Tennessee, which means that you can get started much earlier than the crowds if you prefer. If you’re coming to do some great angling after April 1 for any other day other than Free Fishing Day, you’ll need to grab a fishing license. You can get an annual license that lasts all year, or a single day, a 3-day, or 10-day license. If you intend to trout fish, make sure you tell the person behind the counter at the sporting goods store; they’ll need to get you a special license just for that.

Hit the Best Angling Outfitters in Blount County

Next you need to get your gear together! There are multiple angling outfitters in the area, such as Frontier Anglers, located in Maryville, and Little River Outfitters, located in Townsend. Get everything you need, from poles to line to bait, including your licenses. These outfitters also offer classes and guided trips if you’re new to the area. This is a great way to have some fun out in Blount County this spring!

Where to Fish

There are literally dozens of places all over Blount County where the fishing is spectacular. Nearly every campground offers a fishing spot, and you can easily just head into the National Park with your pole until you come across some water! The best angling will be anywhere the water is moving, such as at the mouth of streams, but you can have a great day of fishing on calmer lakes, as well, if that’s your style. Be sure to ask at the outfitters where the best fishing is, or book a stay at one of the many cabin rentals and campsites that are right by the water in the area.