Common Fish in Tennessee

common fish in tennessee

Welcome to our guide on common fish in Tennessee! Here, you'll learn about the different fish species in Tennessee's waterways and discover the exciting fishing world for these diverse and fascinating creatures.


Various fish species call Tennessee's lakes, rivers, and streams their home. Each fish species offers anglers a unique challenge and excitement, from the feisty Largemouth Bass to the elusive Musky. 

Whether you're a beginner looking to catch your first Bluegill or an experienced angler targeting trophy-sized Catfish, understanding the different fish species in Tennessee is essential for a successful fishing experience.

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish (Channel, Blue, and Flathead)
  • Trout (Rainbow, Brown, and Brook)
  • Walleye
  • Musky
  • Carp


Various types of popular fishing styles make Tennessee a prime destination for anglers. From the tranquil streams teeming with trout to the expansive reservoirs filled with Striped Bass, there is a fishing style for everyone in the Volunteer State. 

Whether you're new to the sport or a seasoned angler looking to expand your horizons, understanding the various fishing styles in Tennessee will help you get the most out of your time on the water.

Trout Fishing

Target species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Brook Trout

Best locations: Rivers and streams in the mountains

Musky Fishing

Target species: Muskellunge (Musky)

Best locations: Melton Hill Reservoir and nearby rivers

Striper Fishing

Target species: Striped Bass

Best locations: Large reservoirs such as Norris, Cherokee, and Watts Bar

Crappie Fishing

Target species: Crappie

Best locations: Shallow, brushy areas in lakes and reservoirs

Catfish Fishing

Target species: Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, and Flathead Catfish

Best locations: River channels and deep holes in reservoirs

Walleye Fishing

Target species: Walleye

Best locations: Deep, clear lakes with rocky or sandy bottoms

Cap Fishing

Target species: Common Carp

Best Locations: Large rivers and shallow muddy ponds

Tips for Wild Fishing and Enjoying Tennessee's Fishing Wildlife

Valuable tips for wild fishing and enjoying the abundant fishing wildlife in Tennessee's breathtaking outdoors. As you explore the state's diverse fishing opportunities, it's essential to be mindful of the environment and its creatures.

By following these tips, you'll have a more enjoyable and successful fishing experience and help preserve Tennessee's ecosystems' natural beauty and richness for future generations of anglers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Learn how to make the most of your wild fishing adventures while respecting and appreciating the wonders of Tennessee's fishing wildlife.

  • Always follow local fishing regulations.
  • Practice catch and release to help maintain fish populations.
  • Use appropriate tackle and bait for the target species.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for wildlife.
  • Dispose of trash properly and leave no trace. Test.
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