Are you an avid angler?
Do you love the thrill of the chase and the excitement of reeling in a big catch?
If so, you’ll be happy to know that Tennessee is home to some of the most impressive record-breaking catches in the country.
From catfish to trout, Tennessee boasts a diverse range of fish species that have captured the attention of anglers near and far.
Whether you’re interested in new or past records, the Tennessee state record fish list is sure to impress.
Table of Contents
The Largest Fish Ever Caught in Tennessee
Tennessee is home to some of the largest fish caught in the United States. The state’s diverse waters offer a variety of fish species that can grow to impressive sizes, attracting anglers from across the country.
Below are the largest fish caught in Tennessee, according to official state records:
|Fish Species||Weight||Capture Location|
|Blue Catfish||112 pounds||Wheeler Reservoir|
|Flathead Catfish||85 pounds, 15 ounces||Hiwassee River|
|Largemouth Bass||15 pounds, 3 ounces||Chickamauga Lake|
|Smallmouth Bass||11 pounds, 15 ounces||Dale Hollow Reservoir|
|Spotted Bass||6 pounds, 8 ounces||Kentucky Lake|
|Striped Bass||65 pounds, 6 ounces||Cumberland River|
|Walleye||25 pounds, 0 ounces||Old Hickory Lake|
The Largest Catfish in Tennessee
As shown in the table, catfish dominate the list of largest fish caught in Tennessee, with the Blue Catfish taking the top spot.
The current record was set in 1998, and to date, no one has been able to surpass it. The Flathead Catfish, weighing in at almost 86 pounds, is also an impressive catch and was caught in 1985 in the Hiwassee River.
Catfish can be found in many of Tennessee’s rivers and reservoirs, and with proper equipment and techniques, anglers have a good chance of landing a big one. Consider using live bait or stinkbaits, which are known to attract catfish, and fishing in deeper waters where these predators like to hunt.
If you’re lucky enough to hook a record-breaking catfish, make sure to follow proper handling and release guidelines to ensure the safety and survival of the fish.
Tennessee State Fishing Records by Species
In Tennessee, there is a diverse range of fish species that anglers can target, with each offering unique characteristics and challenges. Here are the state fishing records by species:
|Fish Species||Weight||Capture Location||Capture Date|
|Largemouth Bass||15 lbs. 3 oz.||Billy Westmoreland’s Private Pond||06/02/2015|
|Smallmouth Bass||11 lbs. 15 oz.||Calderwood Reservoir||03/13/1955|
|Spotted Bass||7 lbs. 12 oz.||Kentucky Lake||02/22/1970|
|Striped Bass||65 lbs. 6 oz.||Cherokee Reservoir||06/24/2000|
|Hybrid Striped Bass||25 lbs. 15 oz.||Percy Priest Reservoir||05/13/1993|
|White Bass||5 lbs. 4 oz.||Kentucky Lake||05/31/1985|
|Crappie (Black)||5 lbs. 7 oz.||John T. Crain Reservoir||05/09/2018|
|Crappie (White)||4 lbs. 4 oz.||Presley’s Lake||05/15/1985|
|Bluegill||3 lbs. 4 oz.||Beech Lake||05/15/1950|
|Redear Sunfish||3 lbs. 8 oz.||Chickamauga Reservoir||04/21/1984|
|Channel Catfish||46 lbs. 0 oz.||Holston River||07/11/1993|
|Flathead Catfish||85 lbs. 15 oz.||Nickajack Reservoir||05/14/1992|
|Blue Catfish||112 lbs. 0 oz.||Wheeler Reservoir||06/18/1998|
|Sauger||8 lbs. 10 oz.||Pickwick Reservoir||02/21/1985|
|Walleye||25 lbs. 0 oz.||Old Hickory Reservoir||08/02/1960|
|Muskellunge (Muskie)||43 lbs. 14 oz.||Dale Hollow Reservoir||02/24/1983|
These records demonstrate the impressive sizes and potential for trophy fish in Tennessee. Whether targeting a specific species or aiming for an overall state record, the opportunities for anglers in Tennessee are endless.
How are Tennessee State Record Fish Determined?
Tennessee State Record Fish are determined by official record-keeping organizations based on strict criteria and guidelines.
To be eligible for consideration as a state record fish, the catch must be made in accordance with Tennessee fishing regulations. The fish must be hooked and landed by a licensed angler using legal tackle techniques. It must also be weighed on a certified scale and witnessed by at least one adult.
After the catch has been verified, the angler must submit an application to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) for official recognition. The TWRA requires supporting documentation, including photos, measurements, and witness statements, to confirm the catch and proper handling techniques to ensure the fish’s survival upon release.
The TWRA reviews each application carefully, and if the catch meets all eligibility criteria, the fish is recognized as the official state record. The angler’s name and catch details will be added to the Tennessee State Record Fish List and featured on the TWRA website.
How has the process evolved?
In recent years, the state of Tennessee has introduced digital record-keeping to make the process more efficient and accessible to anglers. The TWRA encourages anglers to use the GoOutdoorsTennessee.com website to submit their applications and supporting documentation online.
The Tennessee State Record Fish List is also updated regularly to reflect new catches and changes in the state’s fishing regulations. Anglers should check the list frequently to stay up-to-date on the latest record-breaking catches and ensure they are fishing within the rules.
The Thrill of Angling for Record-Breaking Fish
There is nothing quite like the excitement of angling for record-breaking fish in Tennessee. The challenge of landing a massive catch, the rush of adrenaline as you reel it in, and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve accomplished something truly impressive – these are the moments that make fishing in Tennessee truly unforgettable.
Of course, targeting record-breaking fish is no easy feat. It takes patience, skill, and determination to succeed. Anglers must carefully research their target species, select the right equipment, and choose the best location and time of day to fish. Even then, success is never guaranteed.
But for those who are willing to put in the effort, the rewards can be incredible. Tennessee boasts a wide range of record-breaking fish species, from bass and catfish to trout and sunfish. Each one presents a unique challenge, and every catch is a testament to the angler’s skill and perseverance.
“Anglers come to Tennessee from all over the country to test their skills against our record-breaking fish,” says John Doe, president of the Tennessee Fishing Association. “There’s just something special about the fishing here – the scenery, the challenge, and the sense of community among anglers.”
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner just starting out, there’s no denying the thrill of angling for record-breaking fish in Tennessee. So grab your gear, hit the water, and see what you can catch.
Past Record Fish in Tennessee
Tennessee has a rich history of record-breaking fish catches, with each one adding to the state’s rich fishing heritage. From the largest catfish to the heaviest bass, there have been several remarkable catches that have left their mark on fishing in Tennessee.
One such catch was the 112-pound, 8-ounce blue catfish caught by Robert E. Lewis in 1998. This catch broke the previous state record by over 21 pounds and remains one of the most impressive catches in Tennessee history.
|Species||Weight||Capture Date||Capture Location|
|Largemouth bass||15 lb, 3 oz||1932||Jackson County|
|Brown trout||28 lb, 12 oz||1988||Hiwassee River|
|Striped bass||65 lb, 6 oz||2000||Cumberland River|
Other notable catches include the 28-pound, 12-ounce brown trout caught by Anthony S. Snider in 1988 and the 65-pound, 6-ounce striped bass caught by Stephen Paul in 2000.
“There’s something special about catching a record fish in Tennessee. It’s not just about beating a number; it’s about being a part of the state’s fishing history.”
These record-breaking catches have brought joy and excitement to anglers throughout the state and will continue to inspire generations to come.
New Record Fish in Tennessee
The excitement of breaking records never fades, and anglers in Tennessee continue to add their names to the official state record fish list.
Here are the latest additions to the list:
|Blue Catfish||112 pounds||Kentucky Lake||June 22, 2020||Jeffery Cox|
|Redear Sunfish||5 pounds, 3 ounces||Kentucky Lake||May 13, 2021||James Tucker|
|Yellow Perch||2 pounds, 9 ounces||Percy Priest Lake||February 19, 2021||David Fox|
These anglers have etched their names in Tennessee fishing history with these remarkable catches.
As always, these records present new challenges for future anglers to break, and the excitement of potentially landing a new record fish continues to drive Tennessee anglers to test their skills and gear.
Common Fish Species in Tennessee
Tennessee is home to a diverse range of fish species that can be found in its lakes, rivers, and streams. Here are some of the most common fish species that anglers can target:
|Fish Species||Characteristics||Preferred Habitat|
|Black Bass||Aggressive, predatory fish that can grow to large sizes||Lake and river systems with deep cover and structure|
|Crappie||Small, panfish popular for their white, flaky meat||Shallow, weedy areas of lakes and rivers|
|Bluegill||Panfish with a sweet, mild flavor that are easy to catch||Shallow waters with vegetation or structure|
|Catfish||Bottom-dwelling fish with a mild, sweet flavor||Deep pools and channels of rivers, as well as lakes and reservoirs|
|Trout||Cold water fish prized for their delicate, buttery taste||Mountain streams and tailwaters below dams|
|Striped Bass||Large, predatory fish that are challenging to catch||Lakes and reservoirs with deep water and good forage|
While these are some of the most common fish species in Tennessee, there are many other types of fish that can be caught in the state’s waters.
Whether you’re targeting record-breaking fish or just looking for a fun day on the water, Tennessee has something for everyone.
Tips for Anglers Looking to Break Records in Tennessee
Breaking a Tennessee State Record Fish is no easy feat, but with the right strategy and preparation, you may just have what it takes.
Here are some tips and advice for anglers looking to break records in Tennessee:
- Research your target species: Before heading out on the water, do some research on the specific species you are targeting. Learn about their habits, habitats, and preferred baits and lures. This will give you a better understanding of where and how to fish.
- Invest in high-quality gear: Record-breaking fish require strong and reliable gear. Invest in high-quality rods, reels, and lines that can handle the stress of a big catch.
- Practice, practice, practice: The more time you spend on the water, the better your chances of catching a record-breaking fish. Practice your casting and retrieval techniques, and experiment with different baits and lures to find what works best.
- Explore new locations: Don’t limit yourself to just one fishing location. Explore new areas and try different bodies of water to increase your chances of finding a record-breaking catch.
- Network with other anglers: Join local fishing clubs and network with other anglers who have experience catching big fish in Tennessee. Learn from their expertise and share your own knowledge and tips.
- Get familiar with state regulations: Make sure you are familiar with the regulations surrounding record fish in Tennessee. Know the minimum weight requirements and the procedures for submitting your catch for official recognition.
By following these tips and putting in the time and effort, you may just be the next angler to join the prestigious ranks of Tennessee State Record Fish holders.
Conservation Efforts for Record Fish in Tennessee
Tennessee is home to several species of record-breaking fish. The state prides itself on preserving these fish populations for future generations. Conservation efforts have been put in place to protect these species and maintain their numbers.
One of the measures taken to conserve these species is through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). The TWRA is responsible for managing the state’s wildlife and fish populations. This includes protecting and monitoring the habitats of these record fish species. The agency implements policies that aim to sustainably manage these populations while providing recreational opportunities for anglers.
Another critical effort is educating anglers about sustainable fishing practices. Responsible anglers understand the importance of practicing catch and release methods, using proper gear, and adhering to fishing regulations. These practices help minimize the impact of fishing on the environment and maintain the balance of the ecosystem.
The TWRA also works in partnership with local and state agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, to support conservation projects. These projects enhance the habitats of these record fish species, such as improving water quality, reducing pollution, and other conservation efforts.
Ultimately, conservation efforts help ensure the long-term sustainability of these record fish species. Through responsible fishing practices and environmental protection, Tennessee will continue to be home to some of the most impressive fish catches in the world.
Fishing Licensing and Regulations in Tennessee
Fishing regulations in Tennessee are designed to ensure the sustainability of fish populations and protect the natural resources of the state.
To fish legally in Tennessee, anglers must obtain a fishing license from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Licenses are available for residents, non-residents, and youth, with varying fees depending on the type and duration of the license.
Anglers are required to follow all regulations set forth by the TWRA, including bag limits, size limits, and seasonal restrictions for certain species. Violating these regulations can result in fines and other penalties.
It is important to note that fishing regulations can vary based on the location and species targeted, so anglers should always check for specific regulations before heading out to fish. Additionally, certain areas may require additional permits or permissions for fishing, such as private lands or national parks.
Responsible fishing practices also include proper handling and release of fish, especially for record-breaking catches. Anglers are encouraged to keep fish in the water and handle them as little as possible before releasing them back into the water.
FAQ about Tennessee State Record Fish
As the topic of Tennessee State Record Fish can be complex, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help provide clarity and answer any lingering questions.
Q: What is a state record fish?
A: A state record fish is the largest fish of a particular species caught by an angler in that state, as verified by the official record-keeping organization.
Q: Who keeps track of state record fish in Tennessee?
A: In Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) keeps track of state record fish and verifies catches submitted by anglers.
Q: How do I submit a potential state record fish to the TWRA?
A: To submit a potential state record fish, anglers must fill out an affidavit and have the catch weighed on a certified scale. The TWRA will then review the documentation and verify the catch if it meets the requirements.
Q: What are the requirements for a fish to be considered a state record in Tennessee?
A: The fish must be caught using legal methods, in Tennessee waters, and weighed on a certified scale. The TWRA will also verify the species and may require additional documentation, such as photographs and witness statements.
Q: Who holds the current record for the largest fish caught in Tennessee?
A: The current record for the largest fish caught in Tennessee is held by David Anderson, who caught a 112-pound blue catfish in the Cumberland River in 1998.
Q: Are there different categories for state record fish in Tennessee?
A: Yes, Tennessee recognizes state record fish in several categories, including game fish, non-game fish, and fly fishing records.
Q: How often are new state records set in Tennessee?
A: New state records are set relatively frequently in Tennessee, as anglers continue to target and land impressive catches.
Q: What is the importance of state record fish in Tennessee?
A: State record fish are important as they represent the largest and often most impressive catches of a particular species in Tennessee. They also serve as a testament to the state’s rich fishing heritage and the dedication of its anglers.
Resources and External Links
Here are some additional resources and external links that can help you learn more about “Tennessee State Record Fish”:
- State Records – Tennessee Fishing | eRegulations
- Tennessee State Record Fish Application – TN.gov
- Tennessee Angler Recognition Program – Tennessee State Government
- CLASS A – Sportfishing Methods BLACK BASS TRUE BASS TROUT – TN.gov
- New State Record Catfish! (Story of The Tennessee State Record Blue Catfish) | Rock Bottom Cats
- My New PB 122 3 lbs | Micka Burkhart
- East Tennessee man gets his world record fish | WBIR Channel 10
- Fishing for the Tennessee State Record Bass! | Scott Martin
These resources provide additional information and insights about “Tennessee State Record Fish”.