Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation

Methods Other Than Rod & Reel

Trotlines, Limblines And Jugs

Trotlines consist of a main line with drop lines to which single hooks are attached. Drop lines must not be closer than 24 inches. Nongame fish, except paddlefish and sturgeon, may be taken without limit. Game fish may be taken according to local limits. There is no limit on catfish, except only 1 fish may exceed 34 inches.

Sportfishing trotlines, limblines and jugs must be tagged and/or marked with the owner’s name or current TWRA identification number. Trotlines attached to the bank must be tagged on the line within five feet of the bank. Other trotlines must be tagged within five feet of either end, and floating trotlines must be marked on floats. The holder of a sport fishing license may use one or more trotlines not having a combination of more than 100 hooks. Limblines (including yo-yos) must be tagged above water level and are allowed only one hook per line. Sport anglers are limited to 25 limblines. Sport anglers are limited to 50 jugs or blocks and each with only one hook.

Trotlines, limblines and jugs must be run at least once each day and are prohibited within 1,000 yards below any TVA or Corps of Engineers dam. Trotlines may not be set within 100 yards of the mouth of any river, creek or slough.


Slat Baskets

Holders of annual sport fishing license, Sportsman License, Lifetime Sportsman License, Jr. Fishing license, Lifetime Senior Citizens license or residents 65 and over (prior to March 1, 1991) or under 13 may fish with one slat basket, provided the slat basket is marked with a metal tag, obtainable from the TWRA for an annual fee of $8.00. Possession or use of more than one slat basket is prohibited. A slat basket is defined as a device used for taking nongame fish and catfish only. Slat baskets may have only one outside funnel opening and must be made of wood, plastic or cane slats which are placed lengthwise and so constructed that there must be a minimum of four openings in the catching area, each being at least 1½ inches wide and 6 inches long. Fish taken may not be sold.

The slat basket may not be set within 100 yards of the mouth of any river, creek or slough. Slat basket must be checked at least every 72 hours.

Applications for metal tags can be obtained by writing to: Administrative Services, TWRA, P. O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204. If you are applying in person and need directions to the TWRA central office, call 615-781-6585.

Grabbling, Gigging, Grab Hooks, Snagging, Tubbing, Archery, Crossbow, Speargun, Dipping And Cast Netting

Season open year round in all waters except:

  1. where closed to fishing or expressly prohibited.
  2. within 100 yards below dams. At Pickwick Dam the closed area extends downstream to the first moorage cell across from ramp.
  3. at John Sevier Steam Plant the discharge channel is closed.

Nongame fish may be taken without limit. Game fish, sturgeon, and alligator gar may not be taken. Catfish and paddlefish may be harvested according to local limits.

Cast nets must be no more than 10 feet in radius with a mesh size no smaller than one quarter inch, and no larger than one inch on the square.

Gigging is prohibited in Bedford, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Marshall, Maury, and Wayne counties. Snagging, grabbling, grabhooks, tubbing, archery, speargun, dipping, and cast nets are legal methods in these counties.

Gigging is closed on the East Fork of the Obey River and its tributaries from Jan. 1–Apr. 30.

Snagging is prohibited year round on the South Holston tailwater (from South Holston Dam to the headwaters of Boone Reservoir), Center Hill Reservoir, and the Cumberland Fossil Plant discharge channel into Barkley Reservoir.

Grabbling, gigging, grab hooks, snagging, tubbing, archery, crossbow, speargun and dipping is prohibited on the following waters from Jan. 1–Apr. 30:

  • Norris Reservoir: between River Mile 32 (Point 15) and the Hwy. 25E Bridge on the Powell River arm and between River Mile 137 (Point 31) and the Hwy. 25E Bridge on the Clinch River arm
  • Elk River in Carter County: from the Hwy. 321 Bridge downstream to River Mile 3.0 (Point 11) on the Elk River arm of Watauga Reservoir
  • Doe Creek: Old Cabin Private Road downstream to Roan Creek
  • Roan Creek: Mountain Lakes Estates Bridge downstream to Doe Creek
  • Watauga River: NC state line downstream to end of Cownstown Road


A sport fishing license is required and only the common snapping turtle may be taken. Turtles taken by sport fishing methods may not be sold.

Common snapping turtles may be taken by all legal sport fishing methods except archery, spearguns and dipping. Daily limit is 5 with a minimum legal length of 12 inches. (Length is determined by measuring the upper shell from front to back.) Sport fishermen may also take snapping turtles by the use of up to three hoop nets, with minimum net size of three inches on the square in Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, McNairy, Madison, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Stewart, Tipton, and Weakley counties. Each net must be marked with the name and address of the owner. Each net must be set so that a portion of the catch area is above the water.

No turtle may be possessed while afield which has been altered to the extent that its species and/or length cannot be determined.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
J.F. Griffin reaches 20 million sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 47 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 22 state agencies.
For advertising information, please visit: