Although the Great Smoky Mountains National Park might not be your first thought for top fishing spots, it is a great choice due to its variety of locations and the ability to fish year-round. If you are bringing your family to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, why not put teaching your son or daughter on your list of things to do in the Smokies? Some of the locations are great for beginners and it is a good way to spend time together as a family. Reserve one of our cabins in Gatlinburg, all of which have full kitchens and often have grills as well, and enjoy the fruits of your labor at dinnertime.
Chose the Smokies for Great Fishing
The national park has over 2,000 miles of streams and rivers, with about 600 of those containing fish. It is a natural habitat for brook, rainbow, and brown trout and a great place to catch smallmouth and rock bass as well. Although you will need a state permit to go fishing in the Smokies, children under 13 in Tennessee do not need their own permit.
There are restrictions, as in most places, but will not impinge on your ability to do some great fishing and enjoy the peace and quiet of fishing in the Smokies. Make sure you have read the National Park Service’s guide to fishing before you.
You can fish from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, which should be more than enough time to catch your dinner and bring it back to the full kitchen at your cabin. Each person may keep a total of five of any kind of trout or of smallmouth bass of at least seven inches, plus an additional 20 rock bass.
Things to Do in the Smokies: Spend Time with the Kids
In some ways, it is hard to go wrong on any mid-sized stream or larger, and there are even two kid-friendly spots for fishing in Gatlinburg. Mynatt Park and Herbert Holt Park are both with short driving distance from any of our cabins in Gatlinburg and make for great beginners’ spots. The latter is also the only handicap accessible fishing pier in Tennessee.
Another great spot for learners is Douglas Lake, with multiple kinds of bass and trout, plus crappie and bluegill. More serious fishing enthusiasts will want to consider Abrams Creek and LeConte Creek. The walk to Abrams Creek is a beautiful one and a short wade should turn up trout and smallmouth bass. LeConte Creek is easily accessible and home to rainbow and brook trout.
Relax After a Day’s Fishing
Unless you plan to catch-and-return, staying in one of our cabins in Gatlinburg will make fishing in the Smokies all the more enjoyable. Bring your catch home and clean it in the kitchen before firing up the grill. Afterwards, you can warm up by a fire or relax in the hot tub. Either way, you will not regret including a cabin as one of your things to do in the Smokies!