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Man going fishing

Douglas Lake Fishing Information & License Requirements for Planning Your Day at the Lake

Douglas Lake is made up of about 28,000 acres and is just a short drive from the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas. Douglas Lake sits at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and it’s a great spot for spending time fishing nearly year-round.

Visitors come from all over to fish on Douglas Lake. The lake is known all across the country for ranking in the top 10 in the nation for both largemouth bass and crappie fishing.

Douglas Lake Fishing Information

There is really no bad time for fishing at Douglas Lake, but there’s specific times of year when you may notice certain fish are easier to catch. Here’s what we’ve found:


  • Best months: February and March
  • Best location: In the river, upstream from Highway 25 bridge

Largemouth BassMan fishing at sunset on the lake

  • Best months: April and May


  • Best months: November through May
  • Best location: In the headwaters

White Bass

  • Best months: February and March, sometimes stretching into mid-April
  • Best location: In the headwaters


  • Best months: April through October

Douglas Lake TNHow to Get a Douglas Lake Fishing License

A license is required for fishing on Douglas Lake.

No fishing license is required for children under 13 years of age. There are different fishing licenses available, including a Junior License for teenagers, ages 13-15, at a discounted cost.

If you are not a resident of Tennessee, you must purchase one of these types of fishing licenses. Residents of Tennessee should click here for fishing license information.

Tennessee fishing licenses can be purchased at most county clerk offices, sporting good stores, hardware stores and boat docks. You can also purchase your Tennessee fishing license online, just CLICK HERE.

Think you might want to go fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park while you’re in town? Learn more about fishing in the Smoky Mountains!

For more information about spending time at the lake, be sure to check out all of our Douglas Lake TN information to start planning your trip.