When our son was born, my husband rejoiced. He finally had someone to go fishing with him. The thing is—we don’t have a boat. So I did some research on Nashville fishing holes, and I’ve discovered that there are actually lots of options for bank fishing—right here in the Metro area. Some places even have piers and docks specifically for those who are boatless anglers.
Where to Fish:
Marrowbone is one of TWRA’s Family Fishing Lakes. It’s located in Davidson County near Joelton. You’ll need to get a special permit for this lake—which you can buy on site. They sell bait and other fishing accessories there, too. The lake has largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. There’s a fishing pier and picnic area, and unlike many fishing holes, it’s got restrooms nearby.
There are several parks in Nashville where you can fish on the bank—as long as you have a state fishing license (more info on that below). There’s Lake Watauga in Centennial Park, Willow Pond in Percy Warner Park, Two Rivers Park Pond, Cedar Hill Park Pond in Madison, and the lake in Shelby Park. There are also several spots along the Little Harpeth River in Edwin Warner Park.
Old Hickory Lake
If you head just outside of town, you’ll find there are several bank fishing locations along Old Hickory Lake. They include the Rockland Recreation Area, Old Hickory Beach, and Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville as well as Cedar Creek, Shutes Branch, Laguardo Recreation Area, and Lone Branch in the Mt. Juliet area. Shutes Branch has a couple of piers for fishing—you can also go swimming or ride the bike trails there. Rockland has a fishing platform—as well as picnic areas, a boat ramp, sand volleyball, a horseshoe pit, and restroom facilities. Old Hickory Beach has a day-use area offering bank fishing, swimming, a nature trail, a boat ramp, and a playground. There’s a $4 per vehicle fee at Old Hickory Beach, Laguardo, and Cedar Creek.
Percy Priest Lake
Bank fishing sites at Percy Priest Lake include the Cook Recreation Area and Vivrett Creek—both of which are off of Stewarts Ferry Pike. Both have piers and platforms for fishing as well as bank access. There’s a $5 per vehicle fee at the Cook Day Use Area, which also has a beach for swimming. If you’re closer to Smyrna, you might want to check out the pier at Stewarts Creek or one of the catch-and-release ponds at Sharp Springs Natural Area.
So get out there and check out the bank fishing options in our area. You can find even more choices located near area campgrounds (and also a few pay lakes if you prefer to stack the deck in your favor).
What to Know Before You Go:
In most cases, if you’re over 13, you’ll need a state fishing license to fish in public waters. Free Fishing Day is always on the Saturday of the first full week of June—for 2016, that’s June 11th. On that day, anyone can fish in the state’s public waters and state parks without a license. For kids 15 and under, it’s Free Fishing Week (June 11-17); they can fish without a license all week.
You can get an annual license or buy one just for the day. Prices vary depending on your age and where you’re going. (Check the Tennessee Fishing Guide for more information about licenses and a summary of the state’s fishing regulations.)
Licenses can be purchased online, on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s app, or in person at most county clerks offices, TWRA offices, or sporting goods stores. A few fishing spots have an additional permit—which you can usually buy on site. Even though our son won’t need a fishing license for several more years, we went ahead and got him a Lifetime Sportsman’s License when he was 2 years old. He’ll never have to worry about renewing!