Trotlines, Limblines, and Jugs Regulations


  • Composition: Main line with drop lines to which single hooks are attached.
  • Fish Species: Nongame fish, except paddlefish and sturgeon, may be taken without limit. Game fish may be taken according to local limits.
  • Catfish Limit: No limit on catfish, but only one fish may exceed 34 inches. Skipjack creel limit is 100 fish.

Tagging and Marking

  • Requirement: Trotlines, limblines, and jugs used for sport fishing must be tagged or marked with the owner’s name and address or TWRA identification number.
  • Placement: Trotlines attached to the bank must be tagged 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.

Quantity Limits

  • Hooks: A maximum of 100 hooks is allowed per person for trotlines.
  • Limblines: Limited to 25 per person, with only one hook per line.
  • Jugs: Limited to 50 per person, each with only one hook.

Operational Rules

  • Monitoring: Trotlines, limblines, and jugs must be checked at least once every 24-hour period.
  • Prohibitions: Prohibited within 1,000 yards below any TVA or Corps of Engineers dam. Trotlines cannot be set within 100 yards of the mouth of any river, creek, or slough.
  • Extension Limit: Trotlines cannot extend more than three-quarters (0.75) the distance across any stream, river, chute, or embayment.


  • Specific Locations: Various locations have specific regulations regarding trotlines, limblines, and jugs. Examples include Allen Branch Pond, Chilhowee (McKamy) Pond, Bards Lake, Indian Boundary Lake, and others.

Additional Prohibitions

  • Calderwood Reservoir: Trotlines and limblines are prohibited.
  • Norris Reservoir: Prohibited between specific river mile markers during certain months.
  • TWRA Lakes: Trotlines and limblines are prohibited. Jug fishing has specific restrictions on certain days.

Slat Baskets Regulations

Eligibility and Usage

  • Permitted Users: Persons eligible to fish with a slat basket may fish with one slat basket.
  • Tag Requirement: The slat basket must be marked with a metal tag, available from the TWRA for an annual fee of $10.00.
  • Limitation: Possession or use of more than one slat basket is prohibited.
  • Definition: A slat basket is a device used for taking nongame fish and catfish only.

Construction and Characteristics

  • Design: Slat baskets may have only one outside funnel opening and must be made of wood, plastic, or cane slats.
  • Openings: Must have a minimum of four openings in the catching area, each being at least 1½ inches wide and 6 inches long.

Operational Rules

  • Fish Sales: Fish taken may not be sold.
  • Location: The slat basket may not be set within 100 yards of the mouth of any river, creek, or slough.
  • Monitoring: Slat basket must be checked at least every 72 hours.

Application Process

  • Metal Tag Application: Applications for metal tags can be obtained by writing to TWRA Sales Office or applying online at
  • Address: TWRA Sales Office, P.O. Box 41729, Nashville, TN 37204.
  • Contact: For directions to the TWRA central office or inquiries, call 615-781-6500.

Grabbling, Gigging, Grab Hooks, Snagging, Archery, Crossbow, Speargun Regulations

General Guidelines

  • Season: Open year-round in all waters except where closed to fishing or expressly prohibited.
  • Prohibited Areas: Prohibited within 100 yards below dams. Closed areas include specific locations such as Pickwick Dam downstream to the first moorage cell across from ramp and John Sevier Steam Plant discharge channel.
  • Species Limitations: Nongame fish may be taken without limit. Game fish, sturgeon, and alligator gar may not be taken. Catfish, paddlefish, and skipjack may be harvested according to local limits.

Specific Restrictions

  • Gigging Closure: Gigging is closed on the East Fork of the Obey River and its tributaries from Jan. 1–April 30.
  • Snagging Prohibition:
    • Snagging is prohibited year-round on specific waters like the South Holston tailwater, Center Hill Reservoir, and Cumberland Fossil Plant discharge channel into Barkley Reservoir.
    • Additional closures apply to Cherokee Reservoir (Holston River) and Watts Bar Reservoir during certain periods.
  • Grabbling, Gigging, Grab Hooks, Snagging, Archery, Crossbow, Speargun Closure: Prohibited on certain waters from Jan. 1–Apr. 30, including Dale Hollow Reservoir, Norris Reservoir, Elk River in Carter County, Doe Creek, Roan Creek, and Row Branch.
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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.