We feel mighty lucky in Kingsport. After all, we’re blessed to live among some of the finest scenery in the United States. Not only do we have beautiful mountain views and lush forests, we have some of the best fishing spots in the state.
In fact, one of our favorite pastimes is wandering down to the local fishing hole to spend a few hours angling for a bass, trout or catfish.
Year-round, you can find great fishing within the Kingsport city limits. Whether it’s fly-fishing or bank fishing that’s your fancy, grab your pole and your fishing license, and come with us as we take you on a tour of the best fishing holes in Kingsport.
Go on and whistle that old Andy Griffith Show tune during the tour. We don’t mind. We are.
Anglers know that the state of Tennessee offers some of the best freshwater fly-fishing in the country. And on any list of the best fly-fishing streams in the state, two of Kingsport’s rivers consistently rank at the top.
The South Holston River is the premier fly-fishing destination in east Tennessee. The river boasts more than 8,500 fish per mile with nearly 85 percent wild brown trout. Rainbow trout can also be found in the river and are stocked annually. The deep, cold waters of the river are relatively steady in temperature with a fluctuation no more than 10 degrees from winter to summer. This makes for great fishing year-round. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has reported fish up to 10 pounds in size in the South Holston River.
Also, in the top fly-fishing destinations is the Watauga River where brown trout are naturally abundant and rainbow trout are stocked annually. It’s the brown trout that bring anglers here from across the country. The 14 miles of tailwater near the Wilbur Dam makes wade fishing popular here. There are rules regarding the types of lures you can use while fishing and what you can keep, so please check with the TWRA for restrictions.
BANK AND BOAT FISHING
Some of our favorite fishing days have been spent sitting on the bank of a river or lake with a tall glass of lemonade waiting for a fish to tug our fishing line. Sometimes, we get out in our two-person boat and fish a bit. Whether you like to fish from the bank, a bridge or while anchored in the middle of the lake, here are some of our top fishing spots:
Warriors’ Path State Park
Fort Patrick Henry Lake, an 872-acre reservoir, is ideal for kayak and canoe fishing as well as other boat fishing. Bank fishing is available, and the lake is wheelchair accessible. There is a large variety of fish in the lake including several species of bass, catfish, trout and crappie as well as bluegill and sunfish. Camping, RV spots and picnic areas are available. A Tennessee fishing license is required for all persons between the ages of 13 to 62.
The Boatyard-Riverfront Park is a 19-acre community park along the north fork of the Holston River. The park features two fishing piers (one with handicap railings). Fishing is allowed from dawn until 10:30 p.m., and a fishing license is required. There are also two boat ramps, access to the Kingsport Greenbelt, a playground and a picnic area. Fish caught in the North Fork Holston River include bass, sunfish, catfish and trout.
The Allandale Mansion is a Georgian-style mansion on 500 acres that includes two aerated stocked ponds. Fishing is allowed in the .75-acre upper pond and .85-acre lower pond from dawn until dark. A fishing license is required. The property also includes a gazebo, picnic areas, and other amenities.
A 4.5-acre neighborhood park, Edinburgh Park features ornamental landscaping, an unpaved walking trail, picnic areas and two stocked fishing ponds. This is the perfect fishing spot for all-ages. A fishing license is required.
Bays Mountain Park’s 44-acre lake offers great fishing from the dam for seniors, age 55 years of age and older, and kids under age 16. Children ages 12 to 15 must have a fishing license. Fish caught here are bass, bluegill and channel catfish. You may use any lures or bait except for wild minnow. Bluegill caught in the lake may also be used for bait. You may fish from June through August, Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and September through May, Monday and Saturday only, 8:30 a.m. to noon.
There you have it! The best darn fishing in Kingsport. Why don’t you hang out your gone fishin’ sign and, to paraphrase the song, come on and meet us at the fishing hole?