Shelby Farms – Fishing


There are more than 20 bodies of water to choose from spread across roughly 4,500 acres of park space, so tossing a line in the water at Shelby Farms State Park is both fun and easy. Conveniently located in north Memphis, the park is a natural oasis in the city, with a variety of fishing options alongside other outdoor activities like paddling and hiking. Within the park’s waters you’ll find a range of fish for the catching, from catfish and stripers to large- and smallmouth bass.

What Makes It Great

The best thing about fish Shelby Farms State Park is how easy and attainable the excursion is. It’s actually within the city, so whether you’re looking for a long outing or you’re just trying to kill an afternoon and get some fresh air, Shelby Farms is a great option. Tennessee fishing licenses are required, but they can be grabbed on your way to the water from the bait shop near the horse stable.

Shelby Farms also offers a few fishing experiences to choose from. With more than 20 bodies of water, you can find one that will provide a high level of solitude or a high level of socialization with other fishermen and women, whichever you prefer. You can also choose between bank fishing, fishing from watercraft, or deeper water fishing off the piers at Beaver Lake or Pine Lake. You’ll find a trout-filled paradise on Jones Pond, which is stocked several times each year. All lakes are home to catfish, stripers, crappie, bream, large- and smallmouth bass. You are not allowed to keep any carp that you might catch.

When you’re out there figuring out where to go, know that you can fish on any pond or lake in the park unless it’s explicitly posted that you can’t.

Who is Going to Love It

Traditionalists will be happy with the fishing experience at Shelby Farms State Park—there are no motorized boats or watercraft allowed, so all you’ll find here is a serene experience surrounded by watercraft powered by nothing more than a little elbow grease. Anyone visiting Memphis and aching for a bit of the outdoors will be pleased with the escape that the park offers and families and those with little ones in tow will be happy with the easy of access and the low level of required skills—Shelby Farms State Park is a great spot for beginner fishermen and women.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center can be found at 6903 Great View Drive North, Memphis, TN.

A Tennessee fishing license is required for everyone over the age of 13.

Written by Cinnamon Janzer for RootsRated in partnership with BCBS of Tennessee.

Featured image provided by Noel Pennington

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