KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Bass fisherman in Tennessee may have to change their approach to what they catch and keep starting next year.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is accepting public comment on its proposed fishing regulations through Nov. 15. Seasonal regulation for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass caught on Douglas Lake are among the proposals.

If approved, the catch and keep number of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass for Douglas Lake would be reduced from 10 to 5. From June 1 to Sept. 30, the 5 fish limit would allow only one Largemouth or Smallmouth over 16 inches in length.

From Oct. 1 to May 31, there would be a 12-inch minimum length limit in addition to the 5-fish limit.

East Tennessee fishermen have brought up the issue that they are not seeing the number of big fish as they have in the past.

“They asked us to look into, ‘hey Douglas Lake is a great reservoir, its got a lot of fish and it is very fertile but a lot of those Largemouth Bass in there are small,'” TWRA Reservoir Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds said. “So, look into see how you might rectify that situation through our regulation process.”

“In order for that to happen through regulation, you’d like to put your pressure on the smaller sized fish,” Hammonds said. “Whether that’s you know this catch and angling tournament/ harvest, whatever you want to call it, lets try and get most of the focus on these smaller fish.”

This new proposal, if passed, will only affect the large and smallmouth bass in the areas and still needing approval before it becomes an official TWRA regulation.

Comments may be submitted via email at or mailed to TWRA Fisheries Division, 5107 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, TN 37211 through Nov. 15 before the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission meets in early December. Click here to see the full list of fishing regulation proposals.

If the proposal is passed the new harvest numbers will go into effect in March 2023.