South Carolina fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in South Carolina. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in South Carolina

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14 waterbodies
63 cities
67 fish

Lakes and reservoirs for fishing in South Carolina

Below are the largest and most popular lakes, reservoirs, and bays for fishing in South Carolina. Each South Carolina body of water includes information on fish species, analytics, and a map with fishing spots

Licenses for fishing in South Carolina

For more details and to purchase a license, please visit South Carolina's eRegulations for fishing licenses and fees.

License Type Duration Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
Freshwater Fishing Annual $10.00 $35.00
  14 Day $5.00 $11.00
Saltwater Fishing Annual $15.00 $75.00
  14 Day $10.00 -
  7 Day - $35.00
Combination License 3 Year $75.00 -
  Annual $25.00 -

Fishing Regulations in South Carolina

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is prohibited.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is allowed only with specific permits and in designated areas.
  • Use of live fish as bait is restricted in certain waters to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Snagging fish is not allowed except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing and bowfishing are permitted for certain species in specified waters.
Catch Limits
  • Trout (Freshwater): Daily limit varies by area, typically 5 fish with size restrictions.
  • Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth): Daily limit of 5, minimum length of 12 inches in most waters.
  • Crappie: Daily limit of 20, no size limit.
  • Catfish: Daily limits vary, often no more than 5 fish, with restrictions on larger specimens.
  • Striped Bass: Daily limit and size restrictions vary, especially in freshwater systems.
  • Panfish (Bluegill, Sunfish): No daily limit, no size limit.
  • Flounder: Daily limit and size restrictions vary, especially in coastal waters.
  • Red Drum: Daily limit of 3, slot limit of 15-23 inches.
  • Sheepshead: Daily limit of 10, minimum size of 14 inches.
  • Shark: Specific species regulations and limits, with certain species prohibited.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or public safety reasons.
  • Fishing on private property requires explicit permission from the landowner.
  • Special regulations for fishing in state parks and wildlife refuges.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for fish spawning and habitat management.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout and bass.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or fly fishing zones.
  • Marine protected areas with specific fishing limitations.
  • Special regulations in waters with high fishing pressure or ecological sensitivity.
  • Trophy fisheries with enhanced size and bag limits in selected areas.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Research fishing for rare species requires special permits.
  • Reporting accidental catches of rare species is important for conservation efforts.
  • Areas with significant ecological value may have additional fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species during spawning or migration periods.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including shelter and gear restrictions, during winter months.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species protection and habitat restoration.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or for population studies.
  • Special regulations for early and late fishing seasons in certain areas.

Most popular cities for fishing in South Carolina

The largest and most popular fishing cities in South Carolina. Cities in South Carolina include information on fishing, as well as a map with fishing spots. Explore the cities to know what fish are caught and in which bodies of water.

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