South Carolina Fishing

South Carolina state flag







Number of Fish Species (fresh):  137

Number of Fish Species (salt):  no data

State Sportfish (salt):  Striped Bass

Notable Records:  a 123lb amberjack from the Isle of Palms, a 31lb red grouper from Little River, a 16lb 2oz. largemouth bass from Lake Marion,  a 109lb 4oz. blue catfish from Tailrace canal.

Fishing Regs:  The saltwater regulations can be seen here while the freshwater regs can be downloaded (right click, save as) here (SC freshwater fishing regs).

Fishing License Info:  

  Freshwater       Saltwater  
  Residents Non-Residents     Residents Non-Residents
Annual $10.00 $35.00   Annual $10.00 $35.00
7-day N/A $11.00   14-day $5.00 $11.00
14-day $5.00 N/A        

For resident license info. click here or here for non-resident info.

Quickcast:  The Palmetto State is in a good position to offer lots of great fishing potential to residents and visitors alike.  In it’s topical climate South Carolina has several extensive lakes and reservoirs as well as 190 miles of coast line.  Near coast angling offers plenty of bottom fishing for those wanting to stay close and big game fishing for those seeking more blue water adventure offshore.  When it comes to freshwater there is a very long system comprised of Lake Jocassee, Lake Keowee and Hartwell Reservoir.  Lake Jocassee in particular is well known for hosting smallmouth bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill.  South of Jocassee are the Lake Russell and Thurmond Lake.  These two lakes bring in fishermen for their largemouth bass and crappie populations.  East of Lake Thurmond is Lake Murray where fishermen can hook up some bream, shellcracker, catfish, crappie, striped bass, and largemouth bass.  East and north of Lake Murray anglers will find Wateree Lake.  Wateree will produce crappie, catfish and largemouth bass.  Further east is Little Pee Dee and Great Pee Dee Rivers.  The Great Pee Dee for one, is sure to produce some monster blue cats and flathead catfish but will also offer up striped bass and shad.   Southwest of the Pee Dee rivers are the black waters of Lake Moultrie where fishermen go to pull in record channel cats and black crappie.  Nearby is Lake Marion which was home to a state record largemouth bass but also hosts striped bass, white perch, crappie, channel cats, blue cats, shellcrackers and bream.  In the Southern portion of the state is the Edisto River which is North America’s longest blackwater river and plays host to bream, redbreast sunfish and catfish species.  

Looking at the salty coastal waters one can expect to find red drum, flounder, black drum, speckled trout, sheepshead and ladyfish.  Further offshore anglers can look forward to getting into some tarpon, mackerel, cobia, shark species, mahi, snapper and grouper.