Fishing Regulations in South Carolina

If you happen to be passing through South Carolina, we recommend that you stop for at least a couple of days to take in the sights and recharge your energy batteries. The state is crossed by the Savannah River, which is one of the most important rivers in the country, and it shares a border with the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast, which means you will have plenty of opportunities to see beautiful, sandy beaches and learn about the local wonders.

Tourism has grown significantly in recent years as a result of the country’s expanding economic development. And, with its luxurious gardens, historical sites, colonial and European cultures, as well as the welcoming Southern plantations, exploring this state will be a true pleasure.

Fishermen will be pleased to know that there are numerous fishing spots in the area, each containing a diverse range of fish species that can be caught and released if they so choose. In conclusion, if you are contemplating a fishing trip in the near future, we strongly advise you to give the state of South Carolina a shot. The following are the reasons:



License and permits

You will find plenty of fishing opportunities throughout the state of South Carolina, both in freshwater (rivers) and saltwater (coastal waters) (the Atlantic Ocean). It is important to note that fishing in all state waters, including coastal waters and rivers, is only permitted for those who possess a valid fishing permit and a valid fishing license issued by the state of South Carolina, respectively.

It is possible that the cost of a resident permit will vary depending on the waters in which you wish to fish. For example, you may pay $5 for a two-week license to fish in freshwaters or $30 for a three-year membership. The license fee for the same freshwaters is $10 per year for all of them.

Residents who wish to fish in saltwater will pay the same prices as those who wish to fish in freshwater, resulting in an annual fishing license costing only $10. In fact, the prices are among the lowest in all 50 states, which encourages fishermen to come and try their luck in this area.

For $25, you can purchase a yearly combination license that includes state hunting, big game hunting, and freshwater fishing privileges. Adults between the ages of 16 and 63 can purchase a lifetime combination license for $400, while seniors born before 1940 can fish for free.

Nonresidents will pay the same prices as residents, which means they will only pay $11 for a two-week fishing trip or $35 for a year’s fishing license in both freshwaters and saltwaters, respectively. Due to the fact that there is no combination permit that is suitable for both types of water, you will be required to purchase them separately.



Selling fish or fishery products, including bait, harvested from South Carolina waters is prohibited unless you have obtained the necessary commercial license.

When fishing in South Carolina waters, recreational fishermen and women are only permitted to use a total of ten bush or pole lines with single hooks and baits at a time.

If you want to fish for tuna, swordfish, billfish, or sharks, you’ll need a special Federal Highly Migratory Species Permit, which you can get by applying online.

If you are fishing from a boat that is closer than 300 feet from any commercial fishing pier in the Atlantic Ocean, you are breaking the law.

Fishermen are not permitted to fish from the shore in the waters beneath or within 50 feet of the ocean’s edge on either side.

It is illegal to catch the following game fish in nets: cobia, spotted seatrout, tarpon, red drum, and striped bass. Cobia, spotted seatrout, tarpon, red drum, and striped bass Gill nets are also not permitted to be used in the capture of sharks.

Keeping saltwater catfishes is strictly prohibited.


Size limits

South Carolina, like every other state in the United States, has its own restrictions on the amount of fish that can be caught in a single day. As a result, the bag limit for American Shad is 10 per day (20 per day in the Santee River and Rediversion Canal), 5 Black Drum, 15 Bluefish, 3 Cobia, 10 dolphins, and 7 Black Sea Bass. The bag limit for Bluefish is 15 per day in the Santee River and Rediversion Canal (within the Annual Catch Limits).