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#Fishing #South #Carolina #Full #Information

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With stunning seashores, scrumptious meals, and conventional southern hospitality, the “Palmetto State” has the right recipe for a vacation getaway. And in the event you combine within the superb fishing South Carolina affords, this a part of the East Coast turns into a vacation spot the place even your wildest angling goals may come true.

A photo of the coastline in Myrtle Beach, one of the largest charter fishing hubs in South Carolina.
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With 187 miles of shoreline to discover, you’ll discover no scarcity of inshore waters to check your abilities in. You’ll uncover in depth marshes, flats, and inlets that present habitat to quite a few fish so that you can chase. Transfer offshore as an alternative, and also you’ll be capable to go to the Gulf Stream, the place a number of the fiercest recreation fish roam. In the meantime, freshwater fans can have a number of world-class lakes to take pleasure in at their leisure.

If you happen to’d like to seek out out extra about fishing in South Carolina, persist with us. We’ll go on a journey, protecting the species you possibly can catch and the totally different saltwater and freshwater spots you possibly can go to. We’ll additionally go over a number of primary guidelines you must know earlier than you begin your journey in these superb waters.

Which fish species can I catch in South Carolina?

When you think about that there’s an entire ocean filled with fish to discover, in addition to freshwater rivers and lakes, you possibly can think about that there are a lot of species you possibly can catch within the Palmetto State. So as an alternative of naming all of them, we’ll deal with a number of common ones that we hope you’ll take pleasure in searching. Have a look…

Redfish and Flounder

South Carolina is legendary for its continuous inshore fishing. Amongst all of the totally different fish you possibly can catch alongside its salty marshes, creeks, and inlets, Redfish and Flounder stand out as favorites. They’re each considerable in these waters, and the native anglers simply love fishing for them.

An elderly angler posing with a huge Redfish he caught inshore fishing in South Carolina.
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Between the 2, Redfish are the extra famend fighters. They’re hardy fish, who’ll put up a cussed battle once you hook them. The large ones, over 27″ lengthy, are referred to as Bull Redfish. They normally present up alongside South Carolina’s coast in September and October. In relation to the smaller, slot-sized Redfish, you possibly can catch them right here year-round they usually’ll make for scrumptious desk fare.

After all, Flounder are additionally tremendous enjoyable to catch. Nevertheless, quite than their preventing qualities, anglers love these fish as a result of they’re merely scrumptious. What’s even higher is that you simply’ll usually catch Flounder in the identical marshes, creeks, and coastal saltwaters the place you’d discover Redfish. They’ll eat the identical bait, too, making them the best duo to focus on on inshore journeys in South Carolina.

King Mackerel and Mahi Mahi

As you progress away from South Carolina’s shores and chart a course for the deep seas, you’ll get to focus on two common pelagics – Mahi Mahi and King Mackerel. Each of those fish can develop pretty massive and every offers you exhilarating fights.

An angler sitting on side of the boat, holding a huge King Mackerel he reeled in.
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King Mackerel are the primary to succeed in these waters, normally in April. Mahi Mahi observe intently behind, displaying up in Might. The motion for each of those fish catches hearth throughout summer season and stays stable throughout October. The truth is, the very best time to reel in massive King Mackerel is within the fall.

Whether or not you’re fishing for Mahi or King Mackerel, trolling is the secret. You’ll discover King Mackerel round totally different reefs, edges, and dropoffs, each nearshore and offshore. Mahi Mahi, alternatively, are sometimes drawn to floating objects. So in the event you spot particles and weed traces on the floor of the ocean, and even birds swarming above, it may imply that there are Mahi close by.


Billfish additionally go to South Carolina’s waters in the summertime, providing you with the prospect to expertise what’s in all probability the best fishing problem on the market. They’re a number of the quickest, strongest, and most acrobatic fish within the ocean. And whereas Billfish are sometimes troublesome to seek out, hooking one is a positive ticket to a spectacular battle.

An angler leaning over the side of the boat, holding a Sailfish he caught by its bill.
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You’ll see 4 varieties of Billfish racing by the cobalt-blue waters of the Gulf Stream. They embrace Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, and Swordfish. To get the prospect to reel them in, you’ll should trip 40 to 50 miles offshore, relying on the place in South Carolina you depart from.

When going after Marlin and Sailfish, you’ll normally accomplish that by trolling. Swordfish, nevertheless, lurk at depths of over 1,200 toes, requiring deep dropping gear and ideally electrical reels. Additionally, you’ll must go farther from the coast in the event you’re set on wrestling a Swordfish. The waters get deep sufficient solely when you’re 70 and extra miles offshore.


As we talked about earlier, South Carolina is not only about saltwater fishing. The state’s freshwaters are residence to quite a lot of fish, together with Bass. Recognized for his or her intelligence and the implausible battle they put up when hooked, Bass are nationwide favorites for a cause.

An angler posing with a big Largemouth Bass he caught fishing in Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina.
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In many of the lakes within the Palmetto State, you’ll discover Largemouth Bass swimming about. Their Smallmouth cousins are additionally stocked in some waters, although you’ll should hit particular lakes to have the prospect to catch them. Lastly, though they’re not associated to the opposite Bass we talked about, you’ll additionally discover plenty of Striper Bass in numerous waters throughout the state.

The very best motion for these fish normally takes place throughout spring and fall, when the water temperatures are gentle. Throughout these occasions, you’ll discover Bass lurking in shallow waters, close to underwater factors, humps, ledges, and different formations.

And Many Others!

So what else are you able to catch fishing in South Carolina? The fast reply can be – an entire bunch of fish. The coastal waters are inhabited by the likes of Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Spanish Mackerel, and even Tarpon.

A smiling angler standing on a boat, posing with a Red Snapper he caught.
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The reefs, alternatively, maintain the promise of Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish, Amberjack, and different scrumptious backside fish. Offshore, you’ll see Tuna and Wahoo along with the pelagics we talked about beforehand. There are additionally Cobia, Barracuda, and several other varieties of Sharks who’ll prey in your bait and even the fish you hook.

Then, there’s an entire world of freshwater fish you’ll see in South Carolina’s rivers and lakes. Apart from Bass, you’ll have the chance to catch loads of Catfish, Crappie, Bluegill, Longnose Gar, in addition to Trout. We’ll cease now, however there are in all probability dozens of different species we may identify. That’s simply how various South Carolina is!

The place is the very best fishing in South Carolina?

By now, you is perhaps pondering “Okay, however the place do I’m going to reel in all these fish?” In that case, learn on. We’ll introduce you to a number of the greatest locations to discover and begin your journey from. 

An infographic image featuring the map of South Carolina and a list of top fishing spots in the state, including the Grand Strand, Charleston, Hilton Head Island, Santee Cooper Lakes, Lake Murray, and Lake Jocassee.

The Grand Strand

Stretching from Little River on the northern border of the state, down south to Winyah Bay, the Grand Strand options quite a few coastal fishing spots. It’s additionally the place you’ll discover Murrells Inlet and Myrtle Seaside, two main constitution fishing hubs in South Carolina.

An aerial photo of Murrells Inlet, which is a part of South Carolina's Grand Strand.
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The Grand Strand options quite a few inlets, creeks, and marshes. These are a treasure trove of Redfish, Flounder, Speckled Trout, and different inshore species. Right here, you possibly can fish from shore, a ship, or perhaps a kayak. Alternatively, hop on a constitution in one of many hubs we talked about above and also you’ll be capable to fish so far as the Gulf Stream.

For freshwater anglers, there’s the Waccamaw River that flows for practically all the size of the Grand Strand. Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Catfish, Bowfin, and Gar all lurk in these waters, providing you with loads of choices regardless of once you go to. The Grand Strand additionally affords quite a few sights, resorts, and seashores to chill out on, making it the right trip spot.


Charleston is located on the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers, giving it the right place for every kind of fishing journeys. As South Carolina’s largest metropolis, it additionally boasts an enormous fleet of constitution captains. So whether or not you’re trying to discover the inshore waters or fish the deep seas, you’ll be capable to discover specialised guides to tailor your journey to your style.

A scenic photo of Charleston, the largest city in South Carolina.
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From Charleston, the Gulf Stream lies about 50 miles offshore, making it probably the greatest beginning factors in the event you’d wish to go deep sea fishing in South Carolina. Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna, Marlin, and a spread of different fish may be caught there. If you happen to’re not too eager on going that far, you possibly can as an alternative persist with the nearshore reefs and put some Snapper and Grouper within the cooler.

After all, the native inshore fishing is implausible as effectively. The waters of Charleston and the close by Mount Nice are considerable with Black Drum, Redfish, Sheepshead, and Flounder. And in the event you’d wish to fish from shore, the Previous Pitt Road Bridge in Mount Nice is a stable place to take action.

Hilton Head Island

South Carolina can also be residence to one of many most interesting trip locations within the nation – Hilton Head Island. The island is legendary for its beautiful seashores, world-class golf programs, and bike trails. And since we’ve included it within the checklist, you possibly can safely assume that the fishing is superb as effectively.

An aerial photo of the harbor, lighthouse, and the beach on Hilton Head Island.
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When it comes to inshore fishing, there’s the Calibogue Sound on the southern finish of Hilton Head Island. North of the island, you’ll see Port Royal Sound and the in depth marshes surrounding Beaufort. Add within the totally different creeks and lagoons and also you’ll rapidly uncover there’s no scarcity of fishing spots to discover.

The coastal waters can have loads of Redfish, Tarpon, Black Drum, Speckled Trout, and different inshore fish to catch. When you head a bit of into the ocean, you’ll get to backside fish for Black Seabass and numerous sorts of Grouper and Snapper, or troll for King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, and extra.

Santee Cooper Lakes

Whereas its origins are generally a topic of debate, many anglers declare Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie are the place the famed Carolina rig was first developed. The waters of those lakes necessitated a rigging system that you would use to current the bait to fish lurking within the depths. And, in the event you consider the tales, it’s how this common rig was born.

A photo of Lake Marion and the cypress trees growing in it.
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After all, in all probability none of this might have occurred if the 2 Santee Cooper lakes didn’t have such superb fishing. Each Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie provide superb Catfish, Crappie, Striped Bass, and Largemouth Bass motion. The truth is, Lake Marion holds the state document for Largemouth Bass, whereas Lake Moultrie holds the world document for Channel Catfish. How about that?

Due to South Carolina’s gentle local weather, fishing within the Santee Cooper lakes takes place year-round. The Bass observe their regular patterns of going shallow in spring and fall and hiding deep throughout winter and summer season. Catfish, in the meantime, are probably the most considerable species in these waters. Apart from the beforehand talked about Channel selection, there are additionally Blue and Flathead Catfish swimming about.

Lake Murray

Positioned simply west of Columbia, Lake Murray is one other freshwater spot famend for its fishing. It performs host to quite a few state and nationwide tournaments, together with the 2022 Black Bass World Championship. The lake’s waters are world-class and anglers everywhere in the planet realize it.

A photo of the beautiful Lake Murray and the foliage surrounding the lake.
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There are a number of species of fish you possibly can reel in on Lake Murray, however the fishery excels with its Striped Bass and massive Largemouth Bass alternatives. These two species are the most well-liked targets on the lake. Nevertheless, there are additionally White Bass and White Crappie, each of which the lake holds the state data, in addition to Bluegill, Catfish, and Sunfish.

It’s additionally price noting that Lake Murray affords plenty of different actions. There’s stunning surroundings throughout it, making it nice for mountaineering, picnics, biking, or birdwatching. Throughout summer season, you possibly can take pleasure in kayaking, wakeboarding, swimming, and jetskiing when you’ve caught your share of fish.

Lake Jocassee

Though there are a lot of different good spots to fish in South Carolina, the ultimate location we’ll point out on this article is Lake Jocassee. It’s one of the vital breathtaking lakes within the state, with clear, emerald-green waters, picturesque waterfalls, and plush greenery throughout.

A photo of the pristine Lake Jocassee, with the nearby woods reflecting off the water surface.
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What makes this lake particular is that there are a number of chilly mountain rivers flowing into it. And the place there are chilly waters, there are Trout! Anglers can catch each Brown and Rainbow Trout in Lake Jocassee, and the lake holds state data for each species.

Apart from Trout, there are a lot of extra different fish inhabiting the lake. These embrace Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, totally different sorts of Catfish, Bluegill, Crappie, and others. What extra may an angler ask for?

South Carolina Fishing Guidelines and Rules

An infographic featuring the state flag of South Carolina and text that says "South Carolina Fishing Regulations, what you need to know."
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In South Carolina, anglers aged 16 and older must have fishing licenses in an effort to fish legally. Nevertheless, once you fish on board saltwater constitution boats, your captain will cowl you. If you happen to’re uncertain whether or not you want a freshwater or a saltwater license, Freeway 17 is taken into account the official dividing line. The waters west of the freeway are thought of freshwater, whereas all the pieces east is saltwater.

If you happen to’re fishing by yourself, be certain to take a look at the fish dimension and bag limits earlier than you head out. The fishing takes place year-round, however some species could also be closed for harvest across the time you is perhaps planning your journey. On constitution boats, the captain will normally hold observe of what’s authorized catch and what’s not, so you possibly can chill out and deal with the fishing.

South Carolina: Residence to World-Class Fishing

A sunset view of the marsh in Folly Beach.
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And there you may have it, we hope you now have an concept of simply how various and thrilling South Carolina’s waters are. Possibly you also have a location you’d like to go to in thoughts already. Both method, you possibly can relaxation assured that these fishing grounds are really the very best of the very best. So all it’s a must to do is plan your journey and the fish might be there so that you can reel in.

Have you ever ever been fishing in South Carolina? What’s your favourite species to focus on? Scroll all the way down to the remark part and tell us!

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