Fishing is a major outdoor activity in South Carolina.
Visitors may think of fishing as an activity only to be enjoyed while vacationing along the coastal Grand Strand, however, the state’s many rivers and lakes provide ample opportunities year-round. Options range from saltwater to freshwater fishing from the mountains to the midlands and to the coast.
For those visiting South Carolina State Parks, where fishing is possible, this agency has joined with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in encouraging people to experience the activity first hand. Call ahead to ask about the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program, which offers equipment at no charge to those 18 years or older. What a great way to dip one’s toe in the water and discover nature while creating laid back family memories. For a list of the select parks participating in this program, click here.
If you’re interested in guided kayak fishing, two of our South Carolina Nature-Based Tourism Association (SCNBTA) members, offer guided trips. Black River Outdoors operates in the waters around Myrtle Beach where salt marsh environments net flounder, trout, mackerel, whiting, bluefish and drum. Further to the south, Blueway Adventures offers freshwater trips on Lake Moultie and Lake Marion and saltwater trips in the Cape Romain area.
Don’t feel limited if you don’t own a fishing boat. Fish from banks and on piers in 42 out of 46 state counties. A list can be found here.
Alternately, if you do have a boat, Charleston County Parks and Recreation, another SCNBTA member, maintains a significant number of ramps for fishermen to launch their boats. See the Plan Your Adventure section of this website and search Select Place for Boat Docks/Access/Slips.
Near the state capitol of Columbia, discover fishing at Lake Murray. One of the state’s reservoirs, it was formed by damming the Saluda River for flood control, hydroelectric power, recreation and water supply. It is stocked with bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, sunfish and striped bass. A handful of marinas are situated around the lake including one at Dreher Island State Park.
The Saluda River exits Lake Murray and later joins the Congaree River, a great place to drop a line for spotted bass, which is locally known as rockfish.
In the mountains, Oconee County’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, maintains three parks and each offers fishing. Chau Ram Park is the home to two a creek and a river. In Seneca, High Falls Park and and South Cove Park both are situated on Lake Keowee. Both offer boat ramps, while South Cover also features a fishing pier.
If you love seafood but fishing isn’t one of your pleasures, know that many of the state’s restaurants offer many plentiful dishes, including catch of the day.
To learn more about South Carolina fishing licenses, click here.