Fishing in South Carolina

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From wild trout in the mountain streams of the northwest corner of the state to tailing redfish in the mudflats surrounding Charleston, South Carolina has a very diverse set of fisheries that every angler should explore.

South Carolina has a surprisingly high number of trout streams that harbor wild populations of brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Rivers such as the Chattooga, Chauga, and Eastatoe Rivers, along with many other small streams and creeks in the mountainous northwest region of the state, give anglers the chance to tap into some of the South?s most natural and rugged mountain fishing. Tailwaters such as the Midlands Tailwater and the Lower Saluda River below Dreher Shoals Dam on Lake Murray are excellent fisheries in their own right, offering larger water and shots at larger browns and rainbows. Then there?s Lake Jocassee, South Carolina?s premier stillwater trout fishery, where both the state record brown and rainbow trout were caught. For anglers looking to tie into bigger game, Marion and Moultrie Lakes north of Charleston are loaded with landlocked striped bass that migrated up the Cooper River to spawn before the Lake Marion Dam was built. Stripers in the 30 to 40-pound range are frequently caught in the lakes.

Along the South Carolina coast, there?s an abundance of saltwater fly fishing within close range of Charleston. Redfish are by far the most popular species to chase with a fly rod in the inshore marshes and waterways, where fish are often found in extremely shallow water flats foraging in the mud with their backs out of the water. For more of a heavy-weight challenge, heading south from Charleston to Port Royal Sound will bring you to a favorite annual stop of migratory tarpon. From mid-summer to fall, tarpon collect in the Sound, giving anglers the chance to hook into Silver Kings weighing anywhere from 80 to 130 pounds.


SC Department of Fish & Wildlife
Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC 29201
P: 803-734-3886

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South Carolina Fishing Articles

6 Winter Flies to Never Leave Home Without

Posted on February 12, 2017

It’s winter time and if you’re like me then you’re probably daydreaming of warmer weather and being on the river. You’re also probably behind the vice tying up dozens of flies for the months ahead....

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Choosing the Proper Fly Rod

Posted on January 21, 2016

Proper fly fishing gear is essential. Along with the reel, flies and line, the most important gear is the fly rod. Fly rods may vary in length from 6 - 12 feet and come in different weights, colors,...

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The Scout & Cast Story

Posted on February 10, 2015

My whole life has been filled with various trips to the lakes & rivers in search of fish. As a kid growing up in “Lake Country” Minnesota, it was practically a sin not to be a fisherman. I would...

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Guides based in South Carolina

Featured Program

Trout Unlimited
By the next generation, Trout Unlimited will ensure that robust populations of native and wild coldwater fish once again thrive within their North American range, so that our children can enjoy...

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