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South Carolina Fishing Licenses

Don’t get fined or penalized for fishing without a license. State law requires a permit to fish in all bodies of water. FishingLicense.org will help simplify the process of obtaining your license by providing you with all the information you need to complete your license application with the department of wildlife. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

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FishingLicense.org will help simplify the process of obtaining your license by providing you with all the information you need to complete your license application. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

Only holders of South Carolina fishing licenses are permitted to fish within the state. Issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), licenses to fish are categorized according to the angler's residency status and whether they intend to fish in the state's inland or coastal waters. In addition, certain groups of anglers in South Carolina are eligible for license discounts upon presentation of the necessary paperwork. Furthermore, the DNR offers a variety of fishing education opportunities to both amateur and professional anglers seeking to improve their knowledge about the sport. Explore the below sections to learn more about types of fishing permits and how to get a fishing license in South Carolina:

  • Types of fishing licenses in South Carolina
  • Fishing education in South Carolina
  • Fishing organizations in South Carolina

Types of South Carolina Fishing Licenses

Before fishing in South Carolina's bodies of water, anglers older than 15 years of age are required to obtain a state-issued fishing license. Licenses to fish vary depending on factors such as: the angler’s residency status, the longevity of the license and whether or not the angler is fishing for recreational or commercial purposes. After providing their Social Security Number, applicants interested in getting fishing licenses in South Carolina can choose from two general categories:

  • Resident fishing licenses
  • Non resident fishing licenses

Resident Fishing Licenses in South Carolina

Applicants who meet South Carolina's residency requirements can purchase a resident fishing license after submitting proof of residency. A resident is an individual who has been residing in the state for 365 consecutive days before his or her application. Full-time students enrolled in a South Carolina college and military members stationed in SC are also granted resident privileges for licensing purposes. The following resident fishing licenses are available for purchase:

  • Resident 14-day freshwater fishing license
  • Resident three-year freshwater fishing license
  • Resident annual freshwater fishing license
  • Resident 14-day saltwater fishing license
  • Resident three-year saltwater fishing license
  • Resident annual saltwater fishing license
  • Resident annual combination fishing and hunting license
  • Resident three-year combination fishing and hunting license
  • Resident annual junior sportsman fishing license (includes freshwater fishing)
  • Resident annual sportsman license (includes freshwater fishing)
  • Resident three-year sportsman license (includes freshwater fishing)
  • Resident annual commercial freshwater fishing license
  • Resident lifetime fishing license

In addition, the department offers the following resident fishing licenses free of charge:

  • Disability combination fishing and hunting license
  • Disability fishing license (includes both freshwater and saltwater fishing)

Non Resident Fishing Licenses in South Carolina

Visiting fishermen must obtain the appropriate non resident fishing license in order to fish in South Carolina's waters. The Department of Natural Resources offers non-resident fishing permits at slightly more expensive rates than resident licenses to fish. The following non resident fishing permits are available to state visitors:

  • Non-resident 14-day freshwater fishing license
  • Non-resident three-year freshwater fishing license
  • Non-resident annual freshwater fishing license
  • Non-resident 14-day saltwater fishing license
  • Non-resident three-year saltwater fishing license
  • Non-resident annual saltwater fishing license
  • Non-resident annual commercial freshwater fishing license

To buy an SC fishing license, interested applicants can choose from several purchasing methods:

  • Purchase in person from licensing agents.
  • Purchase by phone at: 1-866-714-3611.
  • Purchase by mail through the department's headquarters.
  • Purchase online from the SCDNR website's customer service portal.

South Carolina Fishing Education

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources offers numerous fishing education opportunities to anglers of all ages and expertise levels through the Aquatic Education Program. The AEP of the SCDNR is implemented through various sub-programs such as:

  • Family Fishing Clinics
  • Trout in the Classroom

Family Fishing Clinics

The family fishing clinics are family-centered workshops organized in various ponds throughout the state. To register for the clinics, visit the SCDNR's website and choose the appropriate workshop for you and your family. The following fishing skills will be covered:

  • How to tie fishing knots
  • How to fix a rod and reel
  • How to cast
  • How to prepare fish

Trout in the Classroom

Trout in the Classroom helps educators teach students about the state's aquatic ecosystem and its fish population. After the application approval, schools will receive fishing tanks and fish eggs to use in their curriculum. The practical lessons will allow students to raise and care for fish while engaging in activities within subjects such as: mathematics, sociology and art.

South Carolina Fishing Organizations

Various state-based fishing clubs and organizations are open to both experienced anglers and novice fishermen. If you are looking for fishing companions, an opportunity to fish in group tournaments or to support the state fishing conservation policies, join one or several of South Carolina's fishing associations:

  • Carolina Lady Anglers
  • Greenville Saltwater Sportfishing Club

Carolina Lady Anglers

The only women's saltwater fishing club in the state, the Carolina Lady Anglers is open to women anglers of all ages. The club provides a relaxing environment, where members can share fishing experiences and learn from one another. Offering fishing courses for various skill levels, the club's mission includes:

  • Promoting the sport of saltwater fishing.
  • Raising funds for breast cancer research.
  • Fostering sound conservation policies.

Greenville Saltwater Sportfishing Club

Founded by anglers with interests in saltwater fishing and the marine ecosystem, the Greenville Saltwater Sportfishing Club aims to bring together avid fishermen who wish to improve their fishing technique and conserve South Carolina's coastal waters and marine fishing heritage. Potential club members can benefit from the following activities:

  • Club meetings with fishing experts
  • Funding efforts for conservation organizations
  • College scholarships