Finfish Size & Catch Limits
South Carolina Hunting & Fishing
TL=Total Length, FL=Fork Length; See General Information for information on how to measure a fish.
AIW=Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; State Waters extend from the saltwater-freshwater dividing line to the 3-mile limit. Federal Waters extend from the 3-mile limit to 200 miles offshore (international waters).
Up to date fishing regulations can be found on the SCDNR website at www.eregulations.com/southcarolina/huntingandfishing/general-information/
Check out South Carolina saltwater fishing regulations on the Fish Rules App at www.fishrulesapp.com.
All species in this section must be landed with head and tail intact.
An operator or crew member onboard a for-hire or commercial vessel must have a valid Operator Card when underway fishing for Dolphin/Wahoo.
These species are also managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) in federal waters. Regulations may change. Please contact the SAFMC at 843-571-4366 or www.safmc.net to get the most up to date regulations on these species.
The harvest and possession of coastal migratory pelagic species by commercial and recreational fishermen will be limited to the recreational bag limit within the Special Management Zones. See “Special Information” (General Information) for information on SMZs.
Inshore & Offshore
|American Shad||No closed season for recreational hook & line harvest; For all other gears, seasons as for commercial harvest.||10 shad per person per day except in Santee River and Rediversion Canal (20 per person per day)|| |
|Herring||See Freshwater Nongame Fishing Regulations for closed areas.||1 US bushel of herring per person per day|| |
|Black Drum||5 per person per day||14-inch to 27-inch TL|
|Bluefish||3 per person per day (5 per person in the for-hire fishery)|
|Flounders (Southern, Summer & Gulf)||10 per person per day not to exceed 20 per boat per day||15-inch TL|| |
|Red Drum||May not be harvested by gig Dec. 1 – Feb. 28||2 per person per day (state waters) not to exceed 6 per boat per day |
Possession prohibited in federal waters.
|15-inch to |
|Saltwater Catfishes (Hardhead & gafftopsail catfishes)||Possession prohibited||Possession prohibited|| |
|Sheepshead||10 per person per day not to exceed 30 per boat per day||14-inch TL|
|Spotted Seatrout||May not be harvested by gig Dec. 1 – Feb. 28||10 per person per day||14-inch TL|| |
|Striped Bass||Possession prohibited: |
June 1 – Sept. 30 except in lower reach of the Savannah River (2 per person per day year round; see Freshwater Fish Size & Possession Limits for details.)
|Possession prohibited: June 1 – Sept. 30; |
3 fish per person per day: Oct. 1 – May 31 except in lower reach of the Savannah River (2 per person per day year round; see Freshwater Fish Size & Possession Limits for details.)
|26 inch TL except in lower reach of the Savannah River (27 inch TL; see Freshwater Fish Size & Possession Limits for details.)|| |
|Hybrid Bass, White Bass, & Combinations||In lower reach of the Savannah River: 2 per person per day |
All other saltwaters: no bag limit
|In the lower reach of the Savannah River: 27 inch TL |
All other saltwaters: no size limit
|Tarpon||1 per person per day||77-inch FL|| |
|Tripletail||3 per person per day not to exceed 9 per boat per day||18-inch TL|
|Weakfish||1 per person per day||12-inch TL|
|Atlantic Croaker, Spot, Whiting||50 per person per day aggregate bag limit|| |
|Cobia||May 1 to May 31 in state waters south of 032° 31.0’ N latitude (Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island) In federal and all other state waters, closed when Annual Catch Limit (ACL) is met||1 per person per day and no more than 3 per boat per day in State waters south of 032° 31.0’ N |
1 per person per day and no more than 6 per boat per day federal waters and state waters north of 032° 31.0’ N
|36-inch FL|| |
|Dolphin||10 per person per day not to exceed 60 per boat per day. |
Headboats have no boat limit
|20-inch FL|| |
|King Mackerel||3 per person per day||24-inch FL|| |
|Spanish Mackerel||15 per person per day||12-inch FL|| |
|Wahoo||2 per person per day|| |