Nongame Methods & Devices
South Carolina Hunting & Fishing
Nongame Fish Tags Updated Regulations
Updated regulations and information are provided when nongame fish tags or permits are issued. Tags, permits and commercial freshwater fishing licenses are available by visiting any regional SCDNR Office, through the internet or by writing to: SCDNR-License Section, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202-0167 or calling 803-734-3833. Nongame fish tags are issued at each Regional SCDNR office. Tags purchased through the internet or by mail are mailed from the Columbia office and the privilege is not valid until the tag is received by the licensee.
A fishing license is required of all persons who fish nongame fishing devices. Some devices are not permitted on certain waters. See Nongame Device Limits by Location.
(Not for shad and herring; see Shad & Herring Fishing Regulations).
Nets must have a mesh size not less than 4-1/2 inches stretch mesh. The maximum length is 100 yards in the freshwater and no net, cable line or other device used for support of a gill net may extend more than halfway across any stream or body of water. Nets must be marked with a white floating marker (see Markers and Identification of Nongame Devices on Freshwater Nongame Fishing Regulations).
A gill net tag is required. A gill net may be placed in the freshwaters on a first come first serve basis but a gill net must not be placed within 200 yards of another gill net. Along the Little Pee Dee River upstream of Punch Bowl Landing, no net may be set within 75 feet of a gill net previously set or drifted within 75 feet of another drifting net. Nongame fish taken in shad nets lawfully fished during the open season for taking shad may be kept. A sturgeon caught must be returned immediately to the waters from where it was taken.
The season for taking nongame fish other than American shad and herring in the freshwaters of this State with a gill net is from Nov. 1 to Mar. 1 (where authorized) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only.
Nets made of textile netting (no wire) of a mesh size between 1 and 2 inches square enclosing a series of round hoops with two or more muzzle openings made of a netting material. The maximum size net allowed is 16 feet by 5-1/2 feet. Hoop nets must be marked with a white floating marker (see Markers and Identification of Nongame Devices on Freshwater Nongame Fishing Regulations).
A hoop net tag is required. Hoop nets must rest on the bottom and cannot be placed within 100 feet of the mouth of any tributary stream.
No closed season.
A single hook and line attached to a free-floating device with a minimum capacity of one pint and a maximum of one gallon. May not have more than one line.
A permit is required to fish up to 50 jugs (50 jug limit). A licensee’s name and customer ID number must be clearly marked on each jug. Jug fishing is legal only in lakes Greenwood, Hartwell, Secession, Russell, and Thurmond and Stevens Creek Reservoir. A jug permit is not required for residents assisting jug permit holders. Jugs must be marked with name and customer ID number (see below).
Must be removed from the water before one hour after official sunrise each day and not replaced prior to one hour before official sunset.
A single hook and line attached to bushes, limbs, poles, sticks or similar structures. Each set hook must be labeled with customer name and customer ID number.
On the Black, Edisto, Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Lumber, Lynches (including Clarks, Mill and Muddy Creeks), Sampit and Waccamaw Rivers, live nongame fish and bream, excluding redbreast, may be used with single-barbed set hooks that have a shank-to-point gap of fifteen-sixteenths inches or greater. However, it is unlawful for a person to have in possession more than the lawful creel limit of bream while fishing with nongame devices on these rivers.
A permit is required to fish up to 50 hooks (50 hook limit). Set hooks must be marked with name and customer ID number (see below).
Must be removed prior to one hour after official sunrise each day and cannot be reattached prior to one hour before official sunset.
Traps & eel pots described below must be marked with a white floating marker (Markers and Identification of Nongame Devices, Freshwater Nongame Fishing Regulations).
Trap Type 1 Description
The trap may be made of wire or textile material and be cylindrical in shape of a length not more than 6 feet and a width of not more than 3 feet. The mesh shall not be smaller than 1 inch by 1 inch, and there shall be only one application of exterior wire to the trap. The muzzle shall have one of the following designs: A trap door on the second muzzle or catch muzzle which remains in a closed position and which only opens for the entry of fish into the trap; or constructed of netting so that the opening of the small end of the second muzzle or catch muzzle is held in the shape of a slit and the trap configuration constructed such that as the trap rests on the bottom, the slit shall be oriented horizontally with the greatest vertical opening being no greater than 1 inch.
Trap Type 2 Description
The trap may be made of wood strips or slats and be cylindrical or rectangular in shape. The length shall not exceed 6 feet, and the width or diameter shall not exceed 2 feet. The throat opening of the catch muzzle in a resting position shall not exceed 3 inches measured in any direction. The sides, top and rear of the trap shall have a minimum of one inch opening between the slats to allow for the escape of small catfish. This shall apply only to the last 12 inches of the trap.
Eel Pot Description
Pots no larger than 24 inches by 48 inches and constructed of wire with a mesh size no smaller than 1/2 by 1/2 inch, except for the throat or muzzle and the end opposite the throat or muzzle. The throat opening shall not exceed 2 inches measured in any direction. (Permit required, call 843-953-9311)
A tag is required for each trap or eel pot. A permit is required for the harvest of eels in both freshwater and saltwater. Traps and eel pots may be suspended in water at a depth which does not create a hazard to watercraft. No trap or eel pot shall be placed within 100 feet of the mouth of any tributary stream. No crab pot or trap of like design may be used in the freshwaters of this state.
No closed season.
Two or more hooks attached to a line which is rigged horizontally and marked with a white floating marker. Stainless steel hooks are prohibited statewide. Hooks used in Lakes Marion and Moultrie ONLY must measure 7/16 inch or less between point and shank.
On the Black, Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Lumber, Lynches (including Clarks, Mill and Muddy Creeks) and Waccamaw rivers, live nongame fish and bream, excluding redbreast, may be used on a trotline having not more than 20 hooks with a shank-to-point gap of fifteen-sixteenths inches or greater. However, it is unlawful for a person to have in possession more than the lawful creel limit of bream while fishing with nongame devices on these rivers. (See Markers and Identification of Nongame Devices below).
A tag is required for each trotline with up to 50 hooks. Trotlines with more than 50 hooks require a tag for every 50 hooks or less. No trotline shall be attached in any manner to another trotline or to the support or float of another trotline. No trotlines allowed within 100 feet of the mouth of any tributary stream.
Trotlines must be inspected and fish removed at least every 24 hours. From Apr. 1 to Oct. 1, no trotline is permitted in any waters from one hour after official sunrise to one hour before official sunset, unless the trotline is sunk to the bottom or a minimum depth of four feet below the surface. From Oct. 2 to Mar. 31, trotlines may be left in the water 24 hours per day at any depth.
A device constructed of coated wire with the opening of the throat or flues not exceeding 2-1/4 inches with a minimum mesh size of 1/4 inch bar mesh. All crayfish traps must be marked with the name and customer ID number. These traps only may be used in those bodies of water permitted. A commercial fisherman may fish up to fifty crayfish traps. A recreational fisherman may fish up to five crayfish traps.
Must not be greater than 4 feet in depth by 20 feet in length with a mesh size of not more than 1/4 inch square mesh. It is unlawful to have in possession a minnow seine from 10 PM to official sunrise. Must be marked with name and customer ID number.
A cylindrical device not longer than 24 inches and no more than 30 inches in circumference or a rectangular device not larger than 24 inches long, 8 inches high, and 9 inches wide. The mesh must be no smaller than 1/4 inch bar mesh. The throat opening of the funnel of the trap may not exceed 1 inch in diameter. All minnow traps must be marked with the user’s name and customer ID number. A minnow trap may be fished with a recreational license only, with a limit of 5 for each person, and must not be fished for commercial purposes.
A net having a stretch mesh of not less than 1 inch and not more than 1-1/2 inches which does not exceed 75 feet in length or 6 feet in depth. It shall be unlawful to anchor a seine and leave it unattended.
A hand-operated dip net with the bow constructed of wood with wire or textile netting with a mesh size not greater than 1-1/2 inches square. The bow shall not exceed 14 feet in any direction and may be used only from Feb. 1 through Apr. 30 for shad or herring. A skimbow net can only be fished from a boat and used only for recreational fishing.
A dip net is not a legal device for taking nongame fish.