Sharks Size & Catch Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon South Carolina Hunting & Fishing

TL=Total Length, FL=Fork Length.

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 http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/saltwaterfish.html.

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.

Federal Highly Migratory Species Permit with a Shark Endorsement are required in federal waters to recreationally fish for, retain, possess, or land sharks. All sharks must be landed with fins, head and tail naturally attached. Recreational anglers may only catch sharks using a rod & reel or handline. All other gears prohibited. Additionally, anglers fishing recreationally for sharks are required to use non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks, except when fishing with flies or artificial lures. Check current federal regulations and find a shark identification guide by visiting http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/compliance/regulations/index.html


Closed Season

Bag Limit

Size Limit


Dogfish (spiny & smooth) No associated regulations.
Atlantic Sharpnose 1 per person per day
Bonnethead 1 per person per day
Blacknose, Blacktip, Blue, Bull, Finetooth, Lemon, Nurse, Porbeagle, Spinner, Thresher, Tiger and Oceanic Whitetip Sharks 1 shark per vessel per day 54-inch FL
Shortfin Mako – Females 83-inch FL
Shortfin Mako – Males 71-inch FL
Great Hammerhead, Scalloped Hammerhead and Smooth Hammerhead Sharks 78-inch FL
Atlantic Angel, Basking, Bignose, Dusky, Galapagos, Longfin Mako, Narrowtooth, Night, Caribbean Reef, Sandbar, Sevengill, Caribbean Sharpnose, Silky, Bigeye Sixgill, Sixgill, Smalltail, Bigeye Thresher, Bigeye Sand Tiger, Sand Tiger, Whale and White Sharks Possession prohibited Possession prohibited
  • If caught, sharks from this group must be released immediately, without removing it from the water.