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5 places to fish around Columbia, including rivers, lakes, and shorelines

Rivers, lakes + streams, oh my. The Midlands has some pretty great freshwater fishing spots and is only about an hour from saltwater. Reference this guide before you fish around Columbia.


Fishing at Lake Murray | Photo via @julianachitolina

Table of Contents

Fishing is a great way to get outside whether you make it a family affair or use it as an oppor-tuna-ty to snag some much-needed alone time out in nature. Don’t know where to go? We put together a list of local fishing spots + resources for you to have a reely good time while you fish around Columbia.

Goodale State Park

Just outside of Columbia, located at 650 State Rd., Camden, this park holds a 140-acre lake. Fun Fact: There’s also a Civil War-era pond to explore. This state park features free admission and boat + kayak rentals are available.

What you’ll catch

  • Largemouth bass
  • Bream
  • Chain pickerel
  • Catfish

Lake Murray

The 50,000-acre man-made lake has over 650 miles of shoreline waiting for you to cast a line. Pro tip: Check out Capital City Lake Murray Country’s many guides to fishing or if you’re just getting started, head out on the lake with Captain Terry Caulder for a guided fishing session to catch bass.

What you’ll catch

  • Striped bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Redear sunfish
  • The elusive catfish

Pro tip: See multiple marina locations and 11 public lake access areas around Lake Murray.


The Congaree Riverkeeper hosts several clean-up events throughout the year. | Photo by COLAtoday

Saluda River

The Saluda stretches ~170 miles throughout SC and hosts a variety of species.

What you’ll catch

  • Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Stripers — Fun Fact: During the summer, the river boasts some of the largest concentrations of Striper fish on the east coast.
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Sunfish
  • Spotted sucker
  • Yellow perch
  • Sandbar shiner
  • Gizzard shad

One of the popular + easy access points for this river can be found at Saluda Shoals Park, located at 5605 Bush River Rd. Pro tip: purchase a Fisherman’s Pass, allowing visitors 24/7 entry for $80 a year.

Hope Ferry Landing, located at 1047 Hope Ferry Rd., Lexington, is another popular fishing spot + free to visitors.

Lake at Sesquicentennial State Park

Sesquicentennial State Park | Photo via @pittman_mandy

Sesquicentennial State Park

This state park, located at 9564 Two Notch Rd., offers boat rentals on a seasonal basis that include life jackets + paddles if you want to explore the 30-acre lake.

What you’ll catch

  • Bass
  • Bream

Pinewood Lake Park

This local community park features a 20-acre lake surrounded by 24 acres of mixed pine-hardwood forests. Pinewood Lake Park is in Lower Richland, at 1151 Old Garners Ferry Rd.

What you’ll catch

  • Bass
  • Bream
fishing aroun columbia

City Editor Sam catching a bass while fishing in Lexington County. | Photo by COLAtoday team

6 tips for beginners

Read our guide on how to obtain a fishing license.

SCDNR created an interactive fish attractor + locator map, showcasing saltwater and freshwater locations around the state where you can fish publicly from a boat, pier, or shoreline.

SC State Parks showcases 10 lakes major reservoir lakes across SC. In some cases, the park is the only public access point for sailing, boating, and fishing.

If you do not own any fishing supplies, check out Congaree Bait and Tackle or any of these bait and tackle shops located around Lake Murray.

Find general information on fishing, including where, how, trends, tournaments, guides, regulations, and more on SCDNR’s fishing website.

When in doubt, read through the South Carolina Fisherman’s Handbook, alphabetically listing some of SC’s recreational areas that feature fishing spots.

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