Fishing Spots around Columbia, SC

Fishing at Lake Murray | Photo via @julianachitolina

With parks opening and temperatures warming, many people may be fishing to explore the outdoors. 

Fishing is a great way to get outside while practicing social distancing. It can be a family affair, or it can be an opportunity 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 and resources perfect for reeling in a catch while enjoying the sunshine. 

Lake Murray 

The 50,000 acre man-made lake has over 500 miles of shoreline waiting for you to cast a line to take your chance at catching striped bass, large-mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, redear sunfish or the illusive catfish. 

For those who have access to a boat, SC DNR maintains 24 fish attractor locations around Lake Murray and you can see them on this map. These locations are marked by buoys, but don’t anchor at the fish attractor locations. Multiple lake access areas have fishing piers that provide access to the lake for those without a boat. 

If you do not own any fishing supplies, fishing tackle including rod, reel and tackle box are available to rent at Dreher Island State Park, located at 3677 State Park Road, Prosperity. 

Saluda River 

The Saluda stretches along ~170 miles throughout SC and hosts a variety of species, the most common types of fish to catch are trout, smallmouth bass + stripers. During the summer, the river boasts some of the largest concentrations of striper fish on the east coast. 

One of the popular easy access points for this river can be found at Saluda Shoals Park, located at 5605 Bush River Road. Park hours have been updated due to COVID-19 to 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Admission pricing varies from $5- 11.

Hope Ferry Landing, located at 1047 Hope Ferry Rd., Lexington, is another popular fishing spot, which is free to visitors. This landing runs along the Saluda River and #ProTip – if you want to take a swim with the fishies, there is a rope swing here. 

Sesquicentennial State Park 

This state park, located at 9564 Two Notch Rd., is open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily and you can enjoy fishing for bass and bream in the 30-acre lake. Admission varies from $6 for adults to $3.50 for children. Boat rentals are also available on a seasonal basis and include life jackets + paddles if you want to get further away from shore. 

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., and is perfect to cast a line not far from the city. The lake is open to the public and you’ll catch bass or bream here. 

Catfish Haven 

This is exactly what it sounds like, a local pond where you can catch prize catfish. The pond is located at 1950 Craigsen Ln., West Columbia, and is open Thursday, Friday + Sunday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Admission is $10 per adult and $5 per child with bait options available from $3.50-6. There is a catch limit of 20 pounds, or five catfish or 10 brim whichever you reel in first, this doesn’t apply to catch and release. 

Goodale State Park 

Just outside of Columbia, located at 650 State Rd., Camden, this park holds a 140-acre lake where you can catch bass, bream or catfish. There is also a Civil War-era pond to explore. This state park features free admission and is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.   

Extra references

Beginner’s guide to fishing can be found here.

Purchase your fishing license here.

Find information on general SC freshwater fishing regulations here.

If you’re looking to tackle your own fishing trip by boat, check out this map of public boat ramps. 

For state records, a printable ‘first fish’ certificate, additional fishing spots, or any other general information, check the Department of Natural Resources’ website.