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How to get a fishing license in South Carolina

You don’t need to be a resident… but it sure is cheaper.

fly fishing

Columbia is swimming in fish.

Photo by COLAtoday

Table of Contents

In 2022, South Carolina ranked as one of the top ten states to fish in the US. With both fresh and saltwater options + plenty of fish species, it’s easy to understand why. But before you head to Lake Murray, be sure you’ve got your fishing license.

How to get a license

You can either buy your license online or purchase one in person.

Have your social security number handy. Residents of South Carolina must also provide proof of residency.

Resident licenses fees

Choose the kind of license you want based on type and duration. Here’s just a few:

  • Freshwater license: $5 for 14 days, $10 for a year, $30 for three years
  • Saltwater license: $10 for 14 days, $15 for a year, $45 for three years
  • Combination freshwater fishing and hunting: $25 for a year, $75 for three years
  • Disability license: No cost

For more license types (think: commercial + public fishing pier) head to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Apply for a license here.

Nonresident licenses

Visiting from out of state? Welcome to the fishing party. Here are the main types of licenses for out-of-towners:

  • Freshwater license: $11 for 14 days, $35 for a year, $105 for three years
  • Saltwater license: $10 for one day, $35 for seven days, $75 for a year

Check out more nonresident license types online.

You’ve got your license… now what? Check out SCDNR’s fishing regulations, popular species, and frequently asked questions before heading out to the water.

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