Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Saltwater Fishing License Basics

License Type Fee
Annual Resident
Annual Non-resident
14-day Resident
$ 5
14-day Non-Resident
Senior License*
$ 9
Disability License** No Cost

License Term

  • Annual licenses valid from July 1 - June 30
  • 14-day licenses valid 14 days from date of purchase

* Must be a domiciled SC Resident for six months immediately prior to application and have attained 64 years of age. Includes the saltwater fishing privilege.

** Must be a domiciled SC resident for one year prior to application and determined to be totally disabled. 3 Year Disability Fishing License (Adobe PDF) includes the saltwater fishing privilege.

Adobe® Reader® is required to open the file above and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site. Most file sizes are less than 1M unless noted.

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Legislation Changes Saltwater Recreational Fishing License Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

What fishing requirements have changed?

Individuals recreationally fishing in saltwater from shore (beach, bank, private dock, free public pier, etc.) and those recreationally shrimping and crabbing will be required to have a saltwater recreational fishing license.

Who is required to have a fishing license?

The new legislation will require all who recreationally harvest fish, oysters, clams, shrimp, and crab to have a saltwater recreational fishing license. Individuals under the age of 16 will be exempt from licensing requirements and senior and disability license holders will not need to purchase an additional saltwater license. Additional exemptions include, individuals fishing on a licensed public fishing pier; individuals fishing on a licensed charter vessel; individuals crabbing with 3 or fewer drop nets, 3 or fewer fold up traps, or 3 or fewer handlines with no hooks and one bait (chicken necking); and individuals shrimp baiting (will still be required to purchase a shrimp baiting license.)

When will the changes occur?

Saltwater fishing license requirements will change July 1, 2009.

Why did the changes occur?

Changes to SC’s saltwater recreational fishing license will provide better information about recreational catch, which will lead to better management of SC’s valuable marine resources.

What benefits do I get from the changes?

With the license changes, SC anglers will simply need to purchase one license to fish anywhere in both state and federal saltwaters. Revenue generated from saltwater recreational fishing license sales will be used to directly benefit SC’s marine recreational resources.

Where can I buy a fishing license?

Saltwater recreational fishing licenses can be purchased online; by telephone calling 1-866-714-3611, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; or by visiting SCDNR license sales agents across the state.

H.3572 Shark Catch Limits ** Effective date 06/02/09** Act No. 47

This act reduces the daily personal catch limit on Atlantic sharpnose sharks from two to the Federal daily personal limit of one Atlantic sharpnose shark. This act also repeals the allowance to harvest 1 bonnethead shark. This change will not affect anglers because the bonnethead bag limit will default to the federal law which allows a daily personal catch of one bonnethead, just as South Carolina's current law allows. The passage of this act brings South Carolina into compliance with the recently finalized Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission's (ASMFC) Shark Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This plan mirrors most federal shark fishery management regulations, making them applicable in state waters. As part of the ASMFC, South Carolina is obligated to adopt the requirements of the plan or potentially be found "out of compliance." If the state is found out of compliance, the state's entire shark fishery could be closed by the Secretary of Commerce.

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark


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Rembert C. Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201
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