Just How Big Was That Fish? A Look at SC's Record Catches

By:Bob Gillespie

Date:3/8/2016

From far offshore in the Atlantic Ocean to coastal inlets and bays, from black water rivers to the state’s extensive system of lakes – wherever you care to wet a line in South Carolina, fishing is a big deal – whether it's part of the state's extensive commercial industry or vacationing families looking to catch a vacation memory.

Yes, it’s a big deal – but that always leads to the question: Just how big was that catch? And where does that rank among the millions of fish reeled in by SC anglers?

Wonder no longer. Thanks to records maintained by the SC Department of Natural Resources and websites www.landbigfish.com and www.southeasternoutdoors.com, it's not hard to know the size of the biggest fish caught in South Carolina in – count 'em -- 100 categories.

Record catches range from hand-sized spot, perch and sunfish (a bit more than a pound each) to massive denizens of the deep such as the 1,780-pound Tiger Shark caught in 1964 off Cherry Grove (Myrtle Beach) by one W. Maxwell – the largest SC catch on record. The state’s oldest record is a 65-pound Great Barracuda caught off Georgetown by Henry Selor in 1948 – no one’s landed a bigger one in nearly 70 years.

So, by all means, test your skill (or try your luck) fishing in South Carolina waters, fresh and salt, offshore and inland. And if you bring home a trophy catch, check here to see if your name belongs on the state’s fishing Wall of Fame.

SPECIES – Weight, location, angler, date

African Pompano – 44 pounds, 3 ounces; Hilton Head Island; C.T. Babcock III, 2011

Albacore Tuna – 37 pounds, 4 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; W. Crump; 1976

Amberjack – 123 pounds; Isle of Palms; J. Beauford; 2010

American Shad – 7 pounds; Santee River; Sylvester Casselman; 1985

Atlantic Bonito – 7 pounds, 11 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Little River; Charles Adams; 1993

Atlantic Spadefish – 14 pounds; Beaufort; S. Nickleson; 2005

Bigeye Thresher Shark – 405 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Edisto Island; J.H. Mixson; 1978

Black Crappie – 5 pounds; Lake Moultrie; P.E. Foust; 1957

Black Drum – 89 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Port Royal; W.P. Buquet; 1978

Black Sea Bass – 8 pounds, 3 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Fripp Inlet; Larry L. Hudson, 1995

Blackfin Tuna – 40 pounds, 6.4 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; Mark Hartley, 2005

Blacktip Shark – 163 pounds, 14 ounces; Hilton Head Island; D. Rowe; 2009

Blue Catfish – 109 pounds, 4 ounces; Tailrace Canal; George A. Lijewski; 1991

Blue Marlin – 881 pounds, 13 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; W.C. Taylor; 2005

Bluefin Tuna – 396 pounds, 14 ounces; Hilton Head Island; J.S. Middleton III; 2006

Bluefish – 21 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; J.A. Curtis; 1975

Bluegill Sunfish – 3 pounds, 4 ounces; N/A; J.P. Hegler; 1973

Blueline Tilefish – 14 pounds, 6 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; O.Cockerman; 1982

Bowfin – 21 pounds, 8 ounces; Forest Lake; Robert Harmon; 1980

Brook Trout – 4 pounds, 10 ounces; Chattooga River; Wes Coker; 2010

Brown Trout – 17 pounds, 9.5 ounces; Lake Jocassee; Larry Edwards; 1987

Bull Shark – 477 pounds, 12 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Stono Inlet; C.R. Faust; 1985

Bullhead – 6 pounds, 6.3 ounces; Broad River; George Eleazer; 2009

Chain Pickerel – 6 pounds, 4 ounces; Lake Marion; Randall Spell; 1981

Channel Catfish – 58 pounds; Lake Moultrie; W.H. Whaley; 1964

Cobia – 92 pounds, 10 ounces; Hilton Head Island; R. Maroudas; 2009

Croaker – 4 pounds; 9 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; C.I. Frasier; 1979

Dolphin – 77 pounds, 8 ounces; Seabrook Island; R. Riggs; 2008

Dusky Shark – 466 pounds, 12 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; M. Almond; 1981

Flathead Catfish – 79 pounds, 4 ounces (51 inches long); Santee Cooper; Jessica Preston; 2001

Flier Sunfish – 1 pound, 4 ounces; Hemingway; Steve Bryant; 1977

Florida Pompano – 8 pounds, 12 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; C. Mullinax Sr.; 1975

Gag Grouper – 48 pounds, 8 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; R.L. Price; 1997

Gray Triggerfish – 13 pounds, 9 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; Jim Hilton; 1989

Great Barracuda – 65 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Georgetown; Henry Shelor; 1948

Hammerhead Shark – 588 pounds, 3 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; Byron Bass; 1989

Hogfish – 21 pounds, 15 ounces; Charleston; W. Covington; 2011

Houndfish – 9 pounds, 4 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; W. Kirby; 1974

Hybrid Bass – 20 pounds, 6 ounces; Savannah River; Danny Wood; 1978

Jack Crevalle – 40 pounds, 1 ounce; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; J. Benich; 1993

Jolthead Porgy – 18 pounds, 4 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; J. Currie; 1984

King Mackerel – 2 pounds, 10 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Pawleys Island; C. Micheau; 1968

King Mackerel – 63 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston J. Brownlee III; 1976

Ladyfish – 5 pounds, 14 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; B. Raver; 1994

Largemouth Bass – 16 pounds, 2 ounces; Lake Marion/private pond; P.H. Flanagan/Mason Cummings; 1949/1993

Lemon Shark – 380 pounds; Hilton Head Island; S. Liesen; 2010

Little Tunny – 29 pounds, 7 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; C. Edwards Jr.; 1975

Longbill Spearfish – 53 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Mount Pleasant; H.L. Johnson Jr.; 1986

Mako Shark – 391 pounds, 15 ounces; Charleston; P. Ford; 2002

Margate Grunt – 18 pounds, 8 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; J.L. Flowers; 1971

Muskellunge – 22 pounds, 8 ounces (42 inches long); Broad River; Zavier Jefferies; 2004

Pumpkinseed Sunfish – 2 pounds, 4 ounces; North Saluda River; Scott Hart; 1997

Queen Triggerfish – 9 pounds, 7 ounces; Georgetown; J.H. Woodberry; 2011

Rainbow Runner – 14 pounds, 14 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Georgetown; W.D. Harder; 1985

Rainbow Trout – 11 pounds, 5 ounces; Lake Jocassee; Scott Coggins; 1993

Red Drum – 75 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; A.J. Taylor; 1965

Red Grouper – 31 pounds; Little River; M.K. Jenkins; 2008

Red Porgy – 10 pounds, 8 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; J.F. Duffer; 1985

Red Snapper – 37 pounds, 8 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Little River; K. Henry; 1964

Redbreast Sunfish – 2 pounds; Lumber River; D.R. Turner; 1975

Redear Sunfish – 5 pounds, 7 ounces; Diversion Canal; Amos Gay; 1998

Redeye Bass – 5 pounds, 2.5 ounces; Lake Jocassee; Randy Dickson; 2001

Redfin Pickerel – 1 pound, 8.8 ounces; Bluff Lake; Albert Johnson; 1983

Sailfish – 75 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Georgetown; G.A. Reid; 1968

Sand Tiger Shark – 350 pounds, 2 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; Mark Thawley; 1993

Sandbar (brown) Shark – 199 pounds, 4 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; T. McGuiness; 1984

Sauger – 4 pounds, 7 ounces; Lake Thurmond; Broadus Moody; 1985

Scamp Grouper – 26 pounds, 15 ounces; Port Royal; R. Holmquist; 2011

Sheepshead – 16 pounds, 6 ounces; Mount Pleasant; J. Widener; 2008

Silky Shark – 248 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; R. Keenan; 1981

Skipjack Tuna – 25 pounds, 14 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; D.L. Stubbs; 1986

Smallmouth Bass – 9 pounds, 7 ounces; Lake Jocassee; Terry Dodson; 2001

Snowy Grouper – 30 pounds, 3 ounces; Charleston; C. Donald; 2011

Southern Flounder – 17 pounds, 6 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/South Santee; L.C. Floyd; 1974

Spanish Mackerel – 11 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Myrtle Beach; W. Deas Jr.; 1983

Speckled Hind Grouper – 45 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Little River; H.R. Murray; 1973

Spinner Shark – 159 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; Jerry Short; 1998

Spot – 1 pound, 1 ounce; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; J. Stehmeyer; 1967

Spotted Bass – 8 pounds, 2 ounces; Lake Jocassee; James Couch; 1996

Spotted Sea Trout – 11 pounds, 13 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; A. Pendergrass; 1976

Striped Bass – 63 pounds; Lake Russell; Terry McConnell; 2009

Summer Flounder – 3 pounds, 8 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; J. Wallace; 1982

Swordfish – 500 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Georgetown; B.H. Peace III; 1978

Tarpon – 154 pounds, 10 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Hilton Head Island; S.B. Kiser; 1987

Tiger Shark – 1,780 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Cherry Grove; W. Maxwell; 1964

Tripletail – 33 pounds; 8 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Hilton Head Island; Jackie Johnson; 2005

Vermillion Snapper – 6 pounds, 10 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; D.H. Long; 1975

Wahoo – 130 pounds, 5 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; J. Moore; 1998

Walleye – 10 pounds; Richard B. Russell Lake; Robert Huskins; 1994

Warmouth – 2 pounds, 2.5 ounces; N/A; W. Singletary; 1973

Warsaw Grouper – 310 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Murrells Inlet; C.D. Pratt; 1976

Weakfish – 11 pounds, 13 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Parris Island; J.M. Coppinger Jr.; 1981

White Bass – 5 pounds, 4.8 ounces; Broad River; Johnny Gilliam; 1997

White Catfish – 9 pounds, 15 ounces; Lake Murray; Jim Schwietert; 1986

White Crappie – 5 pounds, 1 ounce; Lake Murray; Mrs. H.P. Owens; 1949

White Marlin – 108 pounds; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; D.C. Critz Jr.; 1981

White Perch – 1 pound, 15.2 ounces; Lake Wylie; Rodger W. Taylor; 2007

Yellow Perch – 3 pounds, 4 ounces; Lake Keowee; D. Scarborough; 1979

Yellowfin Tuna – 241 pounds, 12 ounces; Atlantic Ocean/Charleston; T.C. Lewis; 1979

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