The South Carolina State Parks System features world-class fishing opportunities from the mountains to the coast. In fact, more than 40 of the state's 47 state parks offer fishing opportunities, making the Palmetto State a premier place to catch fish.
From the Atlantic Ocean westward to reservoirs, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and more, South Carolina's state parks offer easy access to fishing spots, including shore and boat options, where you can catch everything from trout, stripers, large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, a variety of catfish and too many saltwater fish to name.
The opportunities for fishing enjoyment and success in South Carolina's state parks are enhanced by a variety of unique offerings and programs for fishermen. These include extensive website resources and guidance through SouthCarolinaParks.com and DNR.SC.Gov, where you'll find information on the state's free Fishing Tackle Loaner Program available at 30-plus locations, fishing licenses, tagged fish reporting, state records, camping and cabins, the "Ultimate Outsider" program (for those who visit all 47 state parks) and varied fishing tournaments held in and near state parks.
Ready to drop your line? Here are 10 top fishing spots in South Carolina's state parks from the coast to the mountains:
Myrtle Beach State Park
One of four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is great for surf and pier fishing for flounder, Spanish and king mackerel, whiting, trout, spots, drum, blues and more. As with anywhere in South Carolina, a South Carolina fishing license is required for surfcasting. At the pier (daily fishing admission for those 6 and older, with rental tackle and bait for sale), a fishing license is not required. Just down the coast, Huntington Beach State Park also features excellent surfcasting options.
Edisto Beach State Park
Surf fishing in Edisto Beach State Park can be rewarding, as can fishing in the salt marsh for flounder, whiting, spot and more. There's also a boat ramp on the western boundary of the park that provides access to Big Bay Creek. The park's bustling Environmental Learning Center is a great place to learn about fish and other wildlife that inhabit Edisto Island and the surrounding ACE Basin.
Santee State Park
Santee State Park offers access to sprawling Lake Marion where you'll enjoy superb freshwater fishing for largemouth bass, striped bass, bream, crappie, catfish and more. August's Big Daddy Fishing Event has been held for more than 40 years and features varied fishing events for children ages 12 and under.
Lake Warren State Park
Largemouth bass, bream, redbreast, catfish, crappie, and more can be found in 200-acre Lake George Warren, as well as the park's two-acre lake. Two boat ramps provide access to the larger lake (boats are limited to 10 horsepower), and there's also a floating dock and fishing boat rentals. In May, the park hosts the Little Buddies Fishing Program, much like Santee State Park's Big Daddy Fishing Event.
Barnwell State Park
Crappie, bluegill, catfish, largemouth bass and more can be caught in the three small lakes at Barnwell State Park, where there's also a small fishing pier and nonmotorized fishing boat rentals. It is one of 16 South Carolina state parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Dreher Island State Park
Located on 12 miles of Lake Murray shoreline and featuring three boat ramps for private boat access, Dreher Island State Park is home to several species of bass (including largemouth and stripers), catfish, bream, crappie, yellow perch and more. It also has played host to several big-time fishing tournaments, including the Forrest Wood Cup, considered one of professional fishing's most prestigious events.
Lake Greenwood State Park
With direct access to 11,400-acre Lake Greenwood, two boat ramps and a fishing pier, the CCC-built Lake Greenwood State Park is yet another great freshwater fishing destination.
Chester State Park
Chester State Park's 160-acre lake features bass, bream, catfish and crappie fishing, as well as a fishing pier that spans across the lake and provides access on both sides. Brush piles have been sunk under the pier to provide habitat for fish. There are also fish food dispensers to attract the fish. If you have your own boat, you can launch it on the lake as long as you use an electric trolling motor.
Devils Fork State Park
Along with the 7,500-acre mountain spring-fed Lake Jocassee, Devils Fork offers access to four mountain streams featuring world-class trout fishing opportunities. The crystal-clear water is home to white bass, small and largemouth bass, bluegill and black crappie. Other state parks in the Upcountry, including Caesars Head and Jones Gap, also feature great freshwater stream fishing.
Lake Hartwell State Park
Located on the South Carolina-Georgia border, 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell features striped, largemouth and hybrid bass, crappie, bream, catfish and more. Lake Hartwell State Park has two boat ramps and is one of a few parks in the state that offers unique single-room camper cabins.