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Learning to Fish in South Carolina

Kerry Egan Kerry Egan
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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Teaching your son or daughter how to fish is a rite of passage, for both parent and child. Don't know how to fish? Well, South Carolina is the perfect place for you then! Not only do we have fantastic fishing, we also have fantastic instruction and programs that will get you and your family fishing before you know it.

If you're entirely new to fishing, consider going to a Family Fishing Clinic with the SC Department of Natural Resources. The clinics teach every member of the family the basics of rod and reel fishing. The clinics, held at different locations throughout South Carolina during warm months, teach everyone from ages 4 to 104 how to rig a rod and reel, how to tie the best knots for fishing, how to use bait, and how to cast.

Once you've learned the basics of fishing, it's time to find the perfect fishing hole. From the warm surf fishing of prime spots like Edisto Beach State Park, to the cold mountain streams of Upstate parks like Table Rock, the state parks of South Carolina have an endless variety of places to go fishing. And if the real, secret point of fishing, as my husband likes to claim, is to have a reason to stand outside in the beauty of nature, then SC State Parks are some of the best places in the whole world to fish.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has a tackle loaner program that allows people to rent all the equipment that they need to spend the day fishing in the state parks. And it's free.

A child catching her first fish off a fishing pier in the blue ocean is a tradition as old, well, fishing piers. Pier fishing offers an easy and fun way to expose kids to the fun of fishing. Just drop your baited hook over the side and wait until you feel that tug. In the rich Atlantic waters of South Carolina, that never takes too long. There are several really great fishing piers to check out in South Carolina. Some of our favorites include the Springmaid Pier, Myrtle Beach State Park Fishing Pier and the Paradise Pier at Hunting Island State Park.

Using bait isn't the only way catch fish, of course. Fly fishing and seining are probably less well-known but great fun for kids. Lucky for us, South Carolina has several places you can learn these old arts.

Though not as famous as other fly fishing destinations in the country, those who know say that South Carolina has some of the very best fly fishing in the southeast. Many rivers are stocked with trout several times a year, and wild fish abound in the streams of the Upstate. Fly fishing on the Chattooga River and the Lower Saluda River is especially good, some of the best in the country. Fly fishing is a very different technique than bait fishing, but it's something kids as young as 6 or 7 can learn and enjoy.

If you've never been fly fishing before, Frank's Fly Arts in Columbia teaches children and adults all the important basics, from choosing flies to how the reel works, from casting the line to bringing in a fish on a fly rod. Their guided trips supply families with all the supplies they could need and begin with a casting lesson. Frank's Fly Arts can take families out, one adult and two kids or two adults and one kid on their stable, guided trips. Another good choice is Bay Street Outfitters in Beaufort, one of only four South Carolina fly fishing outfitters and guide services to be endorsed by Orvis-the gold standard for world-class fishing. The shop offers the services of four highly experienced guides, as well as private fly casting instruction and other services.

Seining is an ancient form of fishing in which two people slowly drag a fine-mesh net through rich tidal estuaries and marshes, or through the foamy swash at the edge of the ocean. The whole family can learn how to seine at Huntington Beach State Park. The rangers provide all the equipment and instruction. The water provides all the magic.

Kerry Egan
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.