Unlocking the Cost: Exploring Fishing License Prices in South Carolina

The Cost of Fishing Licenses in South Carolina: A Comprehensive Guide


Are you an avid angler or a passionate fishing enthusiast planning your next adventure in the beautiful state of South Carolina? Before embarking on your fishing escapades, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the necessary permits and licenses required by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details of how much fishing licenses cost in South Carolina, along with everything you need to know about obtaining one.

Fishing License Options for Residents

If you are a resident of South Carolina aged 16 years or older and eager to cast your line into its abundant waters, there are various license options available:

Annual Freshwater Fishing License

The most popular option for residents is the Annual Freshwater Fishing License. At just $10 per year, this license allows you access to all public freshwater bodies within the state. It’s perfect for those who plan frequent outings throughout the seasons without breaking their bank.

Saltwater Recreational Fishing License

If saltwater fishing is more your style, SCDNR offers an Annual Saltwater Recreational Fishing License exclusively for residents at a reasonable price of $10 per year. This license grants access to saltwater locations such as coastal regions and estuaries where numerous species thrive.

Three-Year Freshwater/Saltwater Combination License

If you’re dedicated and don’t want yearly renewal hassles, consider purchasing a Three-Year Freshwater/Saltwater Combination License at $30. With this convenient option, residents can enjoy both freshwater and saltwater recreational fishing opportunities across multiple years.

Fishing Licenses for Non-Residents

Visitors to South Carolina can also indulge in its fishing delights by acquiring one of the following licenses:

Non-resident Annual Freshwater Fishing License

If you’re a non-resident planning an extended stay or frequent visits, the Non-resident Annual Freshwater Fishing License is your best bet. Priced at $35 per year, this license provides access to public freshwater bodies throughout South Carolina.

Non-resident 14-Day Freshwater Fishing License

For shorter stays, the Non-resident 14-Day Freshwater Fishing License may be more suitable. As the name suggests, it permits fishing for a duration of fourteen consecutive days and costs $11. This option is perfect for vacationers or those exploring multiple states during their travels.

Non-resident Saltwater Recreational Fishing License

If saltwater fishing piques your interest as a non-resident visitor, consider purchasing the Non-residential Salt Water Recreational Fishing License priced at $35 per year. With this license in hand, you can explore South Carolina’s coastal regions and estuaries while enjoying all that saltwater fishing has to offer.

Add-On Options and Exceptions

In addition to these primary licenses, SCDNR offers several add-ons tailored towards specific needs:

Pier/Beach Combo Package (Annual)

This add-on option comes at an affordable price of $50 per year and allows both residents and non-residents access to marine recreational activities from any publicly-owned structure along South Carolina’s coastlines.

Disability Licenses

The SCDNR offers discounted hunting and fishing licenses for individuals with disabilities who meet certain criteria. These special licenses can be obtained at a reduced rate or even free of charge, depending on the nature and severity of the disability.

Free Fishing Days

South Carolina offers designated Free Fishing Days throughout the year when licenses are not required. It’s an excellent opportunity for new anglers to try their hand at fishing without any financial investment.

Where to Obtain Fishing Licenses in South Carolina

You can easily obtain your fishing license through various convenient methods:


The quickest and most hassle-free option is to visit SCDNR’s official website. They offer a user-friendly online platform where you can purchase fishing licenses, print them instantly, and have digital copies accessible on your mobile device.


If you prefer face-to-face interactions or need guidance from authorized personnel, you may visit certain retail stores across South Carolina that are licensed agents of SCDNR. These include popular sporting goods stores as well as bait and tackle shops.

Fishing License Exemptions in South Carolina

A few exemptions exist within the licensing requirements set by SCDNR:

– Children under 16 Years Old

No license is necessary for children below the age of 16 who engage in recreational fishing activities accompanied by an adult possessing a valid fishing license.

– Active Duty Military Personnel

Military personnel stationed in South Carolina on active duty orders are exempted from obtaining resident hunting and fishing licenses while engaged in these activities themselves. However, they must carry appropriate identification at all times.

In Conclusion

Fishing enthusiasts planning angling adventures in South Carolina should ensure compliance with state regulations by obtaining the appropriate licenses. The cost varies depending on residency status and desired fishing locations. By referring to this comprehensive guide, you can conveniently select the most suitable license option and embark upon unforgettable fishing experiences in South Carolina’s abundant waters without any legal concerns.