Fishing in Bluffton…More than just an activity- it’s a way of life!
Numerous fishing charter boats in the Bluffton area provide an unforgettable trip for anglers of any level. Whether you want a day of deep sea charter fishing fighting the “big one” or a day of inshore fishing chasing reds, our Bluffton fishing guides will deliver.Fly fishing in Bluffton provides another great way to explore the coastal terrain while casting for fish hiding in the shallows. Most trips include everything you need… including drinks, fishing license, bait & tackle and of course a USCG certified charter fishing boat Captain. So grab your sunscreen and come aboard! The charter fishing guides in Bluffton are ready… and so are the fish!!
Salt Water Fishing
The State regulates fishing up to three mile offshore. Beyond that, Federal regulations apply. For salt water fishing, you need a State license if over 16 years old to fish from a boat. Commercial fishing boats already have a license that covers all aboard. You can get a State three day non-resident (SC) license to fish from a private boat for $11. To fish from the beach or the banks of estuaries (tidal creeks) or a dock or pier you now need a license. The fee runs $11 for a 14 day non-resident license ($5 for residents). You cannot fish in designated swimming areas. You may not fish for sharks, but the sharks break this rule all the time. So if you hook a Sting Ray or Atlantic Sharp Nosed or Black Tipped shark, you must release them. If you get a Sting Ray or a good size shark, just cut the line and let it go rather than take a chance of getting hurt.
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 requires 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.) Where can I buy a fishing license?Saltwater recreational fishing licenses can be purchased online at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/fishing.html; 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 Sharks. 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 asSouth Carolina’s current law allows.
Saltwater Fishing License Basics
License Type & Fee Annual Resident: $10 Annual Non-resident: $35 14-day Resident: $5 14-day Non-Resident: $11 Senior License*: $9 Disability License** No Cost License TermAnnual 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
Fresh Water Fishing
Fresh water license app: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/licenses/pdf/03ad4144nongamefish.pdf
While it might seem that the creeks in Bluffton are fresh water, they are not. They’re actually estuaries with no significant source of fresh water. Estuaries are tidal and the water in them is ocean water. Some lakes and lagoons hold fresh water – or brackish water. Most of these form part of the storm water drainage system and therefore hold rain water runoff. Some lagoons have likewise fresh water, but some are tidal and so contain salt water. Observe a lagoon you would like to fish – if the water level changes significantly over a period of a few hours, it’s tidal. Oysters, Clams Shrimp and Crabs The same rules apply for licenses to harvest oysters and clams and for ocean fishing from a boat. There are designated areas for harvesting oysters and areas that are off limits from time to time. Oyster beds may be closed after a heavy rain due to the possibility of contamination (oysters filter the water and are the first to pick up any contaminant). You may take shrimp with a cast net for personal use without a license, but traps are prohibited. You might hear about “shrimp baiting”, but this is not an activity appropriate for tourists due to the expense and specialized knowledge required. Likewise, crabs may be taken by various methods, but crab pots are limited to two without a license. Crabs must be 5 inches across and females must not be pregnant to be kept. To see if a crab is carrying eggs, flip it over and if you see a spongy mass on its underside, put it back.
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