South Carolina is home to some of the best shark fishing spots on the East Coast of the United States. With its diverse range of shark species, including tiger sharks, hammerheads, and bull sharks, South Carolina offers a thrilling fishing experience for anglers of all levels. However, shark fishing can be challenging and requires preparation, knowledge, and the right equipment. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to plan a successful shark fishing trip in South Carolina. From the best spots to catch sharks to the recommended gear and baits, as well as regulations and safety measures to keep in mind, we’ve got you covered. So, if you’re ready to embark on a shark fishing adventure, let’s dive in!
Best Shark Fishing Spots in South Carolina
South Carolina has a number of great spots for shark fishing. Here are some of the best:
- Myrtle Beach: Known for its lively boardwalk and amusement park, Myrtle Beach is also a popular spot for shark fishing. The beach offers plenty of space for casting and has a variety of shark species, including blacktip, sandbar, and tiger sharks.
- Hilton Head Island: This scenic island offers a number of great shark fishing opportunities. The nearby reefs and wrecks are home to a variety of shark species, including bull, blacktip, and hammerhead sharks.
- Folly Beach: Located just outside of Charleston, Folly Beach is a great spot for shark fishing. The beach offers a long stretch of shoreline for casting, and the nearby jetties and inlets are home to a variety of shark species, including blacktip and sandbar sharks.
- Edisto Beach: This quiet beach is a favorite among shark fishermen. The nearby wrecks and reefs are home to a variety of shark species, including bull, blacktip, and sand tiger sharks.
- Hunting Island: This secluded beach offers a great shark fishing experience. The beach offers plenty of space for casting, and the nearby reefs and wrecks are home to a variety of shark species, including blacktip and sand tiger sharks.
Targeting these specific locations will give you the best shot at landing your targeted species.
Types of Sharks You Can Catch in South Carolina
South Carolina is home to a variety of shark species that you can catch while fishing. Some of the most common types of sharks that you can catch in South Carolina include:
- Blacktip Shark: These sharks are common in the waters of South Carolina and can be identified by the black tips on their dorsal and pectoral fins. They typically weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and can be caught using live bait or lures.
- Sandbar Shark: These sharks are one of the most common shark species in South Carolina. They can be identified by their tall dorsal fin and typically weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. They can be caught using live bait or lures.
- Atlantic Sharpnose Shark: These sharks are small, typically only weighing between 3 and 4 pounds. They can be identified by their long, slender body and can be caught using small hooks and cut bait.
- Bull Shark: These sharks can be identified by their broad, flat snout and aggressive behavior. They can weigh up to 500 pounds and can be caught using live bait or cut bait.
- Hammerhead Shark: These sharks can be identified by their unique, hammer-shaped head. They can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and can be caught using live bait or lures.
Keep in mind that each shark may want different baits or lures at specific times of the season. During the colder months some of these sharks become lethargic and feed less.
Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in South Carolina
The best time of year for shark fishing in South Carolina is typically from May to October. During this time, the water is warmer and the sharks are more active. However, the peak season for shark fishing varies depending on the species of shark you are targeting.
- Blacktip Sharks: The peak season for blacktip shark fishing in South Carolina is typically from June to August. During this time, the water is warm and the sharks are actively feeding. They can be caught using live bait or lures.
- Sandbar Sharks: The peak season for sandbar shark fishing in South Carolina is typically from July to September. These sharks are more abundant during this time and can be caught using live bait or lures.
- Bull Sharks: Bull sharks can be caught year-round in South Carolina, but the best time to catch them is from May to September. These sharks are aggressive and can be caught using live bait or cut bait.
- Hammerhead Sharks: Hammerhead sharks can be caught year-round in South Carolina, but the best time to catch them is from May to June and again from September to October. These sharks can be caught using live bait or lures.
It’s important to note that shark fishing in South Carolina is heavily regulated, so anglers should check the most recent regulations before fishing.
Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in South Carolina
When it comes to shark fishing in South Carolina, the right bait or lure can make all the difference. Here are some of the best baits and lures to use when targeting sharks in South Carolina:
- Live Baits: Sharks are attracted to fresh and oily baits such as live bluefish, mullet, and menhaden. Using live bait can increase your chances of catching a shark.
- Cut Baits: Cut bait such as mackerel, squid, and bonito can also be effective for attracting sharks. Cut the bait into large chunks and use a wire leader to prevent the shark from biting through the line.
- Chum: Chumming the water with a mix of ground-up fish and fish oil can help to attract sharks to your location. Be sure to follow all local regulations when using chum.
- Artificial Lures: Sharks can also be caught on artificial lures such as swimbaits and jigs. Choose lures that mimic the size and movement of the shark’s natural prey.
- Shark Rigs: Pre-made shark rigs can be purchased at many fishing supply stores. These rigs typically include a wire leader, hook, and weight, and can be baited with live or cut bait.
It’s important to note that shark fishing in South Carolina is heavily regulated, and anglers are required to obtain the necessary permits and follow all regulations.
Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in South Carolina
When it comes to shark fishing in South Carolina, it’s important to use the right gear to ensure a safe and successful fishing trip. Here are some recommended gear for shark fishing in South Carolina:
- Rod and Reel: A sturdy and reliable rod and reel are essential for shark fishing. A heavy-duty rod with a strong backbone and a reel with a high line capacity is recommended. A conventional reel with a strong drag system is preferable for targeting larger species of sharks.
- Fishing Line: Use braided fishing line with a test strength of at least 50-80 pounds. A monofilament line can also be used but it’s not as strong as braided line.
- Leaders: Use wire leaders with a minimum test strength of 100-200 pounds to prevent the shark from biting through the line. Fluorocarbon leaders can also be used and they’re less visible to the shark.
- Hooks: Use circle hooks, which are safer for the shark and make it easier to release them unharmed. Use hooks with a minimum size of 8/0 to 10/0 depending on the size of the bait and the species of shark you’re targeting.
- Bait: Sharks are attracted to fresh and oily baits such as mackerel, bonito, and squid. Use large baits with a weight that matches the size of the hook.
- Fighting Belt: A fighting belt will help to distribute the weight of the rod and reel, making it easier to fight the shark without straining your lower back.
- Safety Gear: Wear a life jacket, gloves, and protective eyewear when shark fishing. Also, have a de-hooking tool and a long-handled landing net to safely release the shark.
Staying prepared with the right gear will give you the edge you need to land a personal best shark.
Best Shark Fishing Charters in In SouthCarolina
If you’re looking to go shark fishing in South Carolina and want to increase your chances of success, hiring a charter boat can be a great option. Here are some of the best shark fishing charters in South Carolina:
- Charleston Fishing Company: Based in Charleston, this company offers private shark fishing charters for up to six people. The captain has years of experience fishing for sharks and will provide all necessary equipment and bait.
- Reel Salty Fishing Charters: Located in Hilton Head Island, this charter company offers shark fishing charters that can accommodate up to four people. The captain is a seasoned angler and will work to ensure you have a successful and safe trip.
- Fish Call Charters: Operating out of Myrtle Beach, this charter company offers shark fishing trips that range from four to eight hours in duration. The experienced captain will provide all necessary gear and bait and will work to help you catch a variety of shark species.
- Shark Fisher Charters: Based in Murrells Inlet, this charter company offers both inshore and offshore shark fishing trips. The captain has years of experience fishing for sharks and will work to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
- Captain Smiley Fishing Charters: Located in Little River, this charter company offers shark fishing charters that can accommodate up to six people. The captain has extensive knowledge of the local waters and will provide all necessary equipment and bait.
Be sure to research each charter company’s reputation and reviews before booking your trip, and remember to follow all local regulations when shark fishing in South Carolina.
Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in In SouthCarolina
Shark fishing in South Carolina is regulated by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) to ensure the protection and conservation of shark populations. Here are some regulations and licenses you should be aware of:
- Shark Fishing License: A saltwater recreational fishing license is required to fish for sharks in South Carolina waters. Licenses can be obtained online through the SCDNR website or at many local tackle shops.
- Catch Limits: The SCDNR has established catch limits for certain species of sharks in South Carolina. It’s important to check the SCDNR website for the latest information on catch limits and regulations before planning your trip.
- Protected Species: Some species of sharks are protected in South Carolina and cannot be harvested. These include great white sharks, tiger sharks, and bull sharks. If you accidentally catch one of these protected species, it must be released immediately and in the water.
- Gear Restrictions: The SCDNR also regulates the type of gear that can be used for shark fishing. Only non-stainless steel circle hooks may be used, and all hooks must be barbless. Additionally, the use of chumming for shark fishing is prohibited in some areas.
- Reporting Requirements: If you catch a shark that meets the SCDNR’s minimum size requirements, you are required to report the catch to the agency. This can be done online through the SCDNR website or by calling the number provided on your fishing license.
It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and license requirements when shark fishing in South Carolina.
Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in In SouthCarolina
If you’re planning a shark fishing trip in South Carolina, there are plenty of accommodations available in the coastal areas of the state. Here are some options to consider:
- Hotels and Motels: There are many hotels and motels available in the coastal cities of South Carolina such as Charleston, Hilton Head Island, and Myrtle Beach. These can be a good option for those who want easy access to the beach and other amenities.
- Vacation Rentals: Another popular option is to rent a vacation home or condo near the beach. This can be a good choice for those who want more space and privacy, as well as access to a kitchen for preparing meals.
- Campgrounds: If you prefer a more outdoorsy experience, there are several campgrounds available in the coastal areas of South Carolina. These can be a good choice for those who enjoy camping and want to be close to the water.
- Fishing Resorts: If you want to make shark fishing the focus of your trip, there are several fishing resorts in South Carolina that cater to anglers. These resorts often offer guided fishing trips, equipment rentals, and other amenities to make your fishing experience more enjoyable.
When choosing your accommodations, it’s important to consider your budget, preferred location, and desired amenities. Be sure to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak fishing season in the summer months, as they can fill up quickly.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in In SouthCarolina
Here are some expert tips and tricks for successful shark fishing in South Carolina:
- Choose the Right Time: The best time to go shark fishing in South Carolina is during the summer months, when water temperatures are warmer and sharks are more active. Early morning and late afternoon are also good times to fish, as sharks tend to be more active during these times.
- Use the Right Bait: Sharks are attracted to strong-smelling bait, such as squid, mackerel, and bluefish. Use fresh bait and change it frequently to keep the scent strong.
- Use the Right Tackle: Use heavy-duty fishing tackle, such as a 50-80 lb test line, to handle the strength of a shark. Use circle hooks, which are less likely to be swallowed by the shark and can reduce the chance of injury during release.
- Chum the Water: Chumming the water with fish parts or blood can help attract sharks to your location. Be sure to check local regulations on chumming before doing so.
- Be Patient: Shark fishing can require a lot of waiting, so bring along some snacks, drinks, and entertainment to pass the time. Be prepared to wait several hours before getting a bite.
- Stay Safe: When handling a shark, be sure to use caution and wear protective gloves. Be sure to release the shark as quickly and safely as possible to minimize injury.
- Follow Local Regulations: Be sure to check local regulations on shark fishing before heading out. Some species of sharks are protected and must be released immediately. Also, be sure to have the necessary licenses and permits before fishing.
By following these tips, you will have an advantage in catching these predators.
In conclusion, shark fishing in South Carolina can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it requires preparation, patience, and caution. By using the right gear and bait, fishing during the right time of year, and following local regulations and safety measures, you can increase your chances of catching these amazing creatures while also ensuring their conservation. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, with these tips and tricks in mind, you can have a successful and enjoyable shark fishing trip in South Carolina.
Meet Nic Armitage, a devoted outdoors enthusiast with an insatiable love for fishing, boating, and a wide range of adventurous activities. His passion for the great outdoors knows no bounds. Nic is your trusted guide into the world of nature, sharing his experiences and expertise on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.