Information & Rules on SC Saltwater Game Fish Records

Anglers whose fish have been verified as new state records or ties with existing records will receive certificates acknowledging their state records. Only the names of anglers establishing a new record will be published in the official list of state records. Fish names used in this program are those recognized by the American Fisheries Society as a standard for the species.

The following rules apply:

  1. Record fish must be caught using conventional rod and reel, and the fish must be hooked and played by one person only. Fish which are shot, harpooned, gigged, caught on electric reels, or in any unsportsmanlike manner shall be ineligible for record status.
  2. Only all-tackle records are maintained. Tackle size is not a consideration for state records.
  3. Record fish must be caught in accordance with all state and federal laws. Fish from hatchery waters, sanctuaries, or cultured in any way are ineligible. Boats fishing offshore must depart and return to South Carolina waters without entering any other state's or nation's port.
  4. To establish a new state record, the following weight requirements must be met:
    • A fish weighing less than fifty (50) pounds must exceed the old record by four (4) ounces to be regarded as a new record. A weight difference of less than four ounces will result in a tie.
    • A fish weighing fifty (50) pounds, but not exceeding 100 pounds, must exceed the old record by eight (8) ounces to be regarded as a new record. A weight difference of less than eight ounces will result in a tie.
    • A fish weighing more than 100 pounds must exceed the old record by sixteen (16) ounces to be recognized as a new record. A weight difference of less than sixteen ounces will result in a tie.
    • These weight requirements are based on the existing record with no consideration given to subsequent ties which may be slightly heavier.
  5. Estimated weights are not acceptable. All fish must be weighed on state-certified scales, and the weight must be verified by two witnesses not associated with the catch of the fish.
  6. All entries must be inspected and verified by a marine fisheries biologist of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Report your catch to:

State Record Marine Game Fish Program
P.O. Box 12559
Charleston, SC 29442-2559
(843)953-9365

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources reserves the right to refuse any questionable entry. The decision of the State Record Marine Gamefish Committee is final. In the event a state marine fisheries biologist is not available, the fish should be frozen or otherwise preserved intact until a biologist can be contacted.