Saltwater Fishing Tournaments

Saltwater Fishing Tournaments


Attention Tournament Directors: Please contact the SCDNR Boating Safety Office for a "Marine Event Form." (843) 953-9378.

Note: Regulations have changed for 2011 please verify fish possession limits. Saltwater Fishing Rules & Regulations Adobe PDF Icon are in the Adobe® Acrobat® (PDF) format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open the files and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.

 

Catch and Release Fishing......An Alternative

Release your fish - make a positive impact in the conservation of our natural resources. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources seeks the assistance of saltwater anglers concerned about our game fish stocks. Anglers are urged to release their fish to help ensure future fishing opportunities.

Anglers intent on releasing fish should minimize handling and carefully remove the hook or cut the line close to the hook. Grasping the hook with pliers or a similar tool is usually quicker and less damaging to the fish. An exhausted fish should be revived by moving it both forward and backwards through the water until it is able to swim off.

Anglers wishing to tag and release fish should contact the Marine Game Fish Tagging Program. Tagging kits are free, and include tags, tag applicator and a brochure describing the program guidelines, instructions on handling, tagging, and releasing fish. A list of priority species for tagging is also included. After a tagged fish is recaptured, both the angler making the recapture and the angler who initially tagged the fish, will be provided a catch history of that fish. Anglers who report a tag recapture receive a reward. Please re-release fish when possible and report the tag number, size of the fish, capture date, location, and angler address.  Invest in the future of your sport, practice catch and release. For more information contact:

Marine Game Fish Tagging Program
P.O. Box 12559
Charleston, SC 29422-2559
(843) 953-9363
e-mail: wiggersr@dnr.sc.gov


State Billfish Certificate

If you are one of the fortunate anglers who lands, tags, or releases a blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, or swordfish, or who releases or tags a spearfish off the South Carolina coast, you are eligible to receive an official state certificate to document your angling achievement. Also eligible for certificates are anglers who tag and release billfish in other areas of the world as participants in the SC Marine Game Fish Tagging Program. The only requirements are that you contact a biologist with the Billfish Monitoring Program and provide information concerning your catch. These certificates are being offered by the Office of Fisheries Management in an ongoing effort to document all billfish landed or released off the South Carolina coast and to document participation in the Marine Game Fish Tagging Program. This program provides vital life history information needed for billfish management. Report your fish, promptly, to:

Billfish Monitoring Program
P. O. Box 12559
Charleston, SC 29422-2559
(843) 953-9365
(843) 953-9362 FAX
E-mail: DukesA@dnr.sc.gov


South Carolina Master Angler Program

In 1987 the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources initiated a program to recognize outstanding sportsmanship in recreational anglers and to encourage anglers to tag and release their catch. The South Carolina Master Angler Program expanded its goals and changed its format in 1999. To qualify for a Master Angler Certificate, an angler must catch one of the eligible game fish meeting or exceeding the minimum weight requirement for that species. Any angler releasing 30 or more qualifying fish during a calendar year will qualify for the Master Angler Conservation Citation. All entries must be in accordance with the established guidelines of the South Carolina Master Angler Program. Individuals who meet these requirements will receive an official state certificate suitable for framing. For more information write to:

Fisheries Statistics Section
P.O. Box 12559
Charleston, S.C. 29422-2559
(843) 953-9300


Information & Rules Concerning State 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.

  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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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, S.C. 29422-2559
(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.

[ Back to top ]