Rules Concerning 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:
- 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.
- Only all-tackle records are maintained. Tackle size is not a consideration for state records.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- These weight requirements are based on the existing record with no consideration given to subsequent ties which may be slightly heavier.
- All entries must be inspected and verified by a marine fisheries biologist of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Master Angler Program:
South Carolina anglers regularly land exceptionally large fish that may not qualify for state record status but still are worthy of recognition. Other anglers make significant contributions toward the conservation of marine game fish by tagging and releasing fish rather than bringing them to the dock.
The South Carolina Master Angler Program was established to provide recognition to saltwater fishermen who make outstanding catches and to those anglers who regularly practice conservation by tagging and releasing fish.
Under this program, the Marine Resources Division of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources will present a Master Angler certificate to each angler who lands a qualifying fish. A Conservation Citation will be presented to each angler who tags and releases 30 or more fish in a calendar year.
At the conclusion of this year's program, special recognition will be given for the largest entry of each eligible species and for the most game fish tagged and released by one individual.
Report your catch to:
State Record Marine Game Fish Program
P. O. Box 12559
Charleston, SC 29442-2559
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. View South Carolina State saltwater game fish