New regulations for SC hunters and anglers


SC 2021-2022 regulations manual includes some important changes

South Carolina’s yearly official hunting and fishing regulations booklets come out on Aug. 1 of each year. Some regulations are updated at odd times of the year. The new booklet shows those regulations as well as all others for the 12 months that follow.

SCDNR’s 2021-2022 booklet is not yet available online but will be soon. Printed versions should be available from local tackle shops and retail outlets that sell fishing tackle and hunting gear. Towards the front of each regulation guide, the most significant new laws are printed.

So what’s new in South Carolina’s hunting and fishing regulation booklet for 2021-2022? Let’s take a look:

Hunting regulations

It is now legal in Game Zone 4 to hunt bear with unprocessed bait on private land. Unprocessed bait is defined by SCDNR as “any natural food item harvested from a plant crop that is not modified from its raw components and includes unmodified grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.”

This new law became effective on May 17, 2021.

Freshwater fishing

An obscure law that prohibited possessing game fishing devices while engaged in using nongame devices has been repealed. This law mainly applied to anglers setting bush hooks and trot lines. It was illegal to have fishing rods and reels on your boat when you were setting or checking bush hooks and trot lines. This is no longer the case.

However, it is still illegal to possess game fish (other than live bream where permitted as live bait) while using or possessing nongame devices. In other words, if you’re working your bush hook or trot lines, you can’t have bass, crappie, trout, etc. with you. As stated, it’s okay to have live bream, as long as you’re in an area that allows live bream to be used as bait.

This law became effective July 1, 2021.

Blue catfish size and catch limits

It is now unlawful statewide to take more than 25 blue catfish per day. It is also unlawful to possess more than two blue catfish greater than 32 inches in any one day in all state waterways.

This law became effective June 17, 2021.

It is now legal to use set hooks (bush hooks, trot lines) within a certain portion of the Santee River seaward to the saltwater-freshwater dividing line where it was previously unlawful.

It is also now unlawful to use hoop nets on the Congaree River. But it is legal to use up to 10 hoop nets on the Wateree River with a commercial license.

This law became effective May 17, 2021.

Saltwater fishing

Flounder: The new catch limits for flounder are five per person, per day, not to exceed more than 10 per boat per day. The minimum size has increased from 15 inches to 16 inches. Recreational saltwater license fees have also been increased.

This law became effective July 1, 2021.

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About Brian Cope 1996 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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