By Alli Hill
South Carolina is well-known as an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, so it comes as no surprise that the state boasts an abundance of lakes and rivers to make any angler’s dreams come true. From fishing fresh mountain lakes and streams to natural and manmade reservoirs, you never know what you might catch. Here are the five best fishing spots in the state.
Lake Jocassee is the Palmetto State’s only lake that features both trophy trout and smallmouth bass. The lake’s clear, clean water plays home to rainbow trout, brown trout, white bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, and bluegill. The only public entry to Lake Jocassee is via Devil’s Fork State Park. Need to gear up with some bait and tackle? Stop at the Jocassee Outdoor Center to find everything you’ll need.
The largest lake in South Carolina is also the best spot in the state for catfish. In addition, fisherman can ready their hooks for striped bass, largemouth bass, bream, and crappie. This lake resides in Santee State Park, which features a fishing pier for those who do not have boat access. Swampy and tree-laden areas surround the lake’s circumference, creating prime fishing grounds, along with 110,000 acres of open water. Fishing enthusiasts can book a stay in one of the park’s fully-furnished cabins to fish around the clock.
There’s a reason why Lake Murray plays home to local, state, and national fishing tournaments each year—it offers some of the best fishing waters in the country. This lake hosts largemouth bass, striped bass, sunfish, bluegill, black crappie, and perch. In addition, you’ll find the catfish here bite year-round to make it an ideal spot to dip a line whenever the mood strikes. Look for the buoys that mark the location of fish attractors. Lake Murray tour guides are well versed in the best fishing spots on the lake, and you can book them to drive you there via boat. If you need gear before hitting the water, stop in at Ned’s Better Bait & Tackle in Lexington for fresh bait and a friendly staff.
With lush vegetation and a diversity of wildlife, Congaree River is one of the most unique fishing destinations in South Carolina. At 50 miles-long, there is plenty of opportunity to hop on your kayak and toss in a line. The types of fish to catch on the Congaree River range from catfish and perch to sunfish and largemouth bass. And bring binoculars, too. This is a great birding destination.
The magnificent Lake Greenwood State Park is one of 16 parks that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and remains as one of the finest examples of “classic CCC architecture.” Anglers will find first-rate bass fishing on Lake Greenwood, along with crappie, bream, perch, catfish, and stripers. Be sure to bring your fishing license!
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