Summertime is synonymous with sitting back sipping a cold drink while casting a line out into the water. Such a simple activity is one of the most relaxing ways to spend a day and Edisto Beach vacationers look forward to it all year long.
Theres nothing quite like sitting on an overturned bucket on the beach or standing knee-deep in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean waiting to catch a fish, shark, or ray. But before you break out the tackle box, bait, and fishing poles, make sure to get a recreational fishing license from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Licenses can be obtained online from dnrlicensing.sc.gov. All applicants need is one of the following: valid drivers license, valid State issued ID card, military ID, or Passport. Payment can be made online and the fees vary from around $5 to $10, depending on state of residency.
In addition to obtaining a recreational fishing license, DNRs rules regarding recreational fishing have changed. Here are some things to know before fishing, crabbing, shrimping, or shellfishing:
- Individuals 16 and older must purchase a Saltwater Recreational Fishing License unless they are fishing from a licensed public fishing pier or fishing off of a licensed charter vessel; using three or fewer traps or three or fewer handlines with no kooks and a single bait per line; or shrimp baiting (which requires a different shrimp baiting license).
- When crabbing (for blue crabs), crabs with bodies less than five inches wide must be thrown back and females with an egg sponge (which looks like an orange mass on the abdomen) must be placed back in the water unharmed.
- Visit the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website to view regulations regarding limits to what fish/sharks can be kept by recreational fishermen.
For those of you who like to eat the fish you catch, there are some fish that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control advise against eating due to the levels of mercury and other toxins found in the tissue of these fish. Currently, a do not eat advisory is in place for King Mackerel more than 39 inches in length, all species of shark, and tilefish. These regulations are in place to protect the public, marine life, and ensure the waterways stay clean.
Getting a fishing license might sound like its a bit of a hassle, but its all worth it once youre out there on the beach in the early morning listening to the crashing waves and feeling the sultry southern sun begin to warm up the day.