If you are thinking of going crabbing, it is always a good idea to check and see if a license is required. Getting a fishing license in South Carolina is not difficult, but some people wonder if it is going to include crabbing as well as fishing. Since the two can go hand in hand, it’s essential to have a general handle on licensing and regulations when you are fishing and crabbing in South Carolina.

Do You Need A License To Crab in SC?

Yes, to crab in South Carolina, you should have a fishing license. Getting a fishing license in South Carolina will not take more than just a few minutes. If you need your South Carolina fishing license, you can head to this website and fill out the information.

 What kind of crabs are in South Carolina?

Before you head out on your crabbing adventure, you may want to know what types of crabs are in South Carolina. The crab that most people are looking to get is the Blue Crab. If you have ever been to a restaurant in the South Carolina area, chances are you had the option for Blue Crab listed several times on the menu.

The Blue Crab has a sweeter taste to it than some other crabs. The one issue with it is that it can be a bit difficult to get the meat out of. If you plan on making a meal out of your blue crabs, you will need to catch quite a few.

The good news is they are rather easy to catch. They are caught both commercially and recreationally, and there are several ways to catch blue crabs.

Crap traps and equipment for catching blue crabs in South Carolina

What is Needed To Go Crabbing?

The most common way to catch a blue crab in the South Carolina and Georgia area is to use a crab trap or a crab pot. The crab trap and the crab pot are mostly the same thing.

The crab trap is going to look like a wire cube. There will be two sections in the crab trap. One section is where the bait is placed, and the rest is where the crabs can climb in but cannot climb back out. The large part that will hold the crabs in place has a few entrance holes that allow the crab to climb in.

If you plan on leaving your crab trap in the water, make sure that it is in an area that will still be covered by water at low tide. Crab traps need to be checked to make sure that the crabs inside are the proper size before keeping them.

If you leave your crab trap in a place where there is no water for several hours, it could kill the crabs. This is not only against the regulations; it’s just the wrong thing to do.

Since your crabs will be trapped inside the cage, you need to check every day and let the small ones go.

There are however other ways that you can catch blue crabs in South Carolina

Catching Blue Crabs With Drop Nets or Dip Nets

If you are fishing from a dock or a bridge in South Carolina, you may want to try a drop net or dipping. This is the most entertaining way to catch blue crabs, and it is a great way to get your kids involved in crabbing.

For this method, you will need a net, string, and bait.

The bait that seems to work best for us is chicken necks, they aren’t the most fun to work with, but they are quite useful in grabbing the blue crabs in the South Carolina area.

Attach some bait to the end of your string, toss the line in the water and wait for a bite. It is truly as simple as that.

When you feel the bite started to bring the crab back in, when it is close enough to see, you can grab it with the net and put it in your bucket. When you catch that crab, be aware because they can do some damage if not handled properly. It is best to dump the net straight into a bucket when possible.

What is the Best Bait for crabbing?

All crabbers will have their theories about the best bait for crabbing. It seems like the consensus is that chicken necks and chicken innards seem to work the best. The necks work great if you are dipping, and the chicken innards work well in the crab traps.

When Can You Catch Blue Crabs In South Carolina?

There is no season for blue crabs in South Carolina. You will not have to wait for the DNR to open the gates and allow crabbing in SC. The only thing that is going to prevent you from pulling in crabs is the water temperature.

If the water temperature is not exactly right for the blue crab, you will not catch anything. The temperature of the water needs to be above 55 degrees, or the crabs will be inactive. Of course, there is a chance that you can still grab one or two, but it is going to be much more challenging work.

In the South Carolina area, the best time to get crabs seems to be in the Fall. This is when the crabs tend to be the best sizes and typically the easiest to catch. It’s also a lot better weather to be standing on a dock or out on a boat catching these guys!

Price of A South Carolina Fishing License

As you can see, going crabbing in South Carolina does not have to be an expensive adventure. If you have a piece of string, make a quick trip to the grocery store, and find an old net, you will be all set. The only thing you need to remember to purchase is your fishing license.

The fishing license in South Carolina will cost about $10.00 per year. If you have other questions about a South Carolina fishing license, the different types and what you need to do to get one, check out our guide here.


Anytime you plan to take a species out of the water in the state of South Carolina, it’s a good idea to check to see if you need a license. Chances are if you are in salt or fresh water, you are going to need a license. The entire process of getting a fishing license in South Carolina takes a few minutes, and it helps to ensure that the waters we all love stay protected for years to come.

Got any great tips for catching blue crabs in South Carolina? Don’t hesitate to share!