Offshore of South Carolina offers fertile fishing for many pelagic species. The state is an excellent fishery, and inlets line the coast for easy ocean access. The gulf stream is home to five of the most common pelagic fish. Anglers travel between twenty-five and seventy miles from the coastline to reach the gulf stream. Trolling is the most common method for catching pelagic fish in the gulf stream. Let’s learn about each of these. Here is some helpful information about the fish you can catch in South Carolina.

What are the most common pelagic fish found offshore of South Carolina?

  1. Wahoo
  2. Yellowfin Tuna
  3. Dolphin
  4. Sailfish
  5. Marlin

The get a better understanding of each of these in the gulf stream South Carolina, here are specific details on common fish in South Carolina:


Common Names-




The wahoo is equipped with razor-sharp teeth with a beak-like mouth that easily cuts through monofilament and fluorocarbon leaders.

Long with verticle blue stripes against a white body.


The wahoo exceeds 100 pounds but is most common between 30 and fifty pounds.

Wahoo does reach over one hundred pounds. 

Sporting ability:

Spectacular drag screaming runs. Ono is one of the fastest fish in the ocean. 

Food Quality:

When it comes to taste and texture the fillets are mild and white. Remember, to avoid overcooking wahoo as the flesh becomes dry. Restaurants across the country serve wahoo as sashimi.

Yellowfin Tuna

Common Names-

Allison Tuna



It is not uncommon to confuse yellowfin vs. blackfin tuna. One significant distinguishing marks are the lengthy second dorsal and anal fins. 

All of the fins are yellow and surrounded by a thin black line. 


Yellowfin tend to travel in schools. The size range is between three pounds up to one hundred. 

Anglers most frequently catch shool sized ahi tuna however, the yellowfin exceeds three hundred pounds.

Sporting ability:

Known for running deep and doubling over a rod and the tuna fishing in South Carolina is superb.

Food Quality:

One of the best-tasting fish in the sea which is why people go tuna fishing South Carolina. Great as sushi.


Common Names-





One of the most beautifully colored fish they have a mix of blue, green, and yellow. The colors change when the fish is in a feeding frenzy. Mahi mahi offshore fishing south Carolina is popular because they gather in large schools. As a result of the school size it is not uncommon to have a boat full of dolphin.

However, although dolphin makes the list of common fish caught in South Carolina, the best opportunities are seasonal so plan to fish during the spring and summer months.

The bull dolphin is a male and is distinguished by their blunt head compared to rounded.

Cow dolphin are female dolphin whose heads are more rounded, and they are referred to as cows. 


Dolphin frequently travel in schools from a couple of pounds up to twenty pounds.

The large dolphin tend to travel alone or as a male/female partnership and reach over eighty pounds.

Sporting ability:

Mahi-Mahi put up an excellent fight. In a single hookup, they can make deep runs and magnificent jumps. 

Food Quality:

Mahi mahi or dolphin make excellent table fare. The mild white fillets are best grilled, broiled, or fried and paired with tarter sauce.


Common Names-




This billfish is unique to all the rest. The dorsal fin is very much like a sail, which can be laid flat or fully extended. 

Sailfish contain vertical dotted stripes line both sides and are colored blue on the top and silver towards the bottom. 

Sheepshead has seven vertical black stripes.


On average, the Atlantic sailfish range between thirty-five and sixty pounds. However, sailfish exceed one hundred pounds.

Sporting ability:

Exhilarating fight. Long fast runs with spectacular jumps that display’s the dorsal fin flailing in the air. 

Food Quality:

The sailfish is best prepared smoked but instead should be released due to the lack of quality of the fillets.

Blue and White Marlin:

Common Names-

White Marlin:

Aguja Blanca

Blue Marlin

Aguja Azul


When it comes to coloration, the blue marlin displays deep blue along the upper half of the body.

Solid stripes extend from the top of the dorsal fin down to the anal fins from the front to the back of the body.

White marlin and blue marlin share similar features. The primary difference between the two is size.

A key difference between the two is the blue marlin has a pointed rear-facing dorsal fin tip, and the white has a rounded dorsal fin tip.


White Marlin are most often caught between fifty to one hundred pounds but do exceed 180. 

Blue Marlin are much larger than there counterpart. Five hundred pounders are not uncommon and reach weights of over 1,000 pounds.

Sporting ability:

When it comes to power and speed, blue marlin top the list. When people know blue marlin is on the list what kind of fish can you catch in South Carolina they make the offshore waters a destination.

The white marlin has a more similar fight to a sailfish with long runs and impressive jumps.

Food Quality:

While both blue and white marlin may be harvested, they are commonly released. The flesh is considered good to eat. 

Now You Know What Fish You Catch In South Carolina Offshore

When you’re trolling offshore of South Carolina is not uncommon to have hookups with a variety of these pelagic fish. Now you know what fish can you catch in South Carolina. Suitable gear is necessary for the toughest of battles in addition to long runs and high seas. When fishing the gulf stream expect to pay high fuel costs as a result of the lengthy runs offshore. Despite the expense, pelagic fish are both excellent gamefish and delicious when served fresh. Next time you’re in the state, be sure to go South Carolina offshore fishing.