Top 5 South Carolina State Parks for New Anglers

by on January 1st, 2011
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South Carolina’s State Parks have a lot to offer in the way of fishing and boating opportunities. Of course some are better than others in regards to amenities. In my opinion, some of the best South Carolina State Parks for new anglers have tackle loaner programs, boat launches and boat ramps. Here are five of the best:

1. Hickory Knob State Resort Park

In my opinion, the Hickory Knob State Resort Park has got to be one of the best state parks for new anglers. It is located in McCormick. The park features a 71,000 acre reservoir, a tackle loaner program, boat rentals and a boat ramp. Through the tackle loaner program, visiting anglers get free use of a stocked tackle box, a fishing rod and a reel. There is also usually someone on hand to dispense a little fishing wisdom as needed. Boat rental prices start at $7 an hour and use of the boat ramp typically requires the remittance of a modest day use fee. Admission to the park itself is free. Overnight camping as well as a restaurant is also available on site. It is open daily.

2. Cheraw State Park

The Cheraw State Park features a 360 acre lake that teems with catfish, bream and bass. The park also offers visiting anglers a boat ramp, boat rentals and gratis use of tackle, a rod and reel. Boat rental prices start at $15 a day and you have your choice of a fishing boat, kayak or canoe. There is no admission fee to access the park and hours of operation vary by season.

3. Oconee State Park

The Oconee State Park is located in Mountain Rest and features a 12 acre lake known for having decent size populations of bream, bass and catfish. There is a bait and tackle shop on site as well as boat rentals, a boat ramp and a fishing pier. The park also has a free tackle loaner program as well. Boat rental prices start at $10 for a half day’s use. You may expect to pay a modest $2 per adult admission fee. Children 15 years of age and younger are generally admitted into the park for free. It is open daily with varying hours of operation.

4. Aiken State Park

The Aiken State Park is located in Windsor and features both river and lake fishing. There are four lakes, one river and three artesian wells on premise. Visiting anglers may also take advantage of the tackle loaner program, an onsite bait and tackle shop, boat rentals and a boat launch area. Boat rental prices start at $15 a day. The park opens daily at 9 a.m. and there is a reasonable $2 per adult admission fee charged.

5. Dreher Island State Park

The Dreher Island State Park is located in Prosperity. It may not have a tackle loaner program or boat rentals but it has a few other features new anglers will appreciate. There is an onsite bait and tackle shop, a trio of boat ramps, fishing tournament areas, in-water refueling and tons of largemouth bass, yellow perch and stripers. Bream, catfish and crappie are also found within the park’s Lake Murray area. What’s nice about the fishing tournament shelters is that they have Wi-Fi access so you can upload photos of your prize winning catch to your Facebook page before you even leave the shoreline. It opens daily from dawn until dusk and there is a $2 admission fee in effect for adults.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family and has traveled extensively.

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