While golf grabs more sports headlines, the Grand Strand’s 60 miles of coastline and numerous inlets and creeks make fishing here a natural pastime. Fishing can be as simple as casting a line in the surf, dropping a hook off the pier, or heading out onto the ocean for a day of deep-sea fishing. Landing your own “catch of the day” doesn’t require experience, and you don’t even need to own a fishing rod. Fishing fleets, anchored at both ends of the beach, offer trips that include bait, tackle and instruction, making it carefree and fun. It helps to have an idea where the fish are, and area boat captains know just where to look!
The most popular type of deep-sea fishing takes place on headboats, or party boats. These large boats accommodate a number of passengers and offer a smooth ride and great scenery along the way. Once the captain finds the fish and says “drop the lines,” the fun really begins! Refreshments are available for purchase onboard, so all you need is a ticket and an appetite for excitement. Often your fish can be cleaned for you at the dock, making a fresh seafood dinner a real breeze.
Hurricane Fleet, Little River Fishing Fleet and Captain Raymond’s Fishing & Cruises, all docked in Little River and Calabash, as well as Voyager Deep Sea Fishing in North Myrtle Beach at Dock Holiday’s Marina, offer half-day (around $40) and full-day (around $90) trips. In the busy spring and fall seasons, boats fill up fast so reservations are a good idea.
Chartering a sportfishing boat is the ultimate deep-sea adventure! Onboard, you’ll troll for the big ones...king mackerel, wahoo, cobia, sailfish and marlin. Most charter boats carry a maximum of six passengers, captain and first mate, and even refreshments can be furnished. The fleets mentioned earlier design custom charter trips.
Pier fishing is another great way to enjoy the sport. Piers extending 1,000 or more feet into the Atlantic, like 2nd Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach, are located up and down the coast and allow anglers to fish for less than $10 per day. Tackle shops on the piers rent equipment and sell the right bait for what’s biting that day. Depending on the time of year, catches include flounder, blues, whiting and spot. If by chance the fish aren’t biting, the people-watching opportunities are unlimited!
Nature-watching and sightseeing trips, like Cap’n Rod’s Lighthouse & Plantation Tours leaving from the waterfront in Georgetown, SC, fit the bill for those who find dropping a line just a little too taxing. Sail away to a nearby island with Big Island Charters and let their friendly crew pamper you as you picnic and sunbathe to your heart’s content!
On the north end, the Hurricane Fleet, Little River Fishing Fleet, Captain Raymond’s Fishing & Cruises, and Voyager Deep Sea Fishing also offer opportunities for a different view of the coast with their eco- and sightseeing cruises. Trips include close-up views of a working shrimp boat! In addition to appreciating the hard work required to catch the shrimp for tonight’s seafood dinner, it’s a great way to see dolphins following close behind the shrimp boats hoping for a free seafood dinner!
With all the Carolinas’ coastal waters have to offer, you won’t find a more enjoyable way to spend a sunny day!