The South Strand is famous for its award-winning seafood restaurants, but the freshest catches are located just off the shore. The Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding tidal creeks and inlets are teeming with a wide variety of fish species, as well as shrimp, oysters, blue crabs and more. Visiting anglers can cut out the middle-man restaurants and go straight to the source by catching and cooking their own seafood feast. Here are five of the best places to hook a big one for dinner:
* Charter Boats: The best way to catch the biggest fish is to go where they live – way offshore near the Gulfstream. Full-day deep sea fishing trips depart daily from the surrounding ports of Murrells Inlet and Winyah Bay in Georgetown, including the highly rated Capt. Dick's at Crazy Sisters Marina. Half-day trips to local waters are also offered for those who prefer less riding and more fishing. Charters offer all the gear, equipment, licensing and tackle you need for a successful fishing trip, and the crew will even bait your hooks and remove your catches so you can continue to reel them in. Some outfits will even clean your fish for a small fee or tip.
* Garden City Beach Pier: Fishing from a pier is your best chance of bagging a big one without a boat. Stretching out into the Atlantic, the Garden City Beach Pier allows anglers to reach greater depths and larger fish while staying on relatively dry land. The pier has everything you need for a full day of fishing, including equipment rental, licenses, bait and even some friendly advice from pier regulars. The tackle shop also has info on which species are running and what bait they are biting, and you can get snacks, drinks and other items for your day of angling.
* Huntington Beach State Park: One of the most spectacular places on the Grand Strand is this oceanfront state park, which is located just a few miles north of Litchfield Beach. Featuring beautiful beaches, hiking and biking trails, scenic swamps and forests, Huntington Beach is also an awesome spot for fishing. The northernmost point of the park is the mouth of Murrells Inlet, where a long rock jetty allows anglers to reach deep into the channel and catch a wide variety of fish species. It's a bit of a walk to get to the jetty but a rolling cooler can carry all your gear and refreshments below the high-tide line.
* Marinas: The docks that surround the local marinas also provide fishing opportunities if you can find a spot away from all the boat traffic. Veterans Pier near the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk offers some hot spots near the Crazy Sisters Marina, and the Georgetown Landing Marina and Harborwalk Marina in nearby Georgetown also attract crabbers and fishermen to the docks. Most marinas have extensive tackle shops where you get all the equipment, bait and licenses you need. They also have their own seafood restaurants in case the big one gets away.
* Waccamaw Neck: For freshwater fishing fans, there are multiple opportunities just a short distance inland from Litchfield Beach. The Waccamaw Neck features the confluence of the Intracoastal Waterway, Black, Sampit, Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers, along with other creeks and streams that feed into the main channel, and boasts excellent fishing around Sandy Island and the surrounding wooded banks. Local outfitters offer trips to some secret honey holes, where you can catch a wide selection of freshwater species.
After a fun day of fishing, return to the resort and cook up your own seafood feast. Or, if the big one gets away, head to the on-site Webster’s Lowcountry Grill and let someone else do the catching and the cooking. Either way, you’re sure to have a great vacation experience at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort.