For a full day affordable family fun in Myrtle Beach, take your crew fishing. With the Atlantic Ocean within casting distance and Intracoastal Waterway a short distance to the west, there are lots of opportunities for anglers to catch a keeper. Here are some popular places for family fishing:
Charter Boat: If you want to catch the big ones you have to go where they live, which is farther off the coast than you cast. Although the more rigorous full-day, deep-sea fishing trips are probably too long for younger children, many local charters offer half-day offshore trips that go out only a few miles before it's time to drop a line. The guided tours feature crew members who will bait your hook, untangle your line, remove fish from your hook – just about everything but the fun part of catching them. Several outfitters operate out of Little River to the north and Murrells Inlet to the south, about 15 miles in either direction. Be sure to slap plenty of sunscreen since the sun is even more intense out on the ocean. Catch fish, not rays.
Piers: Paradise Resort guests are fortunate to have two fishing piers within walking distance of the property – Springmaid Beach Pier about six blocks to the south, and Myrtle Beach State Park Pier a few blocks farther. Springmaid is privately owned and operated while the other is operated by the state. Both feature a tackle shop that offers equipment rental, licenses, gear, bait and bathrooms, and you can pick up a few tips about what fish are running. Catch blue, drum, sea bass, snapper, trout and various species from the convenience of the wooden walkway. For a small fee, visitors to Myrtle Beach State Park can take part in special programs designed to entertain and educate kids, such as fishing, crabbing and cast-netting from the pier.
Surf Fishing: If you have your own gear and don't mind hiking to a secluded stretch of beach, this is the cheapest and easiest way to take the family fishing. Pack up the beach chairs and fishing poles and had south until you find a spot without swimmers so you don't accidentally hook someone or attract sharks to a populated area. Cast out past the breakers, preferably during a falling tide, and keep an eye on the tip of your rod. If you get pole holders you can play with the kids on the beach while you wait for a nibble, but be ready and close enough to reel when it's showtime. A recent change in SC law now requires a license for surf fishing but you can pick one up at any of the local piers, tackle shops or outdoors stores. A 14-day permit is $11, while an annual instate license is $35. You can also find live bait at local piers but if you have a cast net you can usually catch your own in the surf.
Waterway: If you prefer fishing on a river or lake than the ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway provides a unique fishing experience. Running somewhat parallel to the coast from Little River down to Georgetown, the Waterway offers a rare mix of fresh and saltwater fish, depending on the tide and your proximity to the mouths of the manmade shipping route. Larger ocean fish often come in to feed on smaller one during high tide so there are times when you are likely to catch a sea bass as well as a largemouth bass. There are several marinas along the Waterway where you can wet a line, as well as boat landings and other public-use parks. There are also outfitters that offer freshwater and backwater fishing charters.