You've seen the old saying on car bumpers and trucker hats: “A bad day of fishing is better than a great day of work.” Well, the same holds true for vacation, especially in Myrtle Beach. With the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and many lakes and rivers along the Carolina coast, visitors have a wide selection of choices for fun ways to spend a great day of fishing.
Guests at the Caribbean Resort & Villas don't have to look very far to find some of the best fishing on the Grand Strand. With easy access to fishing piers, the beach and the Intracoastal Waterway, hooking a big one might be only a cast away. Here are some of our favorite honey holes where you can catch a wall hanger and have a fun time angling with family and friends:
- Charter Boats: The best way to catch fish is to go where they live, and there's a lot of ground, (er, water) to cover in the Atlantic. Guests can go deep-sea fishing well offshore with a full-day trip to the Gulf Stream, about 90 miles off the coast, to find the big ones — grouper, snapper, king mackerel and other beasts of the sea. Half-day trips stay closer to shore and land a lot of sea bass, flounder and spot, which are fun to catch and not as hard to reel onto the deck. Charter boats sail out of two local ports — on the north end at Little River Inlet (Little River Fishing Fleet) and the south end at Murrells Inlet (Captain Dick's). Outfitters provide all the gear, bait, licenses and guides who can bait your hook and give pointers on how best to hook a big one.
- Fishing Piers: For folks who are prone to seasickness or who might be otherwise hesitant to head out to sea, local piers may be the best option for ocean angling. Caribbean guests are a short distance from Apache Pier, 14th Avenue Pier, Second Avenue Pier, Springmaid Beach Pier and Myrtle Beach State Park Pier, while Cherry Grove Pier and Surfside Beach Pier are within a 15-mile drive. All local piers offer patrons equipment rental and licensing, and on-site bait shops have all the fish food and free tips you’ll need. Experts at each pier can also provide information about what species are running and what type of bait and tackle to use, as well as tide and wind data so you can maximize your chances. Myrtle Beach State Park also offers educational programs for children on topics such as crabbing, cast-netting and fishing.
- Freshwater Fishing: With the close proximity of the ocean, many overlook the Grand Strand's abundance of freshwater fishing opportunities. Lake Waccamaw, which is just over the border in North Carolina, feeds the Waccamaw River (and several tributaries) as it winds its way to Lake Busby in downtown Conway, and eventually through the Waccamaw Neck area and all the way to Winyah Bay and Georgetown. Plenty of spots along the Waccamaw, Big Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Black rivers are great for catching bass, crappie, bream and other popular freshwater species, but you will need to bring your own gear and pick up a license.
- Intracoastal Waterway: This man-made waterway is unique in that it features both fresh and saltwater species. Stretching from Little River Inlet to Winyah Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway offers lots of hot spots you can reach via the banks, as well as those swampy places that are reachable only by boat. For those without a boat or who are unfamiliar with the area, there are several guides and tours that will take you and your crew into the backwaters for a great day of fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway.
- Surf Fishing: Many anglers prefer to fish old-school and cast their lines directly from the beach. Although catching a big one close to shore can be difficult, the good news is that you can enjoy a day at the beach whether you catch anything or not. It's important to avoid crowded sections of the beach so you don't interrupt others who are trying to swim and play in the surf. Caribbean guests can stroll a few blocks north to the undeveloped beaches of the Golden Mile and find lots of room for surf fishing, or head south to Huntington Beach State Park, where you can reach Murrells Inlet from the jetty. Recent law changes now require a license for surf fishing, and the beach patrol monitors the activity for safety.
So what happens if the big one gets away? Simply come back to the Caribbean Resort & Villas, enjoy a fresh seafood feast next door at the legendary Sea Captain's House, and relax in your room after a fun day of fishing. After all, a bad day of fishing is still a great day of vacation in Myrtle Beach.