Perhaps we should call it “catching,” because there are lots of nearby places where you can wet a line and hook a big one. Here are some of the best places to go fishing on the Grand Strand:
* Fishing Piers: This is the easiest and most trouble-free way to go fishing, since the piers provide all the gear, bait and expertise you need for a fun day over the water. Guests at Bay View on the Boardwalk are only a short walk from the Second Avenue Pier, which rents equipment, sells bait, issues licenses and even offers pointers about which fish are running. For a bit more educational experience, Myrtle Beach State Park is about 4 miles south of Bay View and features park rangers offering tips and programs about fishing, crabbing, seining and other aquatic activities. There is a small fee for using the facilities, and the tackle, bait and license will set you back a few bucks, but piers provide the easiest access to deeper waters and bigger fish without using a boat.
* Charter Boats: If you want to bag a really big one, you have to go where they live, and that means chartering a boat to head for deep waters. The Grand Strand has a wide selection of deep-sea fishing charter boats — most of them sailing out of Murrells Inlet about 14 miles to the south of Bay View or Little River about 25 miles to the north. Offering half-day, full-day and overnight voyages, charter boats can take you a short distance off the coast or all the way out to the Gulf Stream, where the whoppers await. The captain and his crew handle all the gear, bait, licenses and work, even baiting your hook and removing your catches from the line for you. That makes a day of deep-sea fishing perfect for seaworthy families of all ages.
* Surf Fishing: Some folks prefer a little solitude while they fish as a way of connecting with nature, and surf fishing is the perfect way to spend a day with just you, the ocean and, hopefully, lots of fish. First, you have to find an isolated stretch of beach, which can be tricky during the summertime. Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park provide the best opportunities to fish without disruption from surrounding swimmers and sunbathers. In fact, Huntington Beach State Park features a stone jetty at the mouth of Murrells Inlet, a hot spot for surf anglers. You will need to provide your own pole, bait and license, but you can pick those up at any local bait shop.
* Freshwater Fishing: For anglers who prefer freshwater to saltwater, the Grand Strand also has you covered. The Intracoastal Waterway parallels the coastline just a few miles inland and offers a mix of salt and fresh — both water and fish. The Waccamaw River and Pee Dee River offer excellent freshwater opportunities, and there are several lakes and bays that are perfect for folks with smaller children who are thrilled just to catch a little one.
After a fun day of fishing, head back to Bay View on the Boardwalk for a relaxing night and, hopefully, a fresh and free seafood dinner. If not, be sure to stop off at an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. Either way, fishing is a great way to spend a fun day in Myrtle Beach.