Go Fish! Four Places to Hook a Big One in Myrtle Beach

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There are hundreds of restaurants where you can get fresh seafood in Myrtle Beach, but nothing beats going straight to the source. With a 60-mile stretch of coastline bordering the bountiful Atlantic Ocean and lots of inlets and waterways where you can enjoy a relaxing day of fishing without all the waves, the Grand Strand is swimming with excellent angling opportunities. Here are our favorite honey holes and hot spots where you can hook a big one, or lie about the one that got away:

Charter Boat: For serious anglers, the absolute best way to go after a big catch is by boat, preferably on a full-day trip out to the Gulf Stream. Lots of local fishing charters offer these all-inclusive excursions, on which the crew does everything from bait your hook to clean your fish. Sailing about 90 miles off the Carolina coast, charter boats go where the big ones are, with large grouper, sea bass, snapper and sport-fishing species abundant. Half-day trips, which give patrons the ocean fishing experience without the grueling voyage, may be better for families and casual fishermen. There are also outfitters that make trips to the Intracoastal Waterway and other inland rivers and streams. Most sail out of the ports of Calabash/Little River (Hurricane Fleet, Little River Fishing Fleet, etc.) and Murrells Inlet (Crazy Sister Marina, etc.).

Fishing Piers: If you don't have access to a boat, a fishing pier is your best bet for catching ocean species. The Grand Strand is home to eight fishing piers, including four in the Myrtle Beach area — 14th Avenue Pier, Second Avenue Pier, Springmaid Pier and Myrtle Beach State Park Pier. Bay View guests are close to all these popular angling spots, where you can rent equipment, get a license, buy bait and enjoy the company of some colorful workers and regulars. Farther south, Surfside Beach Pier and Garden City Beach Pier provide opportunities near the mouth of Murrells Inlet. To the north, Apache Pier and Cherry Grove Pier have claimed several record catches. Flounder, mackerel, spot and drum are among the top targets, although the seasonal runs vary depending on water temperature, tides, migration and other factors. Check with the tackle shop for the latest info.

Intracoastal Waterway: Running from the Carolina border in Little River to Winyah Bay in Georgetown, this man-made river meanders through some scenic and shady spots that are perfect for a summer fishing trip. Best of all, the Intracoastal Waterway is one of the few places where anglers can catch both freshwater and saltwater species — a rare treat for fans of each. While the waterway’s north and south ends are heavy on seagoing boat traffic, the stretch from the Socastee Swing Bridge to the Waccamaw Neck is lined with adjoining rivers and tidal creeks where you can find some seclusion and great fishing. Several outfitters offer waterway excursions, or you can find some public boat docks and ramps for casting from the shore. Most marinas have bait shops where you can take care of all your license and fishing needs.

Surf Fishing: This popular beach activity is great for fishing, but not so much for catching. Part of the issue is finding a more secluded stretch of beach without swimmers, since fishing near crowds can be dangerous. Although the city of Myrtle Beach allows surf fishing, the vague wording of the rules is to avoid fishing where swimmers are present. Depending on the weather and time of day, you may find some beachgoer downtime to wet your line and catch a fish or two. But your best bet is a trip to a more remote location than the downtown district, like Myrtle Beach State Park or unincorporated sections of Horry County.

If your day of fishing doesn't yield enough for a free meal, simply stop by any of the great seafood restaurants on the way back to Bay View Resort, where our guests are sure to catch a great Myrtle Beach vacation experience.