Not much beats casting a line in open water. And doing it right from the gorgeous shores if Myrtle Beach? Well then, we've got ourselves a vacation highlight right there.
Surfcasting, or surf fishing as it's also know, is fishing from the beach, rather than a boat, dock or pier. It's growing in popularity because it's both easy to access and fun to do. However, there are some things to keep in mind before hitting the shores and reeling 'em in.
What you need:
Nothing too fancy – a heavy action rod and reel is perfect, but Sue Smith, who helps out at Fish On Outfitters in North Myrtle Beach said that an all-purpose rob would work fine, especially for a beginner. Some fishing sources recommend a Sand Spike for securing your rod, which is helpful for folks unaccustomed to the winds and currents, and a standard Two-Hook rig. The typical bait used is shrimp, squid, bloodworms and mullet, all found at most bait and tackle shops around town.
What you can catch:
It depends on the time of year. But think flounder, red and black drum, sea bass, mackerel, bluefish and a variety of sharks – yes, sharks. Smith said that sharks flock to the paid piers along the shore because of all the fishing bait dropped into the shallow water. There are rules regarding catching sharks, however, so be sure to familiarize yourself with them .
What about other rules?
Anyone recreationally fishing from the shore is required to obtain a saltwater fishing license. A 14-day non resident license costs $11, while those under the age of 16 are not required to have one. Licenses can be purchased from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources online at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/purchase.html by ca,lling (866)714-3611, or by visiting sales agents located throughout the state.
According to Myrtle Beach Fishing Charters' websites, the City of Myrtle Beach does not allow surf fishing on its beaches with lifeguards on duty until after 5pm, but rules do vary by municipality. For example, beaches without lifeguards on duty, from 50th Avenue to 38th Avenue, are fair game anytime. Be sure to review the laws of your chosen fishing spot before heading out.
Anytime a beach trip is on the books, take a quick glance at NOAA's site (Link: http://www.weather.gov/ilm/BeachRip) to check on potentially dangerous rip currents.
In normal conditions, fish tend to hunker down around sandbars, which can be located where there are breaking waves. See any water color changes? Probably means fish are there, too. Move around if you can, and folks tend to have the best of luck between high and low tide, according to the Charters' site.