When folks talk about Myrtle Beach area fishing, they're usually referring to saltwater fishing. After all, we have immediate access to the Atlantic Ocean, along with numerous creeks and channels that feed into the ocean - all salt water. For those accustomed to freshwater fishing, here are a few pointers: you generally use a different type of bait and tackle; the majority of in-shore fishing is done on the ocean floor, so you need a pyramid-shaped weight, or sinker, to keep your rig on the bottom; and you should rinse your reel with fresh water after each use to purge the salt water. If you don't have your own rod and reel, you can purchase or rent one at a local bait and tackle shop, pier, or sporting goods store.
Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Licenses are required for individuals 16 and older harvesting oysters or clams, or individuals fishing for marine finfish from privately owned boats. A fishing license is not required for surf or pier fishing, or if you're fishing from a rental or charter boat. Prices are $11 for a 14-day non-resident license ($5 for S.C. residents) and $35 for an annual non-resident license ($10 S.C. residents). For additional information, visit the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Web site, or call (843) 953-9300.
All saltwater fishing license fees are as follows: (If we're going to keep this, check to see if these prices are current.)
Residents: Annual Res. $10
Non-Residents: Annual Non-res $35
Residents:14-Day Res. $5
Non-Residents:14-Day Non-res. $11
In addition to the mighty Atlantic Ocean, the Myrtle Beach area is blessed with wonderful inland waters. These include the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs parallel to the coast from Little River to Socastee, where it merges with the Waccamaw River. Along the way, other rivers and tributaries feed into the waterway, and passage to the ocean is gained through Little River or Winyah Bay.
In its entirety, the Intracoastal Waterway runs from Boston to Key West. The waterway was "built" by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, taking advantage of existing rivers and other waterways and digging canals as needed to connect them. The completion in 1936 of the section between Little River and Socastee opened the way to commercial and leisure vessels for the entire length of the East Coast. Dignitaries from throughout the country attended a dedication ceremony here on April 11, 1936.
The Myrtle Beach area's inland waters are popular for all kinds of recreation, including boating, fishing, and leisurely cruises. Cruise boats operate out of Little River, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Conway, Murrells Inlet, and Georgetown. Some transport passengers along the Intracoastal Waterway, while others explore the Waccamaw River or Winyah Bay. Some are sightseeing trips, and others offer dinner and dancing. Almost all provide enlightening narratives about the region's wildlife, scenic wonders, history, and legends.