Hammock Coast® named top spring fishing destination in the United States
The thrill of fishing is much more than just the catch. It’s the overall experience. From riding in a boat to find the perfect spot and baiting the hook to casting the line and, finally, feeling the tug and letting the battle between you and the fish begin. Of course, reeling in the fish is the culmination of it all.
One of the best places in the United States for fishing is South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, and FishingBooker.com, which bills itself as the world’s largest online service for booking fishing adventures, recently named the Hammock Coast as one of the “Top Spring Fishing Spots in the U.S. for 2022.”
“The Hammock Coast is a place that has everything to offer — from freshwater ponds to creeks, rivers and bays with access to the Atlantic Ocean,” the article on FishingBooker.com states. “Whether you’re in Pawleys Island, Georgetown, Murrells Inlet, or anywhere in between, you’re set to wet your line.”
The article continues, “In spring, Georgetown County, affectionately known as the Hammock Coast®, anglers can expect to catch Redfish, Flounder, and even Tarpon inshore. Nearshore, there is Seabass, Mackerel, Amberjack, and Cobia. If you want to go offshore, you can target Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, and maybe even the odd Billfish.”
The article also states that springtime is one of the best times of the year to fish.
“Spring breathes new life, and that’s true of the fishing season, too,” the article states. “Not only is this the start of the traditional fishing season in many places but, in some places, it’s actually the best time to cast your line.”
Other areas that are on the list for the best spring fishing are: Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Cape Henlopen, Delaware; Virginia Beach, Virginia; The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina; Panama City Beach, Florida; Texas Hill Country, Texas; Dunton, Colorado; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Catalina Island, California.
The Hammock Coast has long been considered one of the top spots for people who love to fish — both novice and professional. Georgetown has hosted a number of tournaments, including the Bassmaster events that have aired on ESPN.
People directly involved with fishing on the Hammock Coast agree that the designation of being one of the best spring fishing spots in the country is very fitting.
David Black, general manager of Georgetown Landing Marina, a hub for fishing charters, said he understands why the Hammock Coast® is on the list.
“It’s a phenomenal fishery with backwater flats, bays, the coastline, and great spots further out in the ocean, so there are a lot of different fish you can go after,” he said. “There are not very many places where you can catch Tarpon, big Red Fish, Trout and Flounder like we have here.”
Black said that people can also catch big game fish in the area. In fact, the 54th annual Blue Marlin Tournament, the oldest tournament of its kind in the state and one of the oldest on the East Coast, will be held at the Georgetown Landing Marina on the weekend before Memorial Day, from May 25-28, 2022. For more information or to register for the event, click here.
Capt. Steve Roff, the owner of Barrier Island Guide Service, knows the lure of Hammock Coast waters well. He has taken many groups and families out in Winyah Bay near Georgetown and around Pawleys Island to experience fishing in a scenic area.
“It is an all-around good experience for people because we have abundant shallow water that warms quickly, which makes for great springtime fishing,” Roff said. “There is also really good access out there to the ocean, so people can fish around jetties and wrecks.”
“People can rent a house and get out on the marsh with a small boat,” Roff said. “One thing Georgetown County is known for is the amount of preserved land we have, which adds to the beautiful scenery when you are out on the water.”
He said some of his favorite places to take people fishing near Georgetown are the remote islands in North Inlet near the Georgetown Lighthouse.
Capt. Ryan Isabelle with Palmetto Fishing Charters in Murrells Inlet, which is about 20 miles north of Georgetown and 10 miles north of Pawleys Island, agreed that the Hammock Coast is an awesome place for fishing.
“People come to the beach and want to be on the water,” he said. “One of the ways to be on the water is fishing, and in Murrells Inlet, if the ocean is rough, you can stay inshore and fish in the quiet places.”
Isabelle said when the ocean is calm, he likes to take people out to Paradise Reef, a manmade reef created by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which serves as a place for many types of fish to congregate.
“There are all kinds of fish out there, from little fish to big fish,” he said. “We want people on our charters to catch something they never caught before, and it is always a thrill to catch a big one.”
Isabelle said he has seen a lot of satisfied customers after a day of fishing in Murrells Inlet.
“Everybody is always happy, and they come back with smiles on their faces,” he said. “We have a lot of repeat customers who say they had so much fun they had to try it again.”
Georgetown County’s casual charm and Southern hospitality has earned it the nickname Hammock Coast. Adventure and relaxation blend together in perfect harmony, like the flowing and ebbing of waves on the county’s famed beaches. With six communities – Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island, Georgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.
Other recent accolades for the area include:
“This is yet another well-known, far-reaching organization that has identified South Carolina’s Hammock Coast as a premier destination,” Stevens said. “We invite anyone who enjoys fishing, or anyone who would like to give it a try, to plan their next vacation here on the Hammock Coast. We are certain that once you’re here, you’ll be hooked on us — and reeling in fish, too!”
By Clayton Stairs / tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®