Will surf fishing be restricted in North Myrtle Beach?
Update: North Myrtle Beach City Council did not vote on this ordinance Monday night. For more on that,click here.
Along with frisbees and boogie boards, many people bring their fishing poles along when they head to the beach. That includes Larry Cain and his family, who are visiting the Grand Strand this week from Richmond, Virginia.
Cain has been surf fishing the past couple of days here, with some success. "I caught a couple sharks and flying fish," he said.
He would hate it if he would no longer be allowed to fish in the surf.
"I think it would be a tragedy," Cain said. "People come down, that's what they like to do is fish, you know."
Cain said he avoids casting his line when swimmers are nearby, but apparently other surf fishermen aren't so considerate.
This summer, the city of North Myrtle Beach has received a rash of complaints from beach-goers, who say surf fishermen are just getting a little too close for comfort.
"Some people got tied up in the lines or lines were floating in their direction and they didn't feel comfortable, so it looks like we may have to put through some regulation," said North Myrtle Beach public information officer Pat Dowling.
Dowling said a proposed North Myrtle Beach ordinance would ban surf fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Also, no surf fishing would be allowed within 100 yards of swimmers or beach-goers.
Dowling said Horry County and the city of Myrtle Beach address surf fishing in general, but only in that it should be done in a manner that doesn't pose a danger to beach-goers. North Myrtle Beach's proposed ordinance would be a blend of what the county and Myrtle Beach have in place, along with restrictions similar to those in other cities, including Ocean City, Maryland.
Dowling said so far, no one on the beach has been hurt by surf fishing, but the city has heard many complaints like the one from a Maryland woman whose son got tangled up in fishing lines.
"They did have hooks on them. The hooks did not pierce him, but she was concerned about it, and those are the details we've had."
Larry Cain said he'd still visit North Myrtle Beach if he couldn't surf fish, but he wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much.
"Fishing is definitely a part of vacationing in my book."