Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, has always been a fishing town. Long before Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand began drawing tourists to experience the beaches, shopping, golf and nightlife that have made it famous, Murrells Inlet was a fishing village.
And it’s no wonder. The inlet itself is an inshore angler’s dream. It’s an enclosed system, one of very few inlets on the east coast free from the influence of the Intracoastal Waterway or coastal rivers. There’s no dirty water flowing in from upstream, and this system of marshes and backwaters is a completely saltwater environment, with no freshwater pumping in to reduce salinity. The result is excellent fishing and exploration of backwater creeks for speckled trout, redfish and the doormat flounder that Murrells Inlet has gained a reputation for.
Another thing the area has a well-earned reputation for is huge red drum, which hang out around the jetties to provide anglers with the bulldog runs only a big bull red can provide. It’s some of the best red fishing on the east coast, with fish in the 20- to 40-pound range arriving in numbers in both spring and fall.
For those who don’t mind a short boat ride to fill the cooler, there are numerous nearshore reefs that can be easily accessed with a half-day trip and a run of less than 5 miles. Mackerel, sharks, black sea bass, reds, flounder, bluefish, spadefish and more make for an exciting outing even for the family, and you’ll come back with a cooler full of delicious fish.
Out to 15 or 30 miles, there is also excellent trolling for king and Spanish mackerel, cobia, and amberjack, as well as bottom fishing for snappers, groupers and sea bass. But those who want to get serious should look into a full-day trip to the Gulf Stream. From 55 to 70 miles offshore, opportunities for tuna, dolphin, wahoo, marlin and sailfish abound. Trolling the Gulf Stream for big-game species off the lower end of the Grand Strand is tough to beat anywhere.
So… it’s easy to see why Murrells Inlet has always been a fishing village, and perhaps the best way to experience it is from a base camp at the Inlet Sports Lodge. Located at the heart of Murrells Inlet, the Inlet Sports Lodge is a comfortable and classy boutique hotel that caters to anglers and golfers with the finest amenities in the area. It’s minutes away from three marinas, works closely with the area’s best charter captains and can accommodate boats up to 25 feet. There’s a fish cleaning room for prep, as well as gas and charcoal grills available in the courtyard to cook your catch.
Or, for those who’d rather let someone else do the cooking, the COSTA Coastal Kitchen and Bar on-site offers up fine, fresh Italian and seafood fare. There are also several other restaurants nearby that prepare the kind of delicious right-out-of-the-water dishes that have made Murrells Inlet the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina.”
And don’t forget the golf. If days on the water paired with days on the links sounds like the perfect way to relax, the Inlet Sports Lodge has you covered. With golf packages booking a wide variety of the Grand Strand’s famous courses, there’s more golf than you can swing a stick at, including two award-winning courses with the same ownership as the Inlet Sports Lodge. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, and True Blue Plantation are two of the finest courses in the area as well as the nation.
For more information on fishing, golfing and the Inlet Sports Lodge at Murrells Inlet, SC, go to www.inletsportslodge.com or call 877-585-9360.