Myrtle Beach Leaders Considering Pier, Surf Fishing Changes Due To Sharks

Photo of the 2nd Avenue pier in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Courtesy:
Photo of the 2nd Avenue pier in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Courtesy:

Myrtle Beach, SC – (WBTW) – After several shark attacks have happened this summer alone at surrounding beaches, the Myrtle Beach City Council wants to make the area beaches safer.

The way a current ordinance is written, if people are fishing from piers within city limits, there isn’t much regulation as for what can be dumped overboard.

City council wants to amend the ordinance because they say dumping fish remains attracts sharks, something they want to avoid.

We spoke with one local fishermen who told News13 that regardless of what changes come to the ordinance, it’s hard to change a shark’s behavior.

“I see at least seven or eight a day,” said Ron Sharpe.

That’s how many sharks Ron Sharpe says he sees on a daily basis at the second avenue pier.

Sharpe’s been fishing for almost fifty years, but says what he’s seen this summer has even been shocking to him.

“Some of them are about five foot, four-three, bunch of little ones, but some are six foot long.”

But sharks aren’t the only thing he sees. “There’s a lot of flounder, spots and blues,” which is why a tackle box and rod and reel are a part of his wardrobe every day.

The new city ordinance would prohibit fishermen from fishing with chum or throwing it overboard.

But even with the new ordinance, Sharpe says it won’t change anything.

“It doesn’t matter what you put on there, good bait or a bad bait, a shark will still get it regardless.”

And while the seasoned fishermen says he doesn’t mind changing his bait to be in line with the ordinance, he says he’s not so sure it would make swimming any safer.

“They follow the bait this time of year. Bait fish come in. Man haven and mullet come in and the sharks follow that. They come in right close to the shoreline where everyone is out there in the water and the lifeguards run them out when they see a dark cloud, that’s a school of bait.”

Council says they just hope to improve safety and maybe by limiting chum, fewer sharks would come so close.  But for Ron Sharpe, fishing from the pier is hook line and sinker.

‘’Come on down and fish, the fish are here.”

Tuesday’s meeting is just the first hearing for the new ordinance. If it were to pass, pier management would be required to have waste receptacles for the fish remains as well as signage posted informing customers that dumping anything overboard is banned.

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