Banning Fishing & Crabbing

Spending a lifetime on Edisto means plenty of my memories center around my family members fishing and crabbing off of front beach. There were the times my grandpa would cast a line and watch as all of the grandkids swam, the times my dad would wade out into the water to drop a crab pot, and the numerous times my brother would walk right into the fishing line as if unaware of its existence.

When families go on a beach vacation or for all of those who live at the beach, it is natural that one would expect to stand on the beach and fish or crab. However, some people want to make it so that fishing and crabbing off the beach is banned.

Recently, the Beachfront Management Committee entertained the idea of banning fishing and crabbing from the beach. According to the Town of Edisto Beach’s website, this committee was formed in May of 2012 to make recommendations to town council regarding beachfront management issues. Some of the issues they tackle include groin maintenance, beach erosion, and beach nourishment. The committee is to develop, advocate, and coordinate policy recommendations to the council about beachfront management programs and practices.

This group is met in August to discuss this proposed ban, and luckily it was not recommended to go any further. The group did make a point of saying that when ideas are brought their way it is their duty to make sure those ideas are at least discussed. That is why it is important for anyone interested in the town’s activities that impact our way of life should attend these various meetings.  

Many coastal towns do have fishing bans for the safety of swimmers and anglers. This is because in some instances the act of fishing can draw predators such as sharks to the shallow water. That’s not to say these predators are not already in the shallow water. It’s also important for areas to not become over-fished, which is why anglers should always respect the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources recommendations and laws pertaining to fishing, crabbing, etc.

If you would like to be present for any meetings visit the townofedistobeach.com to view the calendar of events pertaining to town council, planning commission, and committee meetings.  

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12 comments
  1. I would HATE/LOATHE it if this “home owner control” were exerted and enforced. I would hope there would be legal challenges. The beach if “public property” … and even though I’m not a “land owner” there, I would still HATE to see this happen. It’s like the “owners” of “private property” want to “control” what goes on on “public land.” This beach “belongs” to all of us, even the unaware & uncaring. I bet some of the “land owners” would LOVE to take over the beach and the Edisto Beach State Park, too … and “privatize” it for their own selfish/commercial/nefarious purposes. I actually wish I could buy out the “private land owners” and make the whole island a state park, rather similar to Cumberland Island, Georgia.

  2. When the sea is cut off from fair use by all it no longer belongs to “The People” but only to the monied few, what a sad commentary on our society.

  3. It isn’t the people who are “from” here trying to do such things.  It’s the “come heres” who want to change things to suit themselves.  Why did they even come here?

  4. I am not ‘from there’ but for the past 4 years I’ve come to stay for a month in March in a wonderful old cottage. What I love about Edisto is that it isn’t commercial, and it is laid back with lots to do outdoors that’s been done forever. I grew up on an island in Michigan, and when I come to Edisto, it’s like going home! But warmer! Hopefully it won’t change. Be vigilant!

  5. Came to the state park for years, but the last few years, swimming is dangerous because there are hooks and lines that people have just cut and left.  Hooks everywhere waiting to cut feet in and out of the water. Gross.

  6. Good, seems everybody is a surf fisherperson these days with no respect for swimmers. Many don’t pay attention to or care where the current may take their line. What happened to packing up your gear and lugging it down the beach or driving to the better fishing spots? Now it’s go buy brand new gear, walk out onto the beach and start fishing right in front of these people that have obviously been in and out of the water long before you started dangling hooks where they’ve been swimming. And then there’s those that sink in multiple rods setting up hooked booby traps for kids along a couple hundred feet of shoreline. They act like they own the whole beach. Hey I know, let’s chum in sharks and keep them in this swimming area with out bait! Good riddance I say.

  7. Our family vacations at Edisto quite frequently and we do own a little piece of the pie. When we do fish we usually go at low tide and always fish away from any swimmers that are in the area. I think people need to get back to common sense here. There have been many memories made fishing at Edisto for not only my family but many many others and new anglers to come! I would hate to see this along with so many other good things come to end because of a few!!!!!!

  8. I’ve been visiting beaches in the carolinas for 50 years.  In those 50 years I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen anyone step on a hook.  It is an extremely rare occurrence.  To try to say that there are “hooks everywhere” is preposterous at best.  It is simply a lie.
    The entire issue is about mutual respect.  Something that , unfortunately, many newcomers to the island and the coastal beaches don’t have.  People have fished the beaches for hundreds of years.  There is and has never been any proven correlation between fishing in the surf and shark attacks.  It is a vast distortion of what is naturally happening.  No proof at all.
    When i see people fishing the surf I see people who are, generally, very responsible.  I generally end up removing more trash when I leave the beach after a time of fishing.  As far as whose “turf” it is, well if I get there at 5 am and have a bait soaking and you arrive at 0930 and plop your stuff down 30 feet away, I am not going to feel compelled to move. You saw me and could have trekked up the beach to find a spot that was not bordering on a guy fishing.  It’s that simple.  If you want to plop down right next to me, don’t expect me to move down the beach to find a new spot.  No matter how much money you came to Edisto with to buy your retirement home, you don’t own squat below the mean high water mark. Not squat.  
    Point #3 is that simply baiting your hooks with whatever bait you choose does not mean that you are “attracting” sharks from anywhere other than the immediate vicinity.  Sharks have great senses, but even they can’t detect the smell of cut mullet on a hook from 10 miles.  Nonsense.  This is the kind of garbage that led to the extinction of shark fishing on Horry county beaches. Ignorant land owners.  These sharks are in fact there in the vicinity all the time. J  Just because you don’t see any sharks around while you are standing on the beach , means zero. Trust me , they are there. I have landed them over 10′ long on numerous occasions from area beaches without much work at all, and no chumming needed… only a single dead fish on a hook. A fish that came from the very ocean i put it back in.
    These idiots would be better served actually banning the alcohol that is consumed on the island.  Far more injuries and fatalities caused by beer than ever by sharks, sorry.

  9. I’ve been visiting Edisto forever it seems.  Most of the people fishing do it away from the swimmers.  If you are swimming, you can see the fishing rods so move on down.  The tides will always carry the lines, along with the swimmers.  Crabbing is usually done in the creeks.  Most fishing is done from boats in the creeks/backwaters.  Good grief people, if you want a “safer” place than Edisto (don’t think you’ll find it), go look elsewhere.  I do have a problem with the fact that more people are leaving all kinds of trash on the beach now.  Edisto used to have trash cans close to the beach paths.  They need to put them back so more people would dump their trash in the can than in the sand.  If Edisto can have doggy “doo doo bags”, they can have trash cans.  The larger cost to enter the State Park should take care of that.

  10. If one does not appreciate the raw beauty of the Edisto area, please go elsewhere or stay where you are.

  11. I could not agree more. Very well said. The reason there are so many shark teeth found at Edisto is because THAT IS WHERE THE SHARKS LIVE! Fisherman do not attract sharks and rays. This is where they live.
    I too arrive very early to fish, usually before anyone else is on the beach. This has occurred for the past 20 years for our family at Edisto, renting beachfront houses two or three times a year. Rob is completely right…it is about respect. We fishermen do respect the rights of the swimmers. They should also respect, and not infringe upon, ours.

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