The Three Best Places To Go Crabbing In Mt. Pleasant
Posted By: AmberHanna Forbes
In: Things to Do
Date: Sun, Feb 26th 2017 7:20 pm
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is a breathtaking town with meandering creeks, marsh views and hidden neighborhood gems. Waterways in Mt. Pleasant lead to the Charleston Harbor and out to the Atlantic Ocean, providing the bounties of the sea. Whether its fresh red drum on the grill at home or a bushel of oysters tossed in the steamer and scattered on the table for shucking, locals enjoy fresh seafood and the rituals that surround it.
Mount Pleasant has many creek beds and tidal marshes that are ideal for catching Blue Crabs. Blue crabs may be harvested with little restrictions (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/crabregs.html). For the weekend fishermen, I’ve compiled a list of my top 3 places to go crabbing in Mt. Pleasant.
Before you dig into these locations and plan your day on the dock or the creek bank, it is wise to bone up on the local rules and regulations regarding crabbing:
The Department of Natural Resources (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/crabregs.html), which governs and enforces local fishing laws states that: “When fishing for crustaceans or shellfish, a Saltwater Recreational Fishing License is required - unless you are using 3 or fewer drop nets, 3 or fewer fold up traps, or 3 or fewer hand lines with no hooks and a single bait per line (chicken necking); or shrimp baiting (which requires a shrimp baiting license).” This means that you are welcome to tie a chicken neck to a piece of string and bring a bucket to drop your catch in. Believe it or not, at the right tide and water temperature, this method is highly successful! You may also purchase a fold up trap at any area tackle shop for around $10 and go to town. I would recommend one of these two methods. Make sure you have a five-gallon bucket or deep pot on hand at the dock as well as a dip net for moving the crabs from your line to the bucket. Crabs shouldn’t be placed in bait buckets with live minnows or small, children’s beach pails.
Now that you know the rules and you’re equipped for you're crabbing adventure, consider one of the three following locations for your day on the water:
- Picket Park and the Pitt Street Bridge (http://charlestonandlowcountry.com/pickett-park-and-pitt-street-bridge) - 998 Pitt Street in Old Village, Mt Pleasant, SC
- Closed in 1945 when the Ben Sawyer Bridge was constructed, the Pitt Street Bridge was once the only means of conveyance from Mt. Pleasant, across to Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. Today a greenway called Pickett Park, leads visitors down a scenic walk beside the intra-coastal waterway out to the remains of the bridge, previously known as the Cove Inlet Bridge. Access to the water is great from any part of the bridge, but one-person-wide turrets reach out like fingers from the glorified dock affording crabbers and fishermen easy access to the bounty below. Admission is free here and parking is limited. There are no public restrooms at Pickett Park.
- Shem Creek Park (http://www.scgreatoutdoors.com/park-shemcreekpark.html) - Shrimp Boat Lane on Shem Creek, Mt Pleasant, SC
- This public park, owned by the Town of Mt. Pleasant (https://experiencemountpleasant.com/), consists of 2,200 feet of boardwalk spanning from Coleman Boulevard to the mouth of the creek, which spills into Charleston Harbor. This park has arguably the best view in all of the Charleston area. Finished and opened to the public in just the last couple of years, this park is an excellent addition to Mt. Pleasant’s outdoor recreational areas. Stroll among local restaurants, charter boats and commercial shrimp boats out to the pavilioned dock’s end with shade, seats and deep arm rails for all day fishing. This location is better suited for net crabbing, depending on the tide, as the drop to the water can be significant. This is a great place to meet and chat with locals and tourists alike as you watch boats go in and out of this bustling Mt. Pleasant waterway. Shem Creek Park has ample parking beside public restrooms.
- Palmetto Islands County Park (https://ccprc.com/69/Palmetto-Islands-County-Park) - 444 Needlerush Parkway, Long Point Rd near Boone Hall, Mt Pleasant, SC
- Palmetto Islands County Park is a wooded nature park that offers 943 acres of recreation along tidal creeks at the northern end of Mt. Pleasant. This family- and group-oriented park is complete with playgrounds, biking/walking trails and kayak launch. The designated “crabbing dock” is a perfect place to search for Blue Crabs. In addition to the dock, you can wander along paved and dirt paths to find a quiet island or creek bank to throw in a line in search of your crab feast. While at Palmetto Islands, be sure to check out the 50-foot observation tower overlooking the signature tidal marsh that surrounds this local gem. Admission is $2 per vehicle and parking is abundant. Public restrooms are located throughout the park.
There are countless other spots ripe for crabbing throughout the Town of Mt. Pleasant (https://experiencemountpleasant.com/). Regardless of where you decide to drop a line, you’re bound to enjoy a relaxing day of outdoor adventure. Happy Crabbing!