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‘There’s rules for a reason:’ Grand Strand fishing community reacts to flounder bust

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 7:59 PM EDT
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - Fishermen along the Grand Strand are reacting after a man in Cherry Grove was caught allegedly breaking new rules on fishing for flounder.

This comes after South Carolina Game Wardens posted about that man on Facebook, saying he had nearly four times the legal amount of flounder on his boat.

RELATED COVERAGE | Wildlife officer stops fisherman with illegal flounder in Cherry Grove area

“I’ve been a fishing guide here in Murrells Inlet for over 25 years, and I’ve seen the decline in the flounder population,” J Baisch said.

Baisch said he’s seen firsthand why the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources recently put tighter restrictions on catching flounder.

“South Carolina is doing their part in lowering the numbers of flounder you can keep. We just went from 10 fish a person to five fish a person, no more than 10 per boat, no matter how many people are on the boat, and we’ve raised the limit to 16 inches,” Baisch said.

Baisch said when seeing someone trying to keep more flounder than they’re allowed, it has an impact on the fishing community.

“Getting people that are knowingly breaking the law out of it, that’s a great starting point for us,” he said.

Chris Boswell, a fisherman in Murrells Inlet, said he goes to great lengths to make sure the fish he catches are legal.

“There’s rules for a reason,” Boswell said.

He even has a ruler he brings with him to guarantee any fish he catches aren’t too small.

“It’ll go up to 30 inches. And I’ve actually checked it with a different tape measure to make sure it was accurate, and it is accurate,” Boswell said.

Boswell said he wishes more fishermen would do the right thing and simply follow the rules.

“There’s probably way more fisherman than there are DNR officers, so the likelihood of you getting busted is probably slim, but you never know,” he said.

Overfishing was exactly the reason SCDNR put new regulations into place in order to prevent the flounder population from shrinking even further.

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