The legal season for shad gill net fishing runs from Nov 1 to Mar 1. Gill fishing is only allowed on Wednesdays,Â Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Fortunately for we cruisers, there’s only a few days remaining in the season. In the meantime, watch for these local fishermen and, as usual, give their small boats a very slow, no wake pass! As a kid, I helped my Dad and Grandad tend their gill nets in the Ocmulgee River in GA and we often fished well after dark.
Helping a friend bring his new boat from Little River, SC to Charleston, SC, we were cruising the ICW on the Waccamaw River when we cam upon a man in a jon boat waving an orange PFD at us and motioning us away from a line of what we thought were crab trap markers. We went on around and a few miles later had much the same experience only the guy waved and pulled up to us and told us he had a net strung between two floats.
We spent the night at a marina in Georgetown, SC and asked the staff about this. Apparently, there is a certain time of year when people are allowed to place nets across the river to catch shad. They cannot block more than one half the river and must be on duty the entire time to warn boaters away from their nets. Just FYI.