Come on over and wet a line at the pier; no bait needed
MOUNT PLEASANT — Here’s a fishing tale almost too tall to believe.
The town is angling for tourists and newcomers in an ad scheduled for the September issue of Southern Living magazine. It’s a full-color ad featuring Memorial Waterfront Park pier fishing.
“6:00 pm: Hooked on a feeling,” it says.
But the picture could be captioned: “World’s luckiest cast.”
Ed Riggs, who chairs the town Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee, was warming up for the photo shoot with a first cast, with a naked hook, into the Cooper River when an improbable event occurred.
While posing for the camera, he snagged a croaker — named for the “croaking” noise the fish makes when removed from the water.
“I hooked him on the side,” he said. “I thought it was hysterical. I catch fish all the time, but I never catch one without bait.”
The resulting photo is part of a layout that will fill one-third of a page in the magazine.
“Whether you’re landing a fish, hitting the beach, kayaking on the creek, or lingering over a sunset, you’ll soon know the relaxing, warm and welcoming magic that makes Mount Pleasant a place unlike any other — and a feeling well worth holding on to,” it says.
And don’t forget the excitement of baitless fishing.
Ashley Richardson, the town Community Development and Tourism officer, said she has an $80,000 budget for advertising from accommodations tax funds. She declined to say how much the Southern Living ad cost. She uses local volunteers in ads.
Such advertising pays big dividends in the form of thousands of direct leads to people interested in Mount Pleasant. “It’s a great tool for us,” she said.
The 1,250-foot-long pier, the area’s longest, opened three years ago when the park next to the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge was completed. Recently, the town adopted a new slogan, “Come On Over,” as part of a marketing campaign.
Bring those fishing hooks, too. Bait is optional.