MOUNT PLEASANT — The fishing bug bit Daniel Neese not long after he came to Charleston in 1989. But when he turned to making a profession of it a few years ago, he had concerns.

The saltwater fishing industry in South Carolina was taking a beating. Federal catch restrictions and the recession were cutting into the customers who had hired thousands of boats for millions of trips each year.

The "head boats," the daily charters that used to take people offshore by the dozens, were out of business.

But Neese is now part of a trend in local tourism — specialty guides for customers who want trips on short notice, customized for however much fishing or touring the customer wants to do. A growing number of fishing guides are catching on.

It might become the niche beleaguered fishing guides are looking for, saving their pride-and-joy profession by hooking a bigger share of the $600 million beach tourism industry.

 

Read more in tomorrow's editions of The Post and Courier.