TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Those fishing on the Tybee Island pier had better make sure they have license.
Department of Natural Resource officers have been handing out fines this week to unlicensed anglers. Some people had no idea they needed the permit.
The pier at Tybee Island is a fisherman's paradise for some, like Brittany Bird from Jonesboro, Tenn.
"[I'm] just here for recreation; here on vacation," Bird said.
However, many people, like Bird, may be fishing illegally. Does Bird have a license to fish?
"No, I do not. I didn't know I had to, since we are just throwing them back," she said.
A $50 fine doesn't sound so fun. "Oh. Ok. Then I will quit," Bird said when she learned of the rules.
"I've had a lot of people ask me, 'Do I need a license to fish in the ocean?' and I, of course, tell them 'yes'. A lot of people don't realize that," said Lt. Jonathan Hagan, Tybee Island Police Department.
Lt. Hagan said that over the last week, DNR officers have been handing out plenty of $50 fines for unlicensed salt water fishing. He doesn't call it a crackdown, but thinks people who want to fish need to be aware.
"It's nothing out of the ordinary. [It's] normal enforcement," Hagan said. "People are just not realizing they need a fishing license for salt water. The actual price of the fishing license is cheaper than the fine itself."
"They should tell you whenever they rent you the poles," Bird said.
Bird is heading to get a license, so she can fish, legally.
A fishing license is available at several convenience stores on Tybee, as well as online. Licenses range from $23 to as much as $45 for a one-year license.
Fresh water, salt water, and some deep sea fishing requires fishing permits/licenses to catch and there are catch limits. For information on these guidelines, license pricing and information, contact the local fisheries law enforcement branch at 912.727.2111.