Gil Bass says with a name like his owning a fishing pier was his destiny. Bass said, "The pier was built in 1959 by my father-in-law, late Lonnie Small." Bass has run the pier for the last three decades, watching many of the same people return year after year. "Not only the same people, but their family, their children come back -- and they kind of grow up here," Bass said. "The children do and then they come back as adults, so that's interesting to see over a lifetime." Of course people come to fish...but bass says that may not be the only reason they come here. Bass said, "It's a beautiful place to live, as you can see the scenery and so forth. But the best part is the people." Holden Beach resident Don McGinn said, "We enjoy the people. Fishing's secondary. People are just real nice and the fishing's good." Inside, there's another draw. Along with the good people is some good food. Bass said, "A lot of people come here just for the hot dogs and hamburgers. They're quite good." Bass says piers are becoming less common along the coast. "People have sold out to developers, and they have developed the land or they have developed the land themselves." But developing the land is not an option for Bass. "That's our goal, not to sell and develop it, but to keep it in the family as a pier." In fact, bass plans to pass the pier on to one of his kids. Bass said, "People enjoy it here, and we have birthday parties out here and that sort of thing. If it was gone, I don't know where we'd go." Fishing off Bass's pier costs $7. If you just want a burger off the grill it's yours for less than $2.
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