June 2020

21 Faces of Lowcountry Hospitality: Chris Shoemaker

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.KAT Photography


Chris Shoemaker
May River Excursions

Chris Shoemaker grew up on a boat, the son of a commercial shrimper in the Lowcountry. When it was time to choose his own path, he noticed a lot of the local charter captains were literally not from around here. Figuring he might have a little bit of a competitive advantage as a Bluffton native, he started May River Excursions 10 years ago and now has nine boats available for trips to Daufuskie Island, fishing on the May River or just relaxing on a sunset cruise. Those familiar with the show Southern Charm may remember Shoemaker as “Chelsea’s friend” from the episode where the Charleston Charmers headed South to the island for a long weekend.

How long have you lived in Bluffton and what do you love most about living in the Lowcountry?
I have lived here my whole life, 35 years. I love the saltwater and all of the outdoor activities.

What fish do you catch the most in these waters?
Probably redfish more than anything else. It’s also known as red drum.

What question do you get asked by our visitors more than anything else?
Are there gators out here? And the answer is no, because this is saltwater. The next question is always, “Are there dolphins and sharks?” And yeah, there are sharks.

If you could advise our visitors to do just one thing while they were here, what would it be?
Go watch the sunset at Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks.

Favorite annual event or festival?
That would be a tie between the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival and the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival.

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