Fishing and Exploring the Waters of Virginia Beach

Venture out to one of the top fishing locations in the world right on the East Coast, offering a multitude of freshwater, brackish, and saltwater fishing options. 

Located on the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, one of the largest inshore fisheries in the country, Virginia Beach has made a name for itself as one of the top fishing destinations. Primarily known for hosting the majority of the world’s striped bass and rockfish population, its prime location and wide variety of fish species calls anglers of all skill levels to Virginia’s shore. 

With so many great options, we narrowed down some of the best places to cast your line and explore so you can make the most of your Virginia Beach adventure. 

Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets

The calm waters of both the Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlet combined with multiple shallow flats and creeks, offering multiple areas ideal for wade, kayak, and boat fly fishing. Anglers can expect to hook summer flounder, red drum, speckled sea trout, croaker, bluefish, and striped bass.  

Other shore fishing spot options include Chic’s Beach and the fishing piers. Both offering beautiful views of the ocean, Chic’s Beach has some of the best surf fishing in the area while the piers are one of the most convenient places to cast out. Around Chic’s Beach, anglers will primarily see sharks, rays, drum, and trout. From the most convenient Virginia Beach Fishing Pier to the more secluded Sandbridge Pier, you’ll find Spanish mackerel, red and black drum, and even cobia. 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

A popular fishing area, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is one of the largest man-made reefs in the world stretching out over 17 miles long. Its length offers a large range of fishing adventures and skill level requirements, including shore, boat, and kayak fishing. Some of the best striper fishing can be found around the pilings of the bridge along with opportunities for catching world-record redfish and black drum. Anglers can also catch bluefish, Spanish mackerel, amberjack, crevalle jack, triggerfish, spadefish, and many more. 

Back Bay National Refuge

Back Bay, with its 25,000 acres making it the largest body of water in the district, is a great option for escaping the crowds. It offers white perch, channel catfish, flounder, and a variety of saltwater and brackish water species. There are even freshwater creeks that feed into the bay that offer largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. 

Offshore

This is where the action is. Anglers, including adventurous fly-fishers, looking for the adrenaline rush of reeling some big bad fish off Virginia Beach can hop aboard a charter boat and head out to the Atlantic. Virginia Beach’s offshore fishing offers an impressive line up of potential catches, including billfish, tuna, Atlantic sailfish, marlin, cobia, bluefish wahoo, and much more. According to Visit Virginia Beach, the largest blue marlin caught in their waters weighed 1,093 pounds!

Any billfish caught are released back into the water, but anglers looking to bring home a local seafood feast can aim for yellowfin tuna, cobia, blue, and wahoo. 

Trashmore Lake

Yes, you read the name correctly. Trashmore Lake is named after the Virginia Beach Park that was converted from a large mountain of compacted trash into a recreational area! Now covered over with soil and seed, the 52-acre lake is fairly deep and offers a unique fishing experience. Anglers can expect to get bites from largemouth bass, sunfish, white perch, and occasionally carp ranging from 5 to ten pounds. Lake Trashmore is open year-round for fishers and does not require permits or fees

Charter Boats/ Tours

Check out the offerings from local guides to get the most out of your visit. 

Before your trip, it is important to check and plan for all fishing permitting and regulations. Since there’s no off season, Virginia Beach is the ultimate angler’s destination all year long. 

Places to Go, Things to See: