Virginia is one of America’s premier fisheries, and it’s not difficult to see why. From the iconic waters of Chesapeake Bay to the blue expanses of the Atlantic, the state offers more fish species than you can count. To sweeten the pot even further, Virginia is dotted with dozens of docks and fishing piers. Giving access to some of the state’s most abundant waterways, these spots beg one simple question: Which of the many fishing piers in Virginia is best for you?
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier
Address: 15th Street & Oceanfront, Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is one of the best fishing towns on the East Coast, period. The sheer variety of fish you can catch here is second to none. The best part is, the fish come right up to the coast, making things perfect for pier fishing.
Virginia Beach is soaked in rich fishing culture, and this is most evident on the local fishing pier. Located on the town’s oceanside boardwalk, Virginia Beach fishing pier is the ideal spot to experience ocean fishing. Depending on the season, you can catch anything from Red Drum to Spot, Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish, and Bluefish. Kids will love going for Blue Crabs and Lady Crabs.
The price for adults is $10, $5 for kids under 12, and $2 for spectators (all prices are subject to change). The pier tackle shop will cover your gear, and there’s a gift shop next door if you want to stack up on souvenirs. If you get tired, the pier has a seafood restaurant where you can take a break. Can’t get enough of the beach views? Hop on a rental bike and enjoy the endless miles of scenic Virginian coastline.
Gloucester Point Park Fishing Pier
Address: 1255 Greate Road, Gloucester Point
Located on the north bank of York River, Gloucester Point offers an array of saltwater fish to go for. From Croaker and Spot to Striped Bass and Gray Trout, fishing in these parts will have you spoiled for choice.
The T-shaped pier is 325 feet long and 325 feet wide, giving you ample space for casting. No license is required, but you’ll need to complete a quick online registration.
Around the park, you’ll find plenty of facilities to relax and enjoy. The pavilion features a riverside gazebo, surrounded by picnic tables and grills. There’s also a playground for kids, as well as restrooms and a large parking lot.
Yorktown Fishing Pier
Address: 632-646 Water Street, Yorktown
Right across the river from Gloucester Point, Yorktown offers its own shot at York River fishing. Much like its counterpart, the Yorktown Fishing Pier offers an array of local species to catch. Croaker, Flounder, Stripers, and Blue Crab are regular catches around here.
The views of the nearby Coleman Bridge are nothing short of spectacular, but don’t let that steal your gaze from the water. The pier is open year-round, is free to the public, and wheelchair accessible.
At the base of the pier, a cozy beach stretches along the riverbank. This is an ideal spot for a family picnic. If you’re up for something a little more active, you can go for a swim or try one of the local kayak and paddleboard rentals.
James River Fishing Pier
Address: 2019 James River Bridge, Newport News
Located at the foot of the James River Bridge in Newport News, James River Fishing Pier is another prime location for bay fishing. The bridge attracts great numbers of baitfish, which means that their predators are never too far away.
Reopened in 2015, the pier is one of the best locales to enjoy those bay sunsets. Some of the species you can catch include Croaker, Spot, Flounder, and of course, Striped Bass. The best part is, the pier is open 24/7.
An adults’ pier fishing fee will set you back $9. Children from 6 to 12 years old and seniors can fish for $7. If all that reeling leaves you hungry, the pier-based seafood restaurant will gladly take care of you.
Tom’s Cove Park, Chincoteague
Address: 8128 Beebe Road, Chincoteague
For years, Tom’s Cove Park in Chincoteague has been one of Virginia’s most popular campgrounds. The proximity of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the area’s pristine waterways has had outdoors enthusiasts flocking from all over the country.
Overlooking the Refuge, Tom’s Cove offers not one, but three fishing piers. Just a couple of miles from downtown Chincoteague, these spots offer a serene getaway, perfect for wetting a line. You can expect to catch Black Bass, Spot, and Red Drum, as well as the occasional Striper here.
Fishing from these piers will require you to have a valid Virginia fishing license.
The National Wildlife Refuge, with its unblemished beaches and marshes, is perfect for hiking, hunting, and fishing. Glorious scenery aside, the park’s trails will also give you a chance to see the world-famous Chincoteague ponies.
Ocean View Fishing Pier
Address: 400 W. Ocean View Avenue, Norfolk
With the beautiful Chesapeake Bay to the north, and the expansive ocean to the east, Ocean View is one of Norfolk’s favorite fishing spots. Fishing-wise, the pier’s position couldn’t have been better. How does this sound: Trout, Flounder, Cobia, Croaker, Red Drum, and Striper, all within casting distance!
For when you’re not fishing, Ocean View offers loads of amenities. The pier restaurant will happily serve the day’s catch. Not only that, you can host all sorts of get-togethers here. The lower deck looks out into the scenic bay, with the top deck extending the view towards the towns as well.
Prices range from $12 for fishing adults, $8 for seniors over 64 and military, while kids under 5 can fish for free. An all-day rental rod will cost you $10, with a $20 deposit (all prices are subject to change). The pier offers a variety of baits, and tackle, too.
Westmoreland State Park Fishing Pier
Address: 145 Cliff Road, Montross
One of the oldest parks in Virginia, Westmoreland State Park offers plenty of activities for nature lovers. The historic, 1300-acre park offers plenty of fun, family-friendly activities like hiking, camping, lodging, boating, and swimming. Most importantly, the park offers amazing fishing on the iconic Potomac River.
Fishing from the park’s pier, you can expect to land Croaker, Spot, White Perch, and the occasional Striper. Keep in mind that you’ll need a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license to wet a line here. While you’re here, you won’t want to miss crabbing. The park also offers restroom facilities as well as a snack bar.
The park features hiking trails that are home to ancient fossils of porpoises, whales, and sharks from as long as 15 million years ago. Keep an eye out and who knows, you might come across a prehistoric shark tooth!
Sandbridge Fishing Pier
Address: 3820 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach
We couldn’t complete our list of fishing piers in Virginia without mentioning Sandbridge. Located just 10 miles south of Virginia Beach fishing pier, Sandbridge Fishing Pier is the perfect choice for anglers looking for fantastic ocean fishing, minus the crowds.
The usual suspects are here for the taking. Red Drum, Spot, and Croaker are all present, as well as Bluefish and the odd Spanish Mackerel. The pier offers a fish cleaning station, so you can conveniently prepare your catch for the journey home.
Sandbridge fishing pier fees are $8 for town residents and $10 for non-residents. Alternatively, you can purchase a weekly pier fishing pass for $25 (residents) or $35 (non-residents). Parking is available for $3 for residents, and $5 for out-of-town visitors (all prices are subject to change).
Before we conclude our picks for the best fishing piers in Virginia, we’ll give out one honorable mention. Buckroe Fishing Pier, a.k.a James T. Wilson Pier, was a popular Chesapeake Bay fishing spot, located in Hampton.
Sadly, after a drifting vessel collided with the pier in November 2019, the pier collapsed. Buckroe Fishing Pier remains closed until further notice.
The Land of Fishing Piers
Virginia is so packed with pier fishing opportunities, it’s not even fair to compare it with other states. No matter where you are, there’s a good chance you’ll bump into a fishing pier or two. If that happens, well, you don’t need us to tell you what to do. Our bet is you have a few fishy ideas already.
So there you have it, those were some of the best fishing piers in Virginia. Are there any piers you think we might have missed? What’s your favorite fishing pier? Let us know in the comments below.