Top 5 Virginia Fishing Spots: A Short Guide
Mar 12, 2021 | 5 minute read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

When it comes to fishing on the East Coast, Virginia’s amazing fisheries are sometimes underestimated. Nestled between Maryland and North Carolina, the Old Dominion is one of the best-kept secrets on this side of the states. Over the past decades, anglers have started to discover all of the opportunities Virginia has to offer.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier
Fishing pier in Virginia Beach.

With the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay on one side, and thousands of miles of Trout streams on the other, anglers can hook a Tuna one day and target native Brook Trout the next. There aren’t many places where you can do this, but Virginia is definitely one of the few.

You’re probably wondering what the best spots are in Virginia for your next fishing trip. We put together a list to help you navigate through countless amazing Virginia fishing spots. Let’s check them out!

Virginia Beach

Among travelers, Virginia Beach is known for its sandy beaches, beautiful seaside, and number of resorts. However, if you talk to anglers, they’ll probably tell you all about the local fishing secrets. Wherever you decide to go fishing in Virginia Beach, you’ll be surrounded by a number of species, from Cobia, to Flounder, to monster Marlin. 

A large Striped Marlin caught on a Virginia Beach fishing trip
A Striped Marlin caught in the waters outside of Virginia Beach.

Thanks to its position right at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach has a unique mixture of different species you can target here. The Bay is famous for its Striped Bass fishing, and you can find these feisty fish and other migrating species within kayaking distance from the shore! On the other hand, Virginia Beach also has access to the ocean, meaning you can also come across huge Tuna, Marlin, Swordfish, Mahi Mahi, and Sharks.

We’re not kidding when we say that the resort town has an abundance of choice. Virginia Beach is located on the Eastern Seaboard, and thanks to its warm waters, you can expect to find lots of Redfish, Cobia, and Tautog. When it comes to fishing, Virginia Beach has it all!

Eastern Shore

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is a unique fishing spot. You can launch your fishing trip on both sides of this peninsula, either towards the Atlantic Ocean or the Chesapeake Bay. However, there’s something really special about the Eastern Shore. In one day, you can launch a trip on both sides, and bring home fish both from the Bay and the Ocean. Yes, in just one day! We don’t know about you, but that sounds like an amazing fishing experience. 

A view on the Chesapeake Bay from one of the Virginia's top fishing spots, the Eastern Shore
The waters of Chesapeake Bay are home to huge Tarpon.

You can fish here at any time of the year because there’s always something biting both in the bay and the nearshore ocean waters. For offshore trips, the best time to visit is the summertime. 

There’s another reason why anglers come here during the summer – the Silver King. During the warmest months, there’s a number of Tarpon swimming in the channels and marshes between the mainland and barrier islands.

Lake Anna

Located in the counties of Louisa, Spotsylvania, and Orange, Lake Anna offers awesome fishing opportunities to anglers of different levels of experience. The lake is a 13,000-acre impoundment, but only 9,600 acres are available for public use. There are two sides, which locals often call “the hot side” and “the cold side.”

There are great fishing opportunities on both sides, but if you want to fish on the hot side, you must have access to one of the private ramps. On the other hand, the cold side has a number of public ramps that are open for everybody all year round.

A view over the water of one of Virginia's top fishing spots, Lake Anna

Now that we have those specifics out of the way, let’s talk about common catches on Lake Anna. The top three species are Largemouth Bass, Crappie, and Stripers. You can also expect to come across a Wiper, which is a hybrid between Striped Bass and White Bass. 

If you’re targeting Largemouth Bass, the perfect time for your visit is sometime during March or April. For those looking to catch lots of Crappie, you can target them year-round, but keep in mind that their spawning season ends somewhere mid-May. After their spawning season ends, they tend to spend their time in the deeper waters, which makes them harder to catch.

Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake is the second largest lake in Virginia and is considered one of the premier fishing spots on the East Coast. The lake has over 500 miles of shoreline. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, these calm waters are home to some prize-winning catches.

The lake is known for its abundance of Striped Bass. The largest Striper recorded here weighed more than 45 pounds! Anglers keep saying that they catch 30 pounders here every year.

A man and a boy holding a Striped Bass on a fishing boat.

If the famous Rockfish isn’t your cup of tea, you can target Largemouth, Smallmouth, and White Bass. 

For those anglers that are looking for something different from Bass fishing, there are a few other options. Deeper parts of the lake are known as the home of Channel and Flathead Catfish, Muskie, Crappie, and Walleye.

Mossy Creek

We can’t talk about the best fishing spots in Virginia without mentioning the famous Mossy Creek. This classic limestone creek is well known among anglers as one of the premier fly fishing spots in Virginia. Some even say that this creek can be very challenging and frustrating even for the most experienced fly fishers.

a close up of a Brown Trout caught on the fly

So what makes it so special? First of all, Brown Trout that swim around here are very strong and hard to catch. To make the challenge even harder, the underground structures are designed to make the fight as hard as possible. We’re talking about steep drop-offs, lots of underwater vegetation, and swift runs. You can’t wade in these waters, and you’ll have to approach them from the steep banks.

However, if you’re patient enough, you might be rewarded with a 25″ Brown Trout. Well, that’s definitely something that’s worth all the effort! Besides Brown Trout, you can also expect to come across Yellow Trout.

Virginia Fishing Spots: Countless Opportunities

These are some of our favorite fishing spots in Virginia. However, there are many more out there. Each spot is awesome in its own way, so grab your rod or find a charter near you and get out there!

Have you been fishing in Virginia? What’s your favorite fishing spot? Let us know in the comments below!

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