Virginia State Fish: Feisty and Tasty
Sep 10, 2020 | 3 minute read
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Virginia’s fishing scene is one of the best-kept secrets on the East Coast! Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, and many Trout streams, the state has lots of unique and productive fishing grounds. With so many diverse fishing environments also comes a large number of different species. You’re probably wondering which ones Virginia has chosen as its state fish. Read on to find out!

Brook Trout: The Freshwater Charmer

Beautiful state fish of Virginia, Brook Trout in the water
Look at those colors!

Average size: around half a pound

State record: 5 pounds, 15 ounces

From the East Coast to the West Coast, Brook Trout are the favorite freshwater fish. Eleven different states claim Brookies as their official state fish. A fish so popular must be pretty special. And yes, they are.

First of all, Brook Trout can’t survive in polluted waters. They like their water cold and clear. It’s no wonder why so many states like it when there’s an abundance of Brookies in their waters. That means they’ve managed to preserve a number of beautiful mountain streams.

Secondly, Brook Trout are beautiful and feisty! Their color ranges from olive to blue-gray, to black. The sides of their bodies are coated with golden patterns and red spots in between. Their fins are orange, with a clear-cut black and white trim on the edges. It’s not just about their looks, though. Brookies will give a great fight and punch well above their weight. Oh, and they’re super tasty, in case you needed another reason to like them!

Striped Bass: The Icon of The East Coast

A man on a boat holding a huge Striped Bass, caught on a fishing charter in Cape Charles, Virginia
A huge Striper caught on a fishing charter in Cape Charles, Virginia

Average size: between 10 and 30 pounds

State record: 53 pounds, 7 ounces

Striped Bass, also known as Rockfish, are the Northeast’s favorite game fish! Anglers all along the Atlantic coast count the days until the Striper season starts. What makes Stripers so iconic?

One of the reasons is that you can find them everywhere! Stripers are an anadromous fish, which means that they spend a part of their lives in saltwater and a part in freshwater. They’re also very persistent and can live as long as 30 years. As a result, they can get pretty big.

Another reason Stripers are so popular is that they put up a great fight. They’ll take any kind of lure but will give you a fight you’ll remember. Rockfish are easily recognizable by their dark stripes and the shiny, silver sides of their bodies.

Striped Bass are delicious, too. Thanks to their size, they make for a great feast, which is another reason why so many anglers fish for them. On the other hand, there are a lot of sportfishers who choose to practice catch and release.

Virginia State Fish: A Fight and a Feast

Virginia State Flag

Virginia’s state fish picks don’t surprise us at all. Both Brook Trout and Striped Bass are admired across America. They’ll give you great reel action and a yummy dinner. What more could you ask for?

Have you caught either of these fish before? Going fishing in Virginia soon? Drop us your stories or ask us a question in the comments below – we love to hear from you!

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