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Top Fishing Charters in Virginia Beach

Fishing in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach fishing gives saltwater anglers an almost unimaginable number of options. Located right at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and within easy reach of offshore canyons, it has something for everyone. Whether your sights are set on doubling up on White and Blue Marlin, catching a surprise Bluefin Tuna close to shore, or getting in on the non-stop winter Striped Bass action, this is the place to be. Come rain or shine, Virginia Beach fishing charters give you the chance to experience one of the hottest fisheries on the whole of the East Coast.

Known For

Virginia Beach has entered the record books on more than one occasion. It's famously known as ‘the longest pleasure beach in the world,’ awarded by the Guiness Book of World Records. But what we anglers care about is the action that takes place in the waters beyond the sands. And oh my, what waters these are.

The prolific waters offshore have made this the place to fish out if you are after a state record. Records for Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, and Bluefin Tuna all come from this port, with the Blue Marlin coming in at an impressive 1093 pounds, 12 ounces. This is also the home to the IGFA all-tackle record for Black Sea Bass. Somehow, when you fish out of Rudee Inlet, it doesn’t seem too far fetched to picture yourself returning with your own IGFA trophy. 

Where & When to Fish

What makes Virigina Beach so special for anglers is that this is place where north and south combine. Unlike anywhere else in the world, catch photos here are full of Redfish and Cobia, as well as Striped Bass and Tautog. And while the inshore action is well-known for its enormous Red Drum, deep sea fishing in Virginia Beach is the stuff anglers’ dreams are made of. Norfolk Canyon, located 70 miles east, and the Cigar, 65 miles southeast from Rudee Inlet, are a couple of your best bets. These are prime fishing grounds for Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna. You can also catch Blue and White Marlin in the summer and Bluefin Tuna in the winter. This is big game fishing at its best.

But it's not all about big game. Winter charters will usually take you exploring the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Seeing as this is where 80 percent of the East Coast’s Striped Bass population spawns, that means fishing until your arms hurt, day in day out. And with the Lynnhaven Inlet opening out just south of one of the Striped Bass’s favorite haunts, you don’t need to go far to get in on the action. Look for Stripers — or Rockfish, as they are known locally — around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, where they lie in wait ready to ambush baitfish coming in from the Atlantic. Ambush one yourself and see why everyone’s talking about Chesapeake Bay Striper fishing.

Just can’t get enough? We don’t blame you. Put the skills you learned on your fishing charter into practice at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Fishing Pier. The only fishing pier on the Virginia Beach boardwalk, this is a place to catch Bluefish, Red Drum, King and Spanish Mackerel, Trout, and more.

Pro tip - if you're in the area for a while, take part in the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. Anyone with a valid Virginia fishing license who joins in can collect citations for eligible fish. Collect six different citations in one year, and you will be considered a real expert!

Rules & Regulations

Fishing licenses are obligatory for everyone aged 16 - 65 years old. But, if you are fishing aboard a licensed Virginia charter or party boat or most public fishing piers, you are exempt. Virginia Beach fishing licenses may be purchased online.

Types of Fishing

One of our favorite Virginia Beach charter fishing experiences is catching Striped Bass in the Chesapeake Bay. Come summertime, most offshore captains will be trolling offshore for White and Blue Marlin. Find White Marlin 'balling' bait, and you can even cast live bait to them - this is a thrill you won't forget. Trolling or chumming and chunking for Bluefin Tuna can also make for lifelong memories.

Want to stay closer to shore? Try sight fishing for Cobia around the entrance to the York River. Otherwise, target Red Drum and Speckled Trout on light tackle or bottom fish over the wrecks for Tautog and Black Sea Bass. 

Virginia Beach
4.15
Based on 7424 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Virginia Beach Fishing Seasons

Striped Bass fever is in full swing in January in Virginia Beach. This is peak season for catching a 'Rockfish,' the local name for the Chesapeake Bay's favorite fish. Look out for migrating Humpback Whales during your trip.

Striped Bass fishing continues to light up the Chesapeake Bay. Bring in these hard-fighting fish until your arms hurt - this will warm you up regardless of what the grim February weather throws at you.

Temperatures finally start to rise into the mid 60s by the end of the month. This is not the peak season for fishing but you can catch yourself a good deal at a hotel, if not some Striped Bass and Speckled Trout.

As temperatures start to get serious about transitioning to spring, so does the fishing. Yellowfin Tuna start to appear offshore, with Bluefin and Bigeye hot on their heels. Inshore, Black Drum and Speckled Trout are biting.

Spring is definitely here, and peak fishing season starts. Everything is biting from now through October. Look out for big Red Drum and Black Drum in the Chesapeake or large schools of Yellowfin off Virginia Beach.

Cobia start to invade the Chesapeake Bay, making for excellent sight fishing through September. As well as Yellowfin, offshore trips target Bigeye and Bluefin Tuna and White Marlin. 

Summer fishing continues to bring in big pelagics and Virginia Beach charter fishing is the perfect way to have fun and escape the crowds in peak season. Don't miss the Virginia Beach Invitational Marlin Tournament. 

White Marlin fishing gets even better than ever, while Blue Marlin remains excellent. The Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament makes the most of the bite. Closer to shore, catch Red Drum and Cobia.

Temperatures cool and the crowds disperse. And while hotel prices might drop, the fishing doesn't. This is peak season for Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna. Big Red Drum and Speckled Trout are the talk of the town inshore.

October is most certainly fall, and you will find the cooler temperatures agree. But if fall means one thing in Virginia Beach, it is Stripers. The best thing is, most of the summer species are still around, too.

Along with Stripers, November means fishing for Speckled Trout, Tautog, Flounder, and Sea Bass. Offshore, Yellowfin Tuna is still going strong, and the occasional Bluefin Tuna may even come in close to shore.

Only the hardiest of fish remain in Virginia Beach in the winter. But hey, what does that matter when Rockfish is as hardy as they come? A festive meal of big Striped Bass never hurt anyone.

Virginia Beach Fishing Calendar

What People Are Saying About Virginia Beach

"Half day trip "

Shay Collins fished with Top Notch Charters on June 17, 2018

Book your trip with Cpt Russ of Top Notch Fishing!

"good trip ,good weather good mixed of fisher men."

James Suddreth fished with Afishinado VB Fishing Charters on June 16, 2018

weather can get hot but a full day would allow the capitin more otpions of where to fish.

"June fishing trip"

Christopher Waller fished with LeGrande Slam I Charters on June 9, 2018

Bring a good attitude and trust the Captain.

"Half-Day wit Captain Robert Smith"

Lorenzo Childress, Jr fished with Adventures On The Water on November 24, 2017

When the weather is fair the experience out on the water is excellent. The actual fishing is slower than during the spring and summer. There is enough action to make the experience worthwhile. We caught three tautaug on our outing. They were delicious.

Top Fishing Techniques in Virginia Beach

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Virginia Beach

Cobia

Redfish

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Marlin (White)

Nearby Fishing Destinations