Rudee Inlet

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Fishing in Rudee Inlet

Are you ready for your next fishing adventure? Then it’s time to book a Rudee Inlet fishing charter today. This 110-foot-wide channel is the perfect place to begin your angling journey, as from here you can head offshore into the Atlantic, fish Virginia Beach, or venture into Chesapeake Bay.

When heading towards Virginia Beach and further, you can expect to catch White Marlin, Bluefin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Amberjack, and even a Blue Marlin or two. Fishing nearshore will have you targeting Striped Bass, Bluefish, and Mackerel. You’re likely to see whales during their migration, too.

The protected waters of Rudee Inlet are great for fishing, even in rough weather. Inshore, you can catch Spadefish, Bluefish, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Shark, and even some Flounder.

Rudee Inlet Fishing Spots

There are many spots to fish in Rudee Inlet and its surrounding area. In the inlet, look for rocky areas where Striped Bass live. You’ll find them where strong currents meet structures and at the mouth of the river.

Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge

A short drive over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel will see you at Fisherman Island. This offers a great opportunity to catch Channel Bass and King Mackerel in these waters, especially at the wrecks around the island. The east side is more productive overall throughout the season.

Chesapeake Light Tower

Rudee Inlet is the perfect spot to head out from. Heading around the shoreline, you come to the historic Chesapeake Light Tower 14 miles off the coast. This is an excellent fishery and overlooks many underwater structures. You’ll be targeting Black Sea Bass, King Mackerel, Flounder, Triggerfish, Tautog, Spanish Mackerel, Amberjack, Jack Crevalle, and huge Cobia.

Reefs and Wrecks

Just 15 miles from Rudee Inlet are plenty of reefs and wrecks. In these spots, you’ll find plenty of King Mackerel, Bluefish, Spadefish, and Amberjack. Have your fishfinder on to make the most of these underwater structures.


Head toward Virginia Beach, where nearshore and offshore fishing meet. You’ll want to head much further out to catch some huge White Marlin, Bluefin, Yelloweye, and Bigeye Tuna. Experienced anglers will take an extended trip to the Cigar, located 65 miles from sure, and to Norfolk Canyon, found 70 miles east of shore. Norfolk canyon is the top spot for serious anglers.

Fishing Tips

  • In the inlet itself, sight casting is one of the top techniques. Further out, trolling works best.

  • For big Striped Bass, try trolling with deep-diving plugs. When using live bait, try eels and menhaden on a mono or fluorocarbon leader. The Striped will sit and wait for bait fish, so live bait that entices them is the best method.

  • When catching big Drum from spring to fall, try chumming or using crabs as live bait. Even on a slow day, this never fails to get a strike.

Need to Know

If you intend to do a lot of fishing in the area over an extended period of time, try getting your six citations – have your large fish weighed and measured, collect your citations, and become an official fishing expert.


You’ll need to purchase a fishing license if you’re between 16–65 years old. If fishing aboard a fishing charter, the license is covered by the boat.


The price of a trip for six people varies greatly depending on where you choose to fish. An eight-hour trip inshore can cost up to $1,000, and a 4-hour trip is between $500–$650. You’ll need more time on an offshore trip, so a 13-hour trip will cost around $2,300.

Getting There

Fly into the Norfolk International Airport, then drive east along the I-264 E for 23 miles to get to Rudee Inlet, where you can begin your fishing adventure.

Rudee Inlet fishing charters are great fun for the whole family. From this top fishery, you can choose where to go to suit your fishing experience and skills.


Rudee Inlet
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Rudee Inlet Fishing Seasons

Striped Bass and Tautog are top catches this month. Temperatures in the inlet can drop to 32°F, and can get even colder when going offshore.

Atlantic Mackerel, Striped Bass, and Seabass are all good this month. Temperatures vary between 34°F and 52°F.

This is a great month for Atlantic Mackerel and Tautog. Red Drum and Croaker are good now, too.

Join in the “Something in the Water” festival on land, or go after big Flounder in the water.

Get out onto the water now, as May is a top month for Seabass and Black Drum. You can start to catch some Yellowfin Tuna now.

Yellowfin Tuna continues to be hot. Cobia and Striped Bass are also excellent this month. Temperatures reach 83°F.


July is great for Marlin! Join in the Virginia Beach Invitational Marlin Tournament this month, and watch the Fourth of July fireworks.

August is probably the best month to go fishing here! Blue and White Marlin are the top catches offshore. The Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament happens this month.

There’s a lot biting in the water still! Catch Striped Bass, Yellowfin Tuna, Spadefish, and more. Join in the annual “F. Wayne McLeskey, Jr. Memorial Marlin Open.”

Yellowfin Tuna, Mackerel, and Flounder are still going strong this month. This is the last month for top fishing. The crowds have dispersed and temperatures hit a maximum of 72°F.

Bluefin Tuna, Flounder, Striped Bass, and more will still be good this month. You may need to go further out to find keeper fish.

Striped Bass can still be caught this month, but you’re likely to have the waters to yourself out here!

Rudee Inlet Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Rudee Inlet



Marlin (White)

Marlin (White)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Blue)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Bluefin)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)



Black Drum

Black Drum