Virginia is a fantastic state to explore for fishing, with its extensive coastline, numerous rivers, and diverse fish species. Whether you’re an avid angler or a novice looking to learn the ropes, you’re sure to have a great time in the Old Dominion State.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 13 of the most awesome fishing experiences you can have in the Old Dominion State.
- Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay
- Shenandoah River
- Smith Mountain Lake
- James, Mattaponey, York, and Pamunkey Rivers
- Kerr Lake
- The Bottom Line
Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay
Virginia Beach, located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, is one of the most popular fishing destinations in Virginia, with miles of sandy beaches and a thriving fishing industry. The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is a great spot for pier fishing, with a variety of species available, including Spanish mackerel, cobia, and red drum.
For those who prefer surf fishing, the beaches of Sandbridge and False Cape State Park offer excellent opportunities to catch striped bass, bluefish, and flounder. They can also be great places to catch Spanish Mackeral.
If you’re looking to get into offshore waters, where you can experience the thrill of deep sea fishing for all the trophy fish like mahi mahi, bluefish, and yellowfin tuna, you may want to check out a fishing charter. They can not only take care of the boating, gear, and often required licenses, but also take you where you have the best chance of reeling in a large fish.
Heading out from the Rudee Inlet, Matador Charters is a premier fishing charter service that specializes in inshore fishing trips. Offering a range of trips, from 4 hours to a full day and tailored to suit all skill levels, Matador’s experienced captains and crew are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for anglers. Together with Captain Jake, you’ll catch fish like flounder, striper, spadefish, and jacks, while full day trips
Situated at the heart of the Mid-Atlantic’s fishing hotspot, the Virginia Beach Fishing Center is a full-service marina that caters to both novice and experienced anglers. Offering a range of fishing charters, boat rentals, and tackle shops, the center is a one-stop-shop for all your fishing needs. With easy access to the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay from their location in the Rudee Inlet, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch an array of fish species, including striped bass, flounder, and tuna.
Their charters range from 4 hours to a 12 hour trip that takes you far offshore to catch the big ones. Most of their boats hold 6 people, but they do have one boat licensed to hold 15.
To book a reservation, call 757-491-8000 or fill out their form online.
Based out of the Rudee Inlet, E-fishinsea Sport Fishing Charters is a top-rated charter service that offers a variety of fishing trips designed to suit all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for an exciting offshore adventure or a more relaxed inshore trip, their experienced captains and crew will ensure you have an unforgettable day on the water.
Captain Greg Weaver is a professional captain with over 40 years of experience that ensures not only a safe boating experience but also the best shot at getting a good catch.
Their offshore trips target species like tuna (yellowfin, bluefin, and blackfin), marlin, mahi mahi, and wahoo. Their inshore trips put you in great places to catch cobia, red drum, black sea bass, and flounder.
AquaMan Sportfishing Charters offers a variety of inshore and offshore fishing trips designed to suit all skill levels. Their experienced captains and crew are dedicated to providing a fun and enjoyable day on the water, ensuring you have plenty of opportunities to catch fish and create lasting memories.
They have two boats, the Flat Line and the Game On. Game On is their largest, at 54 feet, and has the most fishing space of any boat in Virginia Beach. Its climate-controlled cabin can comfortably fit up to 10 people, and it is certified to carry up to 18 passengers.
You’ll have the chance to reel in a variety of fish species, including striped bass, flounder, and tuna. AquaMan Sportfishing Charters is equipped with the latest gear and technology, ensuring your comfort and safety while on the water.
Fresh & Salt offers both offshore and inshore fishing charters in the VA Beach Area. Their inshore trips leave at 7AM and return at 11AM, 12PM, or 4PM, depending on the trip you book. Their offshore trips are 12 hours and leave at 5AM, arriving back in the bay at 5PM. Captain Larry is truly top notch, with over 35 years of fishing experience and even experience working as a commercial fisherman. He has competed and won awards in fishing tournaments and enjoys both freshwater and saltwater fishing, which is why he named his company Fresh & Salt.
Tidewater Charters, also offering inshore and offshore trips, is located in Cape Charles, VA. Cape Charles is on the Virginia Coast, right at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and about 1 hour from Virginia Beach.
Tidewater’s experienced captains and crew bring more than 15 years of experience and are dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable day on the water, ensuring you have ample opportunities to catch fish and create lasting memories.
Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll have the chance to reel in a variety of fish species, including striped bass, flounder, and tuna. With a focus on customer satisfaction and responsible fishing practices, Tidewater Charters is an excellent choice for your next Virginia fishing trip.
The Shenandoah River is a scenic river that runs through the Shenandoah Valley, providing excellent fishing opportunities for anglers. The river is home to a variety of species, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish. The Shenandoah River is also popular for canoeing and kayaking, with several outfitters offering rentals and guided trips.
Located in Edinburg, VA, in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley, Murrays Fly Shop is a must-visit destination for fly fishing enthusiasts. Offering guided trips, instructional classes, and a fully-stocked fly shop, Murrays is an excellent resource for those looking to improve their fly fishing skills or simply enjoy a day on the water.
Their knowledgeable guides are experienced in fishing the local rivers and streams, ensuring you’ll have a memorable and productive day on the water. Their guided trips will take you in the Shenandoah National Park or George Washington National Forest, where you can catch the native brook trout. They also take you out on the Shenandoah River to fish for smallmouth bass.
Matt Miles Fly Fishing is a premier fishing guide service based in the Shenandoah Valley. Specializing in fly fishing, their experienced guides are passionate about sharing their love of the sport with anglers of all skill levels.
Offering guided trips on the local rivers and streams, you’ll have the opportunity to catch trout, musky, striped bass, and smallmouth bass on Virginia’s freshwater streams and miles of rivers. They offer both full day and half day trips, so you can pick what works best for you.
Smith Mountain Lake
Smith Mountain Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Virginia, covering over 20,000 acres. It’s a popular destination for fishing, with a variety of species available, including largemouth bass, striped bass, and catfish.
The Fat Shad Fishing Charters, based in Monenta, Virginia, offers fishing guides on beautiful Smith Mountain Lake and its surrounding rivers. On their vessel, the Blue Wave Pure Hybrid 2800, you’ll have the opportunity to catch big trophy fish with their striper fishing tours. Capt. Dakota Wright has 15 years of experience and to make your trip memorable. Both half day (4-6 hour) and full day (8-10 hour) trips are available.
James, Mattaponey, York, and Pamunkey Rivers
The James River is a 348-mile-long river that runs through Virginia, providing excellent fishing opportunities for anglers. The river is home to a variety of species, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, striped bass, shad, and catfish. The James River is also popular for fly fishing, with several outfitters offering guided trips on the river.
The Mattaponey and Pamunkey Rivers are both scenic rivers that run through eastern Virginia, providing excellent fishing opportunities for anglers. The river is home to a variety of species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, and crappie. The Mattaponey River is also popular for canoeing and kayaking, with several outfitters offering rentals and guided trips.
Based in the Tidewater region, Big Cat Guide Service service offers trips specifically targeting trophy catfish. Father and son captains Scott and Joe Cannon have 18 years of experiencing in guiding clients to the best catfish in the James, Mattaponey, and Pamunkey Rivers. They are Coast Guard licensed and their tours are a great way to experience a unique aspect of Virginia fishing, specializing in getting those tasty catfish.
Their customized boats are outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment, ensuring your comfort and safety while on the water. They have a 21-foot skipper and a 24-foot pontoon boat for your comfort.
Call 804-690-3875 or email info@Catchbigfish.net for more information.
Reel Country Guide Service is a full-service fishing charter that specializes in catfishing tours in the Hopewell, VA area, which includes the James River and surrounding areas. They offer both 4-hour trips as well as 8-hour trips, and focus on small groups of only 4 anglers maximum. That gives you the opportunity to spend more time with Captain Christian Moore and get all his best tips for catfishing in Virginia. Capt. Moore is USCG licensed and insured and high-quality rods and reels are included in the charter fee.
Virginia Fishing Tours is run by Captain Brian, a veteran of the US Navy who has over 10 years of experience fishing the James and York rivers. He offers a wide range of trip lengths, including 4 hours, 6 hours, and 8 hours. In addition to fishing trips, he also offers a 3-hour sightseeing and sunset cruise. He welcomes anglers of all skills levels, from those with no experience to avid anglers ready to bring in their next catch.
Kerr Lake is a large reservoir located on the border between Virginia and North Carolina, providing excellent fishing opportunities for anglers. The lake is home to a variety of species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass, and catfish. Kerr Lake is also popular for boating and water sports, with several marinas and boat ramps available.
Prime Time Guide Service fishes the Kerr Lake and a wide range of other lakes and freshwater fishing spots in the area, including Falls Lake, Lake Gaston, and Roanoke Rapids. They’ll take you on the fishing grounds around Buggs Island, a small little island located within Kerr Lake, where you can get catfish, striped bass, and more. They change their target species based on the time of year and other conditions to maximize your chances of success.
They are located right on the border between North Carolina and Virginia, and offer a no-catch, no-pay policy, so you won’t pay a dime unless you bring something home. Their boats feature state-of-the-art electronics and Prime Time offers trips 7 days a week, 365 days a year, so no matter when you plan to go you can book a trip with them for some great fishing.
The Bottom Line
Virginia is a fantastic state for fishing, with its diverse waterways and abundant fish species. Whether you’re looking for an exciting offshore adventure or a more relaxed inshore fishing experience, there are plenty of Virginia fishing trips and charters available to suit your preferences.
From the picturesque Shenandoah Valley to the bustling coastal city of Virginia Beach, there is no shortage of fishing opportunities in Virginia. With experienced guides, top-of-the-line equipment, and a commitment to responsible fishing practices, these 15 awesome Virginia fishing trips and charters are sure to provide you with a memorable and productive day on the water.