Travel Destinations

Boating and Fishing Virginia Beach

Where the Ocean Meets the Bay


As with many seaside resort towns of the Atlantic coast, Virginia Beach is a popular destination during the summer months, where you'll find accommodations ranging from waterfront homes and hotels to popular campgrounds with breathtaking views. What sets the area apart from many other similar destinations is its proximity not only to the Atlantic Ocean and its bounty, but also to the Chesapeake Bay and its vast angling opportunities.

Both bodies of water offer a variety of species for inshore and offshore anglers alike all year round. Surf and pier fishing is popular with locals as well as tourists, though those who fish aboard a boat have the best chance at tangling with a trophy fish in either body of water. While the traditionally popular months of May through October offer the best shot at nearly every species, there's not a month when you can't find a finfish ready to inhale your offering.

Located approximately eight miles south of the Cape Henry Lighthouse, Rudee Inlet is easily navigated, thanks to well-defined jetties, whether you decide to bring your own boat by trailer or cruise to the area. Rudee Inlet Station Marina offers well-lit slips, piers and public walking areas and can accommodate vessels up to 100 feet. There are two on-site restaurants and several others nearby, and the beach and boardwalk are within a five-minute walk. The marina also is conveniently located to public golf courses and tennis courts, shopping and the Virginia Beach Aquarium.

The Virginia Beach Fishing Center offers three dockage locations that accommodate vessels up to 120 feet with in-slip fueling at two of the locations. All three locations are within walking distance of the beach and boardwalk, oceanfront hotels, numerous restaurants to meet every taste, shopping and nightlife and the Virginia Beach Aquarium.

Fisherman's Wharf is the largest of the marinas tucked inside Rudee Inlet and offers dockage for vessels up to 80 feet among its floating docks. Most slips offer in-slip fueling with diesel and gasoline available along with 30/50-amp dock- side power, cable TV, dock boxes and fresh water. Restrooms and showers are available as is a fully stocked ship store. Here too it's a short walk to the beach and boardwalk and other oceanfront attractions and activities.

From the backwater creeks to the big water of the offshore canyons, there's a species to meet every angler's wants and desires. For some excellent light-tackle sport, look to the numerous rivers and the Chesapeake Bay for action with trout, drum, small rockfish, flounder, spot and croaker. For large rockfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel, search the channel edges and irregular bottom of the Bay. Check the buoys of its lower portion for cobia. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is a fish magnet and is a prime location for targeting rockfish as well as flounder, sheepshead, tautog, cobia and bluefish. Near- shore wrecks and rock piles as well as the Chesapeake Light Tower are natural fish magnets for a variety of species including rockfish, bluefish, tautog, flounder, amberjack and spadefish. Bluefin tuna, sharks, dolphin (mahi mahi) and white marlin can be found from the 20-fathom line out, while the bluewater canyons are home to yellowfin and bigeye tuna, white marlin and blue marlin, sailfish, wahoo and dolphin.

It should be noted that a saltwater fishing license is required for anyone 16 years or older while fishing Virginia's tidal waters. Many species including, but not limited to, the popular inshore species such as striped bass (rockfish), speckled trout, gray trout, redfish, tautog, amberjack, Spanish mackerel and cobia are tightly regulated with regard to seasons, size and bag limits. It's best to check the Virginia Marine Resources Commission website. However, no matter where you fish or what month it is, Virginia Beach lies at the doorstep of some of the best fishing along the Atlantic coast, and a trip there should be on your bucket list!


Rudee Inlet Station Marina


Fisherman's Wharf Marina


Virginia Beach Fishing Center


Virginia Marine Resources Commission



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