Fishing in Virginia


Officially known as the Commonwealth of Virginia, Virginia is a southeastern state nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coast. On one end of Virginia lie the Chesapeake Bay and the vast Atlantic Ocean coastline while the opposite end harbors numerous trout streams that comprise thousands of miles. Given this geographical landscape, Virginia has an abundance of offshore and inland fishing options. In particular, Chesapeake Bay is among the richest estuaries in the world with notable species such as finfish, clams, and blue crabs. You will be required to purchase a valid license before you cast a line, and you should learn about bag limits, season restrictions, and fish size limits. You can check all the nitty-gritty details of Virginia’s fishing regulations from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission website.

A long wooden pier stands above a ocean, waves crashing toward the shore as the sun sets over the horizon.

Fishing Spots in Virginia

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is the perfect place to start when you’re wondering where to fish in Virginia. Located right at the opening of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is rich in fish species ranging from cobia and tautog to marlin, tuna, and even sharks. In addition, it is positioned on the Atlantic Ocean’s Eastern Seaboard, thus boasting warm waters and strong currents that attract a highly diverse selection of fish. It is particularly famed for striped bass fishing as these, and other migrating fish species, are a common sight within these waters. With access to the second-largest ocean in the world, the Atlantic, campers can also join a boat charter to venture deeper for larger species such as the swordfish. 

Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke is known as one of Virginia’s good fishing spots because its calm waters house some of the most accessible catches in the state, and it is home to the most extensive shorelines along the East Coast. Around the lake stand the Blue Ridge Mountains, which create a serene environment for fishing. The calm deep blue waters of Smith Mountain Lake are a favorite among anglers for their abundance of rockfish, white bass, striped bass, and smallmouth bass; the biggest striper to be caught from this lake weighed a mighty 45 pounds. Moreover, with a shoreline of approximately 500 miles, there are plenty of locations where RV renters and owners can enjoy Virginia’s marvelous sunsets with the mountains and the lake’s still waters in view. 

Mossy Creek

Mossy Creek is the best site for fishing camping in Virginia for those looking for a challenge. This limestone creek is renowned for its abundance of large brown trout, and it is predominantly characterized by underwater plants, rapid runs, and steep drop-offs. Nonetheless, fly-fishers can cast their line from the steep banks along the creek. Keep in mind that much of Mossy Creek runs through private property in Augusta County, so it’s important to know where to go. A good access point is located at the junction of Route 42 and Route 747. 

Lake Fairfax

Located in Fairfax County, this lake covers 20 acres and is situated within Lake Fairfax Park, which encapsulates around 470 acres. The park offers ample RV spaces and other great amenities, including a skate park and the Water Mine Park. Lake Fairfax is also a classic fishing site for anglers as the lake is home to numerous species, most notably the channel catfish, bluegill, and the largemouth bass. Fishing for these species is available year-round. 

Chickahominy River

This list would be incomplete without mentioning the Chickahominy River. It is known for its scenic waterfront, which is strategically positioned in the region between Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Jamestown. Chickahominy River is among the best fishing spots in Virginia because of the cypress trees evenly scattered along its shores, the various fish species, and the abundance of open marshes. The most common catches include the black crappie, yellow perch, and white perch. The steep drop-offs are best suited for crappie fishing while the grassy edges are good spots for perch fishing. 

Where to Fish in Virginia

Virginia’s eastern shore is arguably the best fishing region for a relaxing coastal retreat. Coastal cities located on the waterfront are ideal fishing destinations for RV owners and renters looking for a quiet fishing and camping trip along the Atlantic Ocean. These towns include Onancock, Wachapreague, and Chincoteague. Troutville is also acclaimed as an angler’s paradise since it is home to Whitetop Laurel Creek — a highly rated fishing spot in the state. Virginia’s grandest lake, Buggs Island Lake, is another superb fishing spot. It is the largest lake in the state, and it also has some of the most diverse fish species in the region, including white perch, black crappie, yellow perch, and bass. 

Camping and Fishing in Virginia

Before reaching for your reels and rods, there are certain dos and don’ts you should know. First, fishing in Virginia is governed by specific rules and regulations. Purchase a valid license and go through these laws in detail. Secondly, you need to be aware of Virginia’s fishing seasons, which can vary from one body of water to the next. 

Although fishing is a year-round activity in this state, summer offers the best chance for catching a range of different species. Usually, fish avoid the surface during the wet season. However, bass lakes and trout streams are active even in the winter. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.