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Whenever I head over to Virginia Beach, one of my absolute favorite things to do is explore the variety of fishing piers scattered along the coast. Trust me, the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, Ocean View Fishing Pier, and Sandbridge Fishing Pier are must-visit spots. I mean, seriously, these piers offer breathtaking views of the ocean and are teeming with diverse fish species, ensuring an unforgettable experience for everyone. Whether you’re aiming to reel in a whopper or just enjoy the serene ambiance, fishing at these piers never fails to excite me.
You know, Virginia Beach is just perfect for both experienced anglers like myself and beginners who are just starting out. There are so many fishing piers to choose from, offering endless opportunities to cast your line and have a great time.
And here’s the exciting part – you might even stumble upon a hidden gem, a new favorite fishing spot that will leave you amazed. So, if you’re planning a trip to Virginia Beach, get ready to reel in some unforgettable memories and discover the joys of fishing in this fantastic destination.
Top Fishing Piers in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier
If you’re visiting Virginia Beach for the first time, there are several fishing piers you shouldn’t miss. The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is a family-owned treasure that has recently been upgraded with fresh colors and much-needed repairs.
Founded in 1949, it’s a family-owned pier, perfect for a relaxing day of fishing or just strolling along. They’re open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the pier. They offer plenty of chances to catch different fish species, making it an ideal spot for anglers of all skill levels.
Ocean Eddie’s Restaurant is a popular destination for visitors to Virginia Beach. Located right on the boardwalk, this restaurant offers stunning ocean views and a delicious menu featuring fresh seafood and classic American fare. After your meal, be sure to stop by the nearby Pier Gift Shop to pick up a souvenir to remember your visit. And if you’re looking to explore the boardwalk and surrounding area, consider renting a bike from one of the many bike rental shops located nearby.
- Open: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm 365 days a year, weather permitting.
- Cost: $12 per angler per day, $6 per child (under 12), $3 per visitor. Rod rentals $10 per day.
- License: No, a license is NOT required to fish from the pier. The entry fee covers the license for the entire pier.
- Dimensions: 650-foot long pier, and 25-foot tall.
- Fish species: offers anglers the opportunity to catch a diverse range of fish species, including kingfish, spot, croakers, Spanish mackerel, blue fish, sharks, and redfish.
- Amenities: Restrooms are available, pier tackle shop and bait shop.
- Restrictions: Maximimum 2 rods or crab nets per angler.
Sandbridge Little Island Fishing Pier
If you’re looking for a great fishing spot in Sandbridge, Little Island Park is definitely worth checking out. The park has a lot to offer families, including playgrounds and beautiful beaches. But the real gem is the Sandbridge Fishing Pier. This 400-foot pier is perfect for casting a line and enjoying the stunning coastline views.
The pier is a popular spot for anglers of all levels, and it’s definitely worth the $10 fee if you’re a non-resident like me. The tranquil atmosphere and plentiful fish supply make it a great spot to unwind and enjoy a day on the water. So if you’re in the area and looking for a fun, family-friendly fishing destination, be sure to add Little Island Park and the Sandbridge Fishing Pier to your list!
The pier has a charm all its own, with a serene vibe that adds to the overall fishing experience. Before you start casting your line, be sure to swing by the hut and pick up a day pass. With that taken care of, you’re all set to enjoy a fantastic day of fishing in this idyllic location.
|Type of Pass
|Weekly Pier Fishing Pass
|Annual Pier Fishing Pass
|Child (9 and under) Pricing
|Free with Paying Adult (for fishing)
|Type of Pass
|Weekly Parking Pass
|Monthly Parking Pass
|Seasonal Parking Pass
- Open: 5:30 am to 9:00 pm (Apr 15-Oct 31), 7:00 am to posted closing time (Nov 1-Apr 14), weather permitting.
- License: No, a license is NOT required to fish from the pier, but is required to fish from the beach.
- Dimensions: 400-foot long pier, and 20-foot tall.
- Fish species: home to a diverse range of fish species that anglers can catch, including black drum, gray trout, mahi-mahi, puppy drum, red drum, and speckled trout..
- Amenities: Restrooms are available.
- Restrictions: Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Limit 4 rods per person and no rod rentals available. Only service dogs are permitted on the pier. Pier fees are charged May – October.
Ocean View Fishing Pier
And last but not least, the Ocean View Fishing Pier is one of Virginia Beach’s top fishing destinations. The pier offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, and the knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer tips and advice to help you get the most out of your fishing experience.
I love coming to this pier to cast my line and see if I can catch some of the local fish species, like red drum, flounder, or cobia. The pier is a great spot for both beginners and experienced anglers, and there’s always something new to discover. Whether you’re looking to catch your next big fish or simply soak up the scenery, the Ocean View Fishing Pier is a must-visit spot in Virginia Beach.
- Open: 8:00 am to 11:00 pm (Sun-Thu), 8:00 am to 12 am (Fri-Sat), weather permitting.
- Cost: $11 per angler per day. Rod rentals are available.
- License: No, a license is NOT required to fish from the pier.
- Dimensions: 1,690-foot long pier, and 25-foot tall.
- Fish species: Anglers frequent this pier for the chance to catch various fish species, such as croaker, spot, grey and speckled seatrout, striped bass, and blue crab, making it a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts.
- Amenities: You’ll find a Bait House, a restaurant, a game room, and restrooms for your convenience. This pier is also fully equipped to host catered parties, receptions, and banquets for groups of up to 500 people, making it an ideal destination for special events or group gatherings.
Common Fish Species and Seasons
When I head out for a fishing trip in Virginia Beach, I’m always amazed by the variety of fish species I encounter, and it often depends on the season. You see, during the summer months, it’s prime time to reel in exciting catches like Spanish mackerel, red drum, and black drum. Many anglers flock to the popular Virginia Beach Fishing Pier for a chance to catch these prized fish, but I’ve also had success at the more secluded Sandbridge Pier.
As the seasons transition to spring and fall, my focus shifts to species like trout, bluefish, and flounder. These months, from April to November, offer fantastic fishing opportunities, and places like Wachapreague are known for their exceptional fishery. Interestingly enough, the peak season for these species falls between April and June, making it an ideal time for a fishing adventure.
In Virginia Beach, it’s also possible to catch various other species, such as:
- King Mackerel
- Gray Trout
- Blue Crab
You know, it’s interesting to note that while some of these fish species can be found in Virginia Beach throughout the year, others have specific seasons when they are more prevalent. Take king mackerel, for instance. You’ll usually find them around here from July to September when the waters are warmer. On the other hand, tautog is primarily caught during the cooler months, from October to April.
When it comes to fishing at the inlets, such as Rudee Inlet, timing is everything. Knowing when these fish species are migrating through the area can greatly increase your chances of success. However, it’s always important to check the local fishing rules and regulations before you head out on your fishing trip. That way, you can ensure you’re fishing within the bounds of the law and preserving the fish populations for everyone to enjoy.
Tips and Techniques for Pier Fishing
When I go on pier fishing trips in Virginia Beach, I’ve picked up some useful tips to enhance my fishing experience. Now, I’d like to share these insights with fellow anglers to help them maximize their chances of success and enjoy a fantastic time on the pier.
First and foremost, understanding the tides is crucial. Checking the tide charts before heading out is a must, as fish tend to be more active during specific tide movements. This knowledge enables me to plan my fishing time accordingly and greatly improves my chances of hooking some fish.
In terms of tackle and gear, I’ve found that using a medium or heavy-action fishing pole with a spinning or baitcasting reel, paired with a strong line, works well for handling various fish species. Additionally, I’ve discovered that different fish have distinct bait preferences.
- Red Drum, Spot: Bloodworms or cut bait
- Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish: Small lures and jigs
- Bluefish: Shiny and fast-moving lures
When I go pier fishing, I’ve noticed that fish often gather near pilings. These structures provide cover and attract baitfish, making them hotspots for fishing. So, I make sure to cast my line close to the pilings to increase my chances of hooking a fish.
Another trick I’ve learned is to take advantage of the pier’s lighting, especially during nighttime or early mornings. The light and heat from the pier attract baitfish, which, in turn, draw larger fish. It’s truly exciting to fish under the glow of the pier lights and see what I can reel in.
Lastly, I always make sure to respect other anglers on the pier. It’s important to maintain some distance between us to ensure a friendly atmosphere and prevent our lines from getting tangled. Good camaraderie among fellow anglers adds to the enjoyment of pier fishing.
Fishing License and Regulations
When I hit the water at the Virginia Beach pier, I don’t need an extra fishing license—it’s already included in the pier fee. That’s pretty convenient, as I don’t have to worry about carrying additional paperwork. However, if I decide to fish from the beach, I’ll need a saltwater fishing license.
Following the Virginia saltwater fishing size limits and regulations is crucial in this area. As responsible anglers, it’s important for us to stay informed and comply with these rules to protect the environment and ensure sustainable fishing practices.
To fish from a public fishing pier without paying the pier fee, I can obtain a license issued by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC). This special license allows me to enjoy pier fishing without any extra cost. By the way, if I have a Virginia or PRFC saltwater boat license, I can fish from a private boat even without an individual fishing license.
Here are some basic regulations that I follow while fishing at the Virginia Beach pier:
- Hours of Operation: 6 AM to Midnight (Seasonal and Weather Permitting)
- Fees: Adults – $12, Children Under 12 – $6, and Spectators – $3
- Limit: I can use up to 2 fishing poles or crab nets per fisherman
On my fishing trips, it’s essential to keep in mind that fishing is not allowed from the beach within 200 yards of the pier. However, I’ve discovered a designated surf fishing area on the beach, specifically located toward the southern border near Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This spot provides a great opportunity for surf fishing and adds to the excitement of exploring the diverse fishing options available in the area.
Amenities and Services at Fishing Piers
Pier Tackle Shops
Whenever I plan for a fishing trip, I make it a point to drop by the pier tackle shop. Oh, and don’t miss out on the bait shop while you’re there. These stores have all the necessary gear for anglers – from hooks and sinkers to live bait like shrimp and squid. It’s really convenient to have these shops around, especially if I need to restock on bait or gear during the trip.
Restaurants and Snack Bars
I really love hanging out at fishing piers, especially because they have a great restaurant and snack bar. You should check out the pier restaurant at Ocean View Fishing Pier – they’ll cook up the fish you caught that day! It’s perfect for taking a break from fishing and grabbing great food.
And if you’re lucky, some piers even have stunning views of the surrounding towns, like the top deck at Ocean View. It’s the perfect way to enjoy your meal and take in the scenery.
Pier Gift Shop
If you’re ever at a pier, don’t forget to stop by the pier gift shop! These shops are usually located near the entrance or exit of the pier and offer all sorts of nautical-themed souvenirs and gifts.
From postcards to t-shirts, keychains to jewelry, there’s something for everyone. You can even find unique items like handmade crafts, local artwork, and specialty snacks. Even viewing binoculars to enhance your sightseeing experience.
Restrooms and Parking
Another essential amenity I found at many fishing piers is the availability of restrooms and parking. At Little Island District Park, there are handicapped accessible restroom facilities and paved parking lots, making it easy to spend an entire day fishing without worrying about finding restrooms or parking my car.
Playgrounds and Picnic Areas
When visiting the many fishing piers in Virginia Beach with my family, it’s important to have activities for everyone to enjoy. At spots like Little Island District Park, there are sheltered picnic tables equipped with grills, perfect for a family cookout. Additionally, the park offers playground areas for the little ones to have fun while not fishing. This combination of amenities ensures a fun and relaxing day of fishing for the entire family at the Virginia Beach fishing piers.
Other Fishing Spots In And Around Virginia Beach
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
One of my favorite spots to fish in Virginia Beach is the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This beautiful refuge is located along the Atlantic Ocean, just south of the entire Boardwalk. It offers a serene setting for fishers looking to escape the crowds and enjoy some peaceful fishing. Here, you can fish for a variety of species, including flounder, speckled trout, and red drum.
Another excellent fishing location in the area is the Chesapeake Bay. Known for its rich ecosystem and diverse fish population, I’ve always had a good time fishing in this bay. Some popular fish species residing in the Chesapeake Bay include striped bass, croaker, and spot. The Lynnhaven River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, is also a great spot to head for some inshore fishing action.
Rudee Inlet, situated just south of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, is another prime fishing spot in the area. I particularly enjoy the convenience of this location, as it offers easy access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Back Bay. There’s a variety of fish species that can be caught in the inlet, including bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and tautog. Plus, there’s something truly satisfying about casting a line out into the water while enjoying views of the bustling city.
Freshwater Fishing Spots
For those who prefer freshwater fishing, there are some excellent locations in and around Virginia Beach to wet your line:
- Lake Lawson is a great spot for anglers seeking bass, crappie, and sunfish. This lake has quality shoreline access, making it easy for me to get out and fish.
- The North Landing River offers a more secluded fishing environment, home to largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish.
So, whether you’re interested in pier fishing or exploring other fantastic fishing spots in Virginia Beach, there are plenty of options for you to cast a line and reel in some fish while enjoying everything the area has to offer.
Activities and Events near Fishing Piers
When I went to Virginia Beach, I found more than just fishing opportunities at the piers. There were plenty of activities and events to keep me entertained when I needed a break from fishing.
During my stay, I came across some interesting events in the vicinity of the piers – from beach festivals to live music performances. These events provided a fun diversion from my fishing pursuits.
Here are some highlights from my trip:
- Sandbridge Little Island Park
- Park rules (swimming restrictions near piers)
- Ocean Eddie’s Seafood Restaurant
- Casual dining experience
- Fresh local seafood
- Hiking trails
- Varied terrain and difficulty levels
- Scenic photo opportunities
- Nearby events
- Beach festivals
- Live music performances
Virginia Beach is a hot spot for vacationers, especially during holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day. These special occasions are filled with joy, anticipation, and countless cherished moments.
Speaking of Memorial Day, it’s another thrilling holiday celebrated in Virginia Beach. The city takes immense pride in its military heritage and pays homage to fallen soldiers in various meaningful ways.
One of the standout attractions during Memorial Day is the vibrant “Salute to Summer” event. This three-day festival features live music, delectable food, and an array of enjoyable activities for the entire family. Attendees can relish free beachside concerts, a captivating fireworks display, and a patriotic parade dedicated to the armed forces.
It’s evident that the fishing piers in Virginia Beach offer an abundance of activities and events to enjoy. Whether it’s hiking, savoring local cuisine, or immersing oneself in the local festivities, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re planning a coastal getaway, be sure to explore the variety of hotels listed on the official tourism website. It’s an excellent resource for finding accommodations that perfectly suit your needs. While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to visit the nearby golf course, offering breathtaking views of both land and sea.
Catch and Release or Dine at a Local Seafood Restaurant
Whenever I hit the water in Virginia Beach, I can’t resist spending time at the fishing piers, casting my line and hoping to catch a variety of fish species that call this area home. It’s an exciting experience that caters to both seasoned anglers and beginners like myself. Whether you’re into catch and release or simply want to try your hand at fishing, you’ll find ample opportunities at piers like Little Island Fishing Pier and Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.
Little Island Fishing Pier offers a diverse range of fish species to target, including Atlantic mackerel, drum, bluefish, croaker, flounder, striped bass, tautog, and gray trout. The pier is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day between May 1 and October 31, accommodating early birds and night owls alike. I love the vibrant atmosphere here, as anglers with different fishing goals come together to enjoy the thrill of the catch.
At Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, I’ve had the pleasure of encountering red drum, spot, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, and bluefish. This pier, situated along the oceanside boardwalk, provides an unforgettable experience for families and solo adventurers. Kids, in particular, have a blast trying to catch blue crabs and lady crabs, adding an extra level of excitement to the outing.
After a successful day of fishing at the pier, my taste buds crave some delectable seafood. That’s when I head to Bay Local Eatery, a fantastic dining spot located near Lynnhaven Inlet Fishing Pier. With a stellar 4.4-star rating and an array of mouthwatering seafood dishes, it’s my go-to destination for a satisfying meal in Virginia Beach. The laid-back atmosphere and delectable brunch options make it an absolute must-visit, completing the ultimate sea-to-table experience.
Safety and Conservation Tips
Sun protection is key, so I always apply sunscreen and wear a hat to shield myself from the sun’s rays. Piers often lack shade, making it easy to get sunburned or overheated. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and take breaks in the shade whenever possible.
As an angler, I’m mindful of the marine life inhabiting the waters around the pier. I make a conscious effort to handle fish properly and release those I don’t plan to keep. Using circle hooks helps reduce the risk of deep hooking, which can be harmful to fish.
At the pier, I make use of the designated fish cleaning stations, such as the one at Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. These stations are crucial for maintaining cleanliness and preventing pollution. Additionally, they help minimize any unpleasant odors that may bother other pier visitors.
Finally, I always remain aware of my surroundings and the people around me. Being considerate of fellow anglers and pier-goers means casting safely, handling equipment with care, and maintaining a respectful distance from others. We’re all there to have a good time, so it’s important to be attentive and respectful.
Virginia Beach is a perfect destination for fishing enthusiasts of all levels. With a wide selection of fishing piers to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect spot to cast your line and enjoy a great time. The thrill of discovering hidden gems and new favorite fishing spots adds to the excitement. So, if you’re planning a trip to Virginia Beach, get ready for the excitement and adventure of reeling in unforgettable memories while exploring the joys of fishing in this fantastic destination.
In addition to the fishing piers, Virginia Beach offers various other fishing spots worth exploring. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the Chesapeake Bay, and Rudee Inlet provide different fishing experiences and opportunities to catch a variety of fish species. Whether you prefer saltwater or freshwater fishing, Virginia Beach has something for everyone.
Virginia Beach’s fishing piers offer not only excellent fishing opportunities but also a range of amenities, nearby activities, and events to enhance your trip. Whether you choose to catch and release or enjoy a delicious seafood meal at a local restaurant, the combination of fishing, scenic views, and exciting experiences make Virginia Beach a remarkable destination for anglers and nature enthusiasts alike.