Virginia’s Tarpon Season


VBSF Staff

Virginia tarpon are a prized catch for anglers who enjoy a thrilling fight and a spectacular display of aerial acrobatics. These silver giants can grow up to eight feet long and weigh over 200 pounds, making them one of the most sought-after game fish in the state.

Virginia tarpon season typically runs from July to October, when the water temperature is warm enough for them to migrate into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Some of the best fishing locations for Virginia tarpon are the Eastern Shore, the James River, the York River, and the Rappahannock River.

Tarpon can be caught using a variety of methods and baits, but the most popular ones are live or cut mullet, menhaden, eels, crabs, and shrimp. Tarpon can also be enticed by artificial lures, such as spoons, plugs, jigs, and flies. Tarpon fishing requires heavy tackle and strong line, as well as patience and skill to land these powerful fish.

Virginia tarpon regulations are designed to protect this valuable resource and ensure its sustainability. Tarpon are catch-and-release only in Virginia, meaning that anglers must release them as quickly and gently as possible after hooking them. Anglers are not allowed to remove tarpon from the water or use gaffs or other devices that could injure them. Anglers are also encouraged to use circle hooks and debarbed hooks to minimize damage to the fish’s mouth.

Tarpon are a magnificent species that deserve respect and admiration from all who encounter them. By following these guidelines, anglers can enjoy a memorable fishing experience while preserving the tarpon population for future generations.



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