Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report


As the summer heat intensifies, so does the action in the deep blue waters off the coast of Virginia Beach. Anglers are gearing up for what is anticipated to be a peak season in July and August for offshore bluewater action. The recent reports are a testament, with boats heading north returning with tuna, while those venturing south report an exciting billfish bite. The waters are starting to teem with white marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and gaffer dolphin, and the catches are expected to increase as the season progresses.

Last week the Spanish mackerel fishing along the oceanfront faced a challenge due to several days of strong winds. These winds caused an upwelling, resulting in colder oceanfront waters, with temperatures dropping to 67 degrees as recorded by the Virginia Beach Pier. Captain Todd Beck of Knot Wish’n Charters out of Rudee Inlet,  advises that the key to a successful catch is to seek warmer waters to the east, or north near warmer bay water. He recently found a thriving bite near Cape Henry.

Connie Barbour

The lower Bay continues to be a hotspot for big red drum, with anglers enjoying success both bottom fishing and sight casting to schools on the surface.

Connie Barbour

The cobia action is equally robust, with live baits such as spot, croaker, or eels proving effective when fished in chum slicks. Sight casters and anchored boats alike are also making good use of bucktails. Notably, as the season advances, cobia are migrating further up the bay, providing more anglers an opportunity for a successful catch.

Around the buoys and pilings of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT), as well as under the Chesapeake Light Tower, spadefish make their presence known. Meanwhile, sheepshead anglers are reaping the rewards of a great bite, utilizing crabs, clams, and sand fleas as bait. These fish show a preference for hard structures, particularly rocks and bridge piling, where they can find ample food and cover.


Paige II Charters

Flounder fishing is experiencing a rise, with increased catches reported along bridges, inshore wrecks, and artificial reefs throughout the lower bay and along the coast. Flounder are ambush predators, favoring hard structures, drop-offs, and creek entrances—ideal spots for lying in wait for their prey. For those new to flounder fishing or looking to refine their technique, Craig Paige of Paige II Charters comes highly recommended for his specialized knowledge and experience.

Black drum, ranging from 6-10 lbs, are being caught around structures that typically attract flounder and Sheepshead. These bottom dwellers have a preference for crabs, making them a prime target for those fishing in these areas.

Coastal wrecks are the go-to spots, currently for bluefish, amberjacks, triggerfish, and sea bass. It’s important to note that the sea bass season will be taking a brief pause on July 15, only to reopen on August 4 and remain open until the end of the year, December 31.

Pier and surf fishing enthusiasts are in for a treat as well, with an abundance of spot, roundhead, flounder, rays, skates, as well as Spanish mackerel and bluefish. The surf has been particularly generous, offering up puppy drum, nice size spot, and bluefish.

Dr. Ken Neill, early morning trout

The stretch from Buckroe to Deltaville has been producing good numbers of spot and croaker, much to the delight of local anglers. Meanwhile, speckled trout have been thriving in the creeks and marshes, responding well to paddle tail swim baits, popping corks with shrimp, and topwater baits. These fish are widely available, ranging from the bay’s entrance all the way to the Potomac River.

As we move deeper into the summer, Virginia waters promise a rewarding experience for fishing aficionados. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice eager to learn, the abundance of marine life and the expertise of VBSF charter Captains offer an unparalleled adventure on the high seas. So, grab your gear, set your sights on the horizon, and prepare for an unforgettable season.

VBSF reports brought to you by Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle. Long Bay Pointe Marina and Coastal Fiberglass.


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