June 1 – 9, 2013 is National Fishing and Boating Week and we have five fun ways you can enjoy the water this week in Virginia.
1. Free Fishing Days - June 7-9 are designated Free Fishing Days in Virginia, where you are welcome to fish without a license in any freshwater or saltwater environments except designated stocked trout waters, which are marked with signage. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce your children to fishing.
2. Go Big – Head to Virginia’s largest lakes for plenty of coves that are sure to be full of fish. The boating and watersports are awesome, too!
Largest: John H. Kerr Reservoir / Buggs Island Lake in Clarksville includes more than 50,000 acres of fresh water and over 800 miles of shoreline. Try either Occoneechee or Staunton River State Park for the best public access.
Second Largest: Smith Mountain Lake is so large (500 miles of shoreline) that it can be accessed from three counties – Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania. Try Smith Mountain Lake State Park for the best public access.
Third Largest: Lake Anna also reaches into three counties – Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania. The lake offers more than 200 miles of shoreline and 13,000 surface acres of water. Lake Anna is noted for being one of the best lakes on the eastern seaboard for fishing large mouth bass. Head to Lake Anna State Park for the best public access.
3. Cruise – Step onto a harbor cruise if you’re not quite ready to slip out into the Atlantic on a charter. Try the Carrie B. out of Portsmouth (a Mississippi river boat replica), Miss Hampton II out of Hampton, American Rover out of Norfolk (a sailing schooner) or Victory Rover, also out of Norfolk. A harbor cruise out of Norfolk would be especially fun this weekend as Norfolk Harborfest is going on and there will be many ships to see, not to mention fireworks!
4. Cast a Long Line – Hop aboard a charter and head out into the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Ocean for stellar offshore and deep sea fishing. Captains of Bay Fisher II, Catchin’ Up, Final Pursuit, Flat Line, High Hopes, Key Dreams, Lemon Twist, Long Time Com’n, Matador, Matty J, Net Profits, Obsessed, Ocean Eagle, Rock Hound, and Wave Runner will help you land croaker, flounder, sea bass, tautog, cobia and possibly a blue marlin, among others.
5. River Runs – Virginia’s rivers are ripe for a variety of freshwater fish, and there are plenty of guides on standby to help you get started.
- Greasy Creek Outfitters
- New River Outdoor Co.
- New River Trips
- PFX-Pro Fishing Expeditions
- Tangent Outfitters
- Appalachian Adventures
- Harpers Ferry Adventure Center
- Massanutten Adventures
- Shenandoah River Adventures
- Shenandoah River Outfitters
- Confluence Outfitters LLC
- James River Cats
- James River Runners
- Matt Miles Fly Fishing, LLC
- Old Dominion Tours
- Riders Up! Outfitters
- Twin River Outfitters
Are you all set with great ideas and contacts for a week on the water? Comment below to share your experiences and tell what’s biting where.
- June is Virginia Great Outdoors Month
- Virginia’s Rivers
- Fishing in Virginia
- Fly Fishing in Virginia
- Top 10 Reasons to Go Fishing (Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries)