Five Ways to Enjoy National Fishing and Boating Week

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Jun 3, 2013 | Updated: Apr 17, 2018

Comments: 2 Comments

Happy National Fishing and Boating Week!

We have five fun ways you can enjoy the water this week in Virginia.

 Fishing on the New River

Fishing on the New River


June 3-5 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.

Fishing in Buggs Island Lake

Fishing at Kerr/Buggs Island Lake

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.


 Hampton Harbor

Harbor Cruises from Hampton


Step onto a harbor cruise if you’re not quite ready to slip out into the Atlantic on a charter. Try the 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!

Deep Sea Fishing on the Waterman

Deep Sea Fishing from Virginia Beach



Hop aboard a charter and head out into the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Ocean for stellar offshore and deep sea fishing. Captains of Fisher’s Bay ChartersCatchin’ Up, Final PursuitFlat Line, High Hopes, Key DreamsLemon Twist, Long Time Com’n, MatadorNet Profits, Ocean Eagle, and Rock Hound will help you land croaker, flounder, sea bass, tautog, cobia and possibly a blue marlin, among others.

Fishing on the Roanoke River

Fishing on the Roanoke River



Virginia’s rivers are ripe for a variety of freshwater fish, and there are plenty of guides on standby to help you get started.

New River

Shenandoah River

James River

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.


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HARRY VONelda Rosa Recent comment authors
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I’ve spent over 30yrs. vacationing on the Pacific side of Baja on surfing trips, where I’ve become friends with many of the local fishermen and their “co-ops”. I fish myself, from the beach, bluffs and a small inflatable boat. I know their struggle, to deal with the dangerous conditions, the fish populations and the price of fish on the co-op’s market. It has improved their lives over the decades, in most areas I’ve visited. Still, it’s a hard life to make a living for their families. Especially, when the “traveling fishermen” from the bigger towns like Ensenada, El Rosario/San Quintin… Read more »

Nelda Rosa

There is at least one state park on each of Virginia’s four major impoundments: Claytor Lake, Lake Anna, Buggs Island Lake (home of both Staunton River and Occoneechee parks) and Smith Mountain Lake. All of these lakes are famous for bass fishing, including striped bass, as well as their healthy populations of panfish. The big-lake parks offer camping, rental cabins, ample boat ramps and loads of family activities. They also have bank fishing, to one degree or another, and several have fishing piers and boat rentals.