What's Happening Now in Virginia Fishing

A look at current Virginia fishing action as of July 1st, 2014 and a glimpse into the next 30 days

Current Fishing Conditions in Virginia Waters

June was very summer-like from the beginning.   Consequently, water temperatures are soaring, 77 degrees at the CBBT and approximately 72 degrees offshore of Virginia Beach.  Offshore fishing will be good throughout these hot summer months and night fishing may be best inshore to escape the heat and humidity.

For Non-Locals, Virginia Fishing Acronyms you should know!



Spanish mackerel are along the beachfront at Virginia Beach and in the lower Bay.


Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel


Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel


Monitor-Merrimack Bridge Tunnel


James River Bridge

CLT Chesapeake Light Tower

Best Bets This Month

Spanish mackerel are available to trollers at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and in the Bay from Little Creek to Cape Henry.  Flounder fishing has picked up at the CBBT.  Live lining with eels or croaker or sight casting will entice a feisty cobia in the lower Bay.  Photo (above right) courtesy of Crabbe's Charter Fishing.


Late June / Early July Virginia Regional Fishing Reports

Virginia Fall Line Fishing Report - Richmond, Tri-Cities, Fredericksburg

Blue catfish are becoming more aggressive now that the spawning season is over.  Plenty of channel and white catfish are available as well.  Best fishing for largemouth bass and panfish will be early and late in the day with the heat and humidity.  West of the Fall Line, smallmouth bass fishing has been difficult with the constant thunderstorms that have kept most Piedmont rivers swollen and muddy.  If the current weather pattern finally changes later this month, smallmouth and flathead catfishing will be good when the streams begin to clear.

Northern Neck / Middle Peninsula Fishing Report - Smith Point to York River

Typical summer pattern prevails in this region now.  Chumming for school rock and blues or sight casting to surface-feeding schools of both species.  All tidal rivers in this region; Potomac, Rappahannock and York, have lots of croaker (usually less than 12 inches), some spot, flounder and a few grey trout.  The lower Piankatank River and Mobjack Bay has school rock, speckled trout, flounder and the ever-present croaker.  As the summer wears on, this same area as well as creeks on the lower Rappahannock and Potomac will see numerous puppy drum foraging the shorelines.  Cobia have been caught consistently at the York Spit Light.  Maybe a bit of experimentation even a little north of that structure will yield more "big men in the brown suites."   Flounder, cobia and spadefish are at the Cell for open Bay anglers.  The rocky bases of New Point Comfort and Wolftrap Lights will also hold some spadefish.  By mid month, anglers will encounter schools of Spanish mackerel anywhere in the Bay from Smith Point to New Point Comfort.. 

Lower Peninsula / South Hampton Roads Fishing Report - York River to Bay Mouth

The CBBT has tailor blues, croakers, sheepshead, spadefish and improved flounder action along it's span.  Lynnhaven Inlet continues to produce keeper flounder as well. Cobia and bull-sized red drum are being taken with regularity at the shoals at the north end of the CBBT including Latimer Shoals.  Black drum can appear suddenly at any time along the rock islands of the CBBT.  Spanish mackerel can be found scattered throughout the lower Bay with the most consistent action from Little Creek to Cape Henry and also at the tide rips formed off of channels in the CBBT.  Pier and surf fisherman in the lower Bay can expect to encounter croaker, spot, blues, flounder, whiting, puppy drum, school rock and a few pompano in July.  Puppy drum and speckled trout should be consistent throughout the summer at Lynnhaven Inlet.  Best action will be early in the morning or late in the day with the heat and humidity of summer. 

Atlantic Ocean Virginia Fishing Report - Chincoteague to the N.C. Border

Offshore fishing slowed down a bit in late June but should rebound nicely in July.  Expect to encounter yellowfin tuna, dolphin (not porpoise), wahoo, big eye tuna, sailfish and blue and white marlin in July.  "Deep Drop" bottom fishing on rock piles and reefs 50 miles offshore is still going strong.  Tilefish, grouper, sea bass and several other species are common catches on these offshore bottom trips.  Amberjacks have moved over Atlantic wrecks from 10 to 35 miles off the beach but many anglers will bypass these wrecks in favor of the Southern Towers off Corolla, NC.  Spanish mackerel and tailor blues are easy targets 1/4 to 2 miles off the Virginia Beach surf.  Most will be taken by trolling at a brisk pace with small Clark spoons.  Those fishing the Atlantic surf will encounter blues, whiting, spot, croaker, puppy drum, flounder, a few grey trout and small sharks.

Over on the Eastern Shore Seaside back channels east of the Barrier Islands will produce flounder, croaker, blues and a few grey trout.  The problem with channel fishing this time of year is the over-abundance of croakers which will attack your bait before the flounder have a fair chance.  Tarpon will begin moving into remote, back channels this month.  Eastern Shore tarpon average between 90 to about 150 lbs.  If you don't know the area, hire a guide.  Getting lost in a maze of channels is all to easy.  These same remote channels have lots of big sharks for freak fisherman: blacktip, spinners, dusky, sand tiger, bull and many others.  If you try this, hope you are in good shape.  These critters will wear you out!  Surf fishing on Barrier Islands will yield croaker, spot, flounder, whiting, blues, more sharks and maybe a grey trout or puppy drum.  Early rising or evening anglers can still be rewarded with a hefty red drum from a deserted Barrier Island beach during summer.

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