The first thing you need to understand about fishing from the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is that you shouldn’t worry about it collapsing. It might look a bit rickety at first glance, but it’s quite sturdy. This is one of the few places where a novice or experienced angler can ocean fish. Either with their personal gear or by renting equipment right on site. Furthermore, no trip to Virginia Beach would be complete without a stroll or cast from the icon of this beach community. Here’s everything you need to know before fishing at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier to have a good time.
Parking At The Pier
Parking near the pier opens at 5:30 a.m. and runs until about 11:30 p.m. It will cost you $3 per day if you’re a resident of Virginia, or $5 if you’re a non-resident. Further, big rigs like buses or motor homes will cost you $10. There is free parking nearby, but it’s a bit of a distance to the pier, so weigh the inconvenience against the cost and draw your own conclusions.
Yes, the rumors are true. You can fish from the Virginia Beach Pier without buying a Virginia state fishing license. Just keep in mind that this small bit of licensure mercy does not extend one inch off the pier. If you want to fish from a boat or the beach, you will have to purchase a fishing license, similar to anywhere else in Virginia. Albeit, before you get too comfortable without paying for a fishing license, there are some fees that you should be aware of.
Now, before you start jumping for joy over all the money you saved by not having to purchase a fishing license, there’s something you should know. Virginia Beach Pier is a private, for-profit operation, so fees are charged to use it whether you’re a spectator or an angler. Adults can fish from the Pier for $12 whereas children under 12 can get in for $6. Yeah, it’s a bit of a bummer, but nothing in this life is free, especially when it comes to world-class fishing.
Once you’re at the Virginia Beach Pier, it’s hard not to squander the whole day there. You can rent all the equipment you might want without leaving the pier. Rods can be rented for $8 with government-issued identification and bait such as blood worms, squid, and occasionally chicken necks from the bait shop. The shop offers package deals for the entire family or for singles, which is affordable. They’ll even take you out crabbing if that suits your fancy. If fishing gets old, you can hit the restaurant that has consistently good ratings and there’s a gift shop to get a memento of your visit. If none of that is quite up your alley, you can rent a bike and pedal off on a trip to see the rest of the beach and boardwalk.
What You Can Catch
It might be hard to believe, with the pier being perched near a major metropolitan area, but the fishing from Virginia Beach Pier is impressive. If you use the right equipment and follow the advice offered by the rental store or experienced anglers, you will be successful here. Nevertheless, it’s only a matter of time before you land a fish at the end of your line. Moreover, if you’ve never had the opportunity to try saltwater fishing before, the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier offers everything all in one location. At different times, you can expect all manner of Atlantic fish to take a run at your bait from the pier.
As such, anglers have had great success with catching the following species:
- Spanish mackerel
- King mackerel
- Red drum
- Occasional sharks
Why You Should Give Virginia Beach Pier a Try
There’s something wonderfully user-friendly about fishing at the Virginia Beach Pier. It’s one of the few places you can try ocean fishing without a major investment in gear or hiring a charter. Speaking of charters, even the nicest charter boats can’t claim to have a full-sized restaurant or bait shop on site. Of course, it’s also hard to put a price on the option of hitting the boardwalk for other forms of amusement nearby. Yeah, the Virginia Beach Pier might not be the fanciest destination out there for saltwater fishing, but it’s one of the most affordable options. Thus, it presents a unique experience you won’t find elsewhere for a similar cost. If you’re in the area, or especially if you’re a Virginia resident, you should try this much-loved icon at least once.