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Anglers Find Their Happy Place When Fishing at Sandbridge Beach, VA

angler paradise in Sandbridge Beach

As an angler, you know that the adventure of fishing is as much about the experience as it is reeling in the big one. If you're used to one fishing (or fish), you'll love the variety that awaits you in Sandbridge Beach, Virginia.

Castyour line in both fresh- and saltwater for a chance to land a trophy catch... orjust a delicious fish dinner. This relaxed coastal retreat is truly afisherman's paradise, where fishermen (and women) of all ages and skill levels willfind plenty of challenging fun.

Little Island Pier at Sandbridge Beach

Lookingfor a laid-back way to fish with family and friends? Head to Little Island Pierat Little Island District Park, just north of the Back Bay National WildlifeRefuge. This popular pier juts out 400 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, so you'resure to find a comfortable spot to set up your cooler and tackle box.

Youdon't need a license for Little Island Pier fishing, and the season extendsyear 'round. But hours are limited to day and evening: from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.,April 15 through October 31; and from 7 a.m. until posted closing time, November1 through April 14.

There'salso a modest fishing fee to cover the costs of upkeep. Sandbridge residentspay $8 per day; non-residents pay $10. Weekly fishing passes are available, too- just $25 for residents, $35 for non-residents. You can even get an annualpier fishing pass at a greater discount for residents and non-residents. Kids 9and under always fish free, provided they're with a paying adult. Andsightseers can enjoy the pier for a minimal daily fee - $1 for residents, $2for non-residents.

Visitorsagree the pier-fishing experience more than justifies the modest charge. Fromspring through fall, the sparkling Atlantic teems with croaker, flounder, andother saltwater favorites. Even in the dead of December, you just might reel ina prize striped bass. (They run in these waters year 'round.)

Whenyou've finished fishing, you can clean your catch at the pier's free cleaningstation. Then cook it on one of four charcoal grills at the nearby LittleIsland Picnic Area... and enjoy a luscious, fresh-caught meal with all thefixin's and trimmin's.

Afterdinner, you can work off the calories with a fun-filled family game ofpickleball, volleyball, or basketball. Or stroll along the 775-foot sandy beachto collect shells, watch the gulls, and wade in the warm, foamy waves.

LittleIsland District Park provides picnic shelters, public restrooms, a playground, seasonalsnack concessions, plus handicapped access to the pier and main beach. Paved parkingis available for a minimal charge.

Surf-Casting from Sandridge Beach

Fora little more challenge and excitement, try fishing from the Atlanticshoreline. It does require a license,but you can get one at minimal cost - $10 for a 10-day permit (for bothresidents and non-residents). Local tackle shops, sporting-goods stores, andeven a nearby Wal-Mart issue these temporary licenses.

Therewards are well worth it. The coastal waters are especially deep right alongSandbridge Beach, so you can cast your line for some of the most sought-after saltwaterspecies, including red drum, black drum, puppy drum, gray trout, speckledtrout, and mahi-mahi (also known as dolphin fish).

Neversurf-fished before? Don't know how to gear up? No problem. Several area outposts offer equipment rentals - everything fromrods, reels, and lures to beach chairs and tackle boxes.

Freshwater Fishing at Back Bay Watershed

Lookingto land some tasty freshwater fish? Just south and west of Sandbridge Beach,you'll find the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, home to a wide range of scavengingseabirds - as well as the fish they feed on.

Hereyou can cast your line for bluegill, white perch, largemouth bass, channelcatfish, crappie, and other species that thrive in fresh and brackish waters.You can even charter a Back Bay fishing excursion or launch your own boat fromone of the state-owned ramps at Mill Landing Road or Back Bay Landing Road. Just besure you have your freshwater fishing license, available for just $8 (one day) or$21 (five consecutive days).

World-Class Offshore Fishing at Sandbridge Beach

Own a bass boat,cruiser, convertible, or similar sport fishing vessel? Launch it from one of thelocal ramps for some of the finest offshore fishing in the world.

From May throughOctober, prized sportfish abound in these deep coastal waters - wahoo, striper,mackerel, marlin, sea bass, tuna, shark, tautog, and more. It's seventh heavenfor novice anglers and veterans alike.

No boat of your own?Charter one. Several Virginia Beach companies offer customized fishingexcursions, with expert anglers on hand for guidance and support. Who knows?You could reel in a giant drum or mako shark... or even a bluefin tuna weighingseveral hundred pounds.

An Unforgettable Family Experience

Whether you'repole-fishing from the pier or trolling for trout and bass, you're sure to havethe time of your life... and make memories you'll cherish forever.

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