Types of Inshore Fish We Target
Inshore fishing in Virginia Beach is world-renowned. Not only is there great charter fishing Virginia right off of Virginia Beach, but the Chesapeake Bay is right there too, providing even more opportunities. The Chesapeake Bay is one of the favorite inshore fishing spots in all of Virginia Beach.
We are a World-Class Inshore Fishing Charter
Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay are situated in the Mid-Atlantic. This area is highly diverse because it has different zones of salinity, many different depths of water, and all kinds of fish habitats. These characteristics make the Bay home to a huge variety of fish which is perfect for charters.
Lulu Sport Fishing Charters runs inshore fishing charter trips year round in Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay. Fish come down from the north to spend their winters in our inshore, coastal waters, and fish from the south come up to spend their summers here. Whatever time of year you decide to book your fishing charters trip with Lulu, you can be certain you’ll come back with a massive haul of fish.
One of the prime inshore fishing spots in Virginia Beach is around the Chesapeake Light Tower, fifteen miles off the coast. The tower sits on four columns sunk deep into the ocean floor. These columns are covered in underwater vegetation and barnacles. There are acres of junk on the ocean floor all around these columns; there are old wrecked boats, tires, pieces of concrete, and even train cars. The Chesapeake Light Tower is home to all kinds of small fish that the larger game fish we’re after at Lulu feed on. When you book your fishing charter inshore with Lulu Sport Fishing Charter, you can be sure that we’ll take you to fish the tower.
What is Inshore Fishing Like?
Inshore fishing is simply defined as any type of fishing done in waters up to, but no deeper than, 30 meters (which is approximately 100 feet). This means that inshore fishing is done much closer to the shore, or coast, than Deep Sea and deep-sea fishing. Since inshore fishing is closer to the land, this means that the water is much calmer.
At Lulu Sport Fishing Charter, we take full advantage of the calmer, inshore waters off of Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay. Another great benefit of inshore fishing is that since we’ll be fishing closer to shore, the length of your trip will be shorter, around 4-6 hours, instead of 10 or more.
Inshore Fishing Charters are great for the family
When you charter a trip with Lulu Sport Fishing Charter, you can be sure that you’re signing up for a trip that’s perfect for every member of your family. Since the waters are calmer, our inshore fishing charters are great for first-time or inexperienced anglers, as well as families with small children. We also use equipment that’s more family friendly, in that the rods, reels, and tackle are generally lightweight and easy to handle.
The Fish We See on Our Inshore Fishing Charters
At Lulu Sport Fishing Charter, the main fish we target in our inshore fishing charters are:
Spanish Mackerel is fast-growing, migratory species that spends most of its time in the Atlantic, off the coast of Virginia. They grow to about 13 lbs and live about 12 years. Spanish Mackerel have silver sides and bellies, greenish colored backs, and are covered in yellow or olive green spots. They can be found in coastal ocean waters off of inlets and wrecks, tidelines, and the Chesapeake Bay. The best season for catching Spanish Mackerel is from June-October.
Bluefish are a migratory species that spends much of its time in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. They are usually 40-45 inches long, weigh up to 30 lbs. Bluefish are, not surprisingly, a bluish green color with silver bellies. Their bodies are long and they have a forked tail. The best seasons for catching Bluefish in the Chesapeake Bay are from mid April-July, and from October-December. Two fun facts about Bluefish are that they are very aggressive, and the largest one caught on record was in the Chesapeake Bay in 1986.
Spadefish are disc shaped fish with 4-6 bands running vertically up and down their bodies. They usually weigh around 3-10 lbs, though larger ones do exist. The longest they get is 36 inches. Spadefish are sometimes confused with Angelfish, because they have some similar physical characteristics. Spadefish prefer coastal ocean waters and the Chesapeake Bay. The best season for catching Spadefish is May-September.
Flounder are extremely popular to fish in the waters around Virginia Beach. Flounders are round, flat fish, whose eyes are on the same side of their body. They vary pretty dramatically in size, ranging from 5 inches up to 25 inches. They prefer the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the Rudee Inlet. Flounder season runs from March-November, with the peak season being April-October.
The tautog is a thick looking fish with a rounded body. They range in color from black with mottled spots, to grayish or brownish. They usually grow to about 12 inches and can live up to 34 years. Tautogs prefer the wrecks and reefs of the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The season for fishing these guys is pretty much year round, from January-December. An interesting fact about tautogs is at night, these fish are almost completely inactive. They like to find a hole somewhere and lie flat on their sides. They’re so lazy at night that they’ve been known to let themselves be caught by hand.
Striped Bass are large fish with horizontal stripes running from their gills to their tails. They can be steel blue, black, green, olive, or brown, with silver or white bellies. Striped Bass are large fish, growing up to 5 feet long and up to 77 lbs. They can live up to 30 years. Striped Bass live up and down the Atlantic coast, preferring coastal inshore waters and the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Anglers can fish for Striped Bass year round, but the peak seasons are May-June and September-January.
The Atlantic Croaker is a silvery, pink fish. Croakers are usually around 18-20 inches long and live around 7-8 years. Croakers love the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and inlets. Croakers are members of the Drum family of fish, and are famous for a loud, croaking (or drumming) noise they emit. The record Croaker caught in the Chesapeake Bay was 8 lbs 11 oz and 27 inches long. The peak season for catching Croaker is March-November.
Spot are small, feisty, blue gray fish with a distinctive dark spot by the gill opening. Spot are also called Norfolk Spot, and are some of the most abundant fish in the entire Chesapeake Bay. Spot are small fish, around 11-12 inches long, and live around 3 years. The Spot, like the Croaker, is a member of the drum family, which means they can also make the croaking or drumming noise. The best season for catching Spot is June-October.
Triggerfish are oval shaped with bodies that appear compressed, meaning they’re not very wide. They have big heads and strong jaws. Triggerfish come in a huge variety of colors, but the most common color for Triggerfish in the waters around Virginia Beach is a silvery, grayish color. Triggerfish can get up to about 3 feet long, though they’re usually a bit smaller. Triggerfish love the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, especially around the Chesapeake Light Tower, which is about 13 miles from Virginia Beach. The best season for catching these guys is July-September.
Shark fishing is really popular in Virginia Beach! The best time of year to take an inshore shark-fishing trip is from June-October. These trips are great for whole families! Though shark can be caught any time of day, if you want an extra exciting experience, book a nighttime shark fishing charter trip!
There are lots of shark species living near Virginia Beach and in the Chesapeake Bay. The five most common species of shark that live in our waters are:
Sandbar Sharks are the largest coastal sharks, and the juveniles love to hang out in the Chesapeake Bay. Though Sandbar Sharks are big, they’re not much of a threat to humans.
The Bull Shark is the Sandbar Shark’s more aggressive cousin. They come to the Chesapeake Bay in the summer. Shark attacks on humans are often attributed to Sandbar Sharks because they swim in waters that humans frequent. However, as long as you leave them alone, they don’t pose a huge threat for humans.
Sand Tiger Shark
The Sand Tiger Shark likes to hang out on the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, and hunts mostly at night. These sharks are big, around 10 feet long, and look really scary, but they leave humans alone, and there have been no recorded attacks of Sand Tiger Sharks on humans.
The Smooth Dogfish, or Dog Shark, is a dusty gray colored shark who likes to swim in schools. They’re usually about 5 feet long and they hang out on the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay in the summer and fall.
The Spiny Dogfish is an aggressive, bottom dwelling shark that likes to hang out in shallow, temperate waters, making the Chesapeake Bay a great habitat. The Spiny Dogfish is a smaller shark, usually not getting longer than 5 feet.