Virginia Saltwater Fish Guide

Virginia is home to excellent freshwater fishing. But if you want to enjoy some of the top angling in this state, you need to head for the coasts. Virginia boasts some of the best saltwater fishing in the country, and there are numerous species you can target.

Here are eight of the best Virginia Saltwater fish…

What are the Best Virginia Saltwater Fish?

Striped Bass

Called rockyfish by the locals, the striped bass gives you a massive fight. One of the benefits of fishing for this species is that they are always feeding; no matter what the season, you can likely catch a large, hungry striped bass, making them incredibly popular in the Chesapeake Bay area. 


Although flounder fish are not the best, most exciting sport, they provide excellent table fare. If you want to fish for an easy-to-catch species that makes for a great meal, you’ll want to target the flounder. They can be caught in almost any month, but summer is a wonderful time to catch flounder off of Virginia’s saltwater coasts. 


The cobia tends to stay offshore, generally living a distance from land. In Virginia, however, they are often caught closer to shore than in any other area. They provide both excellent meat and exciting sport, which is why so many Virginia anglers target this species. 


If you want a location with world-class tuna fishing, Virginia is a top destination. These fish grow to incredible sizes and come in different varieties. From the coast of Virginia, you can head offshore to target yellowfin and the massive bluefin tuna. 

Red Drum 

Also called the redfish, this species like to live in nearshore areas, such as tributaries and small inlets. Many anglers fish for this species along the edge of the water, usually fishing near the bottom with crab or cut bait. It’s also popular to fish for this species with artificial lures in flats and grass beds. 


This is a popular fish all across the Atlantic coast, including Virginia. They can be caught with a variety of lures and artificial baits, and are easily found by anglers of all types. They linger around piers and jetties, so anglers without a boat can still target this species. 


The wahoo makes excellent table fare and also gives anglers a tough and exciting challenge. This is usually a summer species in the Virginia area, although the wahoo will linger as long as October, giving anglers plenty of opportunities. 

Mahi Mahi

This is possibly the most visually-stunning fish in the entire ocean. Brilliantly colored with greens, yellows, and blues, the dolphin fish are fun to catch and wonderful to eat. Although considered a more tropical species, anglers can find this fish off the Virginia coastlines.

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