Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Hot Spots

It is best to fish in the Chesapeake Bay during the months of April through August. When the fish start to bite, many species of fish are active and can be easily caught. You can have a lot of fun fishing in the Chesapeake Bay during this time of the year. But you must learn the best times to go fishing in the Bay and the right fish species to target. Our Maryland resident and Chesapeake Bay expert shares his Lower Chesapeake Bay fishing hot spots.

Where is the Best Fishing Spot in the Chesapeake Bay?

Finding the best fishing spots in the Chesapeake Bay shouldn’t be a hassle, as there are several good fishing spots in the Bay. Here is a list of the top five options you should consider:

1. Chesapeake Bay Bridge

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is so huge. There are lots of fish species to catch here, and it is a good spot to learn more about fishing. The Bridge-Tunnel connects the Virginia mainland with the Eastern Shore of Virginia, connecting Virginia Beach with the coast of Virginia. It is an award-winning marvel that stretches for 17.6 miles. 

This is actually one of the seven man-made wonders of the world. The Virginia Beach to Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel provides an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and sounds of the Bay. It is also a great vantage point for nature lovers and photographers. To experience more of this amazing and unique structure, you can download the free driving tour to see this amazing structure from a different viewpoint.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Chesapeake Bay Bridge

2. Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is located in the lower area of the Bay. It is a good spot to fish because you can catch a variety of fish species here. It is a popular fishing spot for anglers because many people come to the beach to fish for fish, and you can catch a variety of fish. 

Virginia Beach is located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. A popular tourist destination all year long, Virginia Beach really comes alive during the summertime when thousands of people flock to the beach and along the boardwalk. 

Virginia Beach has a booming local dining scene, maritime history, family-friendly attractions, and arts and entertainment. Each district in the city has its own unique attractions that offer different types of experiences for everyone to enjoy.

Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach

3. Rocky Point Beach

Rocky Point Beach is also popular for angling in the Chesapeake Bay. It is located in the upper Bay and houses several species of fish for you to catch. Rocky Point is one of the most cherished beaches in Baltimore County, and it’s a stunning stretch of white sand beach that expands more than 300 feet along the upper Chesapeake Bay. 

Rocky Point Beach is part of a 375-acre park that is home to breathtaking views of the Bay, the Craighill Light, and the Hart-Miller Islands, as well as an abundance of wildlife. There are 18 picnic areas where everyone can gather together and enjoy a boat ramp, a snack, a pier, a sailing center, and playgrounds that provide hours of fun for kids.

Rocky Point Beach
Rocky Point Beach

4. Kiptopeke State Park

Fishing is also possible at Kiptopeke State Park. You can fish for all kinds of fish in these waters, and the park will provide you with the necessary resources. Kiptopeke State Park is dog-friendly. This great state park has a beautiful dog beach and people’s beach. It is only 30 minutes from Virginia Beach. Check out the beaches that are on the left and the ones on the right, as well. There is a boat launch and pier accessible to all visitors. The park is open from 6 am-10 pm seven days a week.

This park has four lodges, each with a capacity of 16, a campground for RVs and tents, four cabins, four yurts, and a bunkhouse. You can enjoy a nice hike along the wooden bridge and through the forest. The park has more than 5 miles of hiking and biking trails. Upland Trails and beaches on the southern side of the park are connected by extensive boardwalks, which allow visitors to walk along the tops of the dune formations. Bicycle paths lead along the park’s entrance road to various bird species and bird corridors.

The Kiptopeke State Park can also provide you with the fishing opportunities you need. You get access to varieties of fish species in these waters, and they provide you with the required resources. Kiptopeke State Park is pet-friendly. This dog beach is located at a great little state park 30 minutes from Virginia Beach. Try out the pet beach to the left and human beach to the right with a decent pier and boat launch. You can even take a hike on the trails and wooden bridge. Kiptopeke State Park is usually open from 6 am to 10 pm every day of the week.

Kiptopeke State Park
Kiptopeke State Park

5. Tea Kettle Shoals

Tea Kettle Shoals is also located in the upper Bay. It is a good spot to fish, and the resources here will help you to have a convenient and fruitful fishing trip in the Bay.

What Is The Biggest Fish In The Chesapeake Bay?

Striped bass is the de facto king of the Chesapeake Bay. They are also known as rockfish and enjoy eating a lot of small fish. Blue crabs are a part of Chesapeake Bay, and striped bass love them as much as we humans enjoy eating crabs! The sizeable striped bass migrates during the winter across the Chesapeake Bay.

The populations of this species have gone through several ups and downs. For instance, in the early 80s, it was nearly impossible for anglers to catch striped bass. But today, striped bass are the leading food for large predatory fish in the Chesapeake Bay. 

While the species is delicious, anglers must be careful when fishing for the striped bass. Striped bass is very often sighted in the spring as they head up the rivers to spawn. The only artificial dam that is capable of limiting the upward movements of the Striped Bass is the visible Cowingo found on the Susquehanna River. 

Fishing from the southeastern end of the Bay to the north end of the Bay will produce a lot of big striped bass. The flats stretch into Pennsylvania! Fish anglers have the chance to catch huge striped bass even in very shallow water.

Striped bass
Striped bass

Striped bass species are considered the most common inshore saltwater fish species in the northeastern portion of the United States. Striped bass can grow very large to reach 80 pounds or more. They can actually hold a record for being the largest in the world. Striped bass is a fantastic fish to catch because they love to hit flies and lures and live and cut baits. They are tasty to catch, and most anglers consider them good for eating. 

Many tributaries of the Hudson River are popular places to spawn striped bass. Some of the other tributaries are located along the larger Chesapeake Bay. There are also healthy populations of these species along the West Coast of California. 

A good run of striped bass spawns in the Sacramento River. The reintroduction of striped bass into the freshwater lakes in the United States has been an epic fish management success! Since the herring and shad were introduced as forage, striped bass has thrived all over the country. This is especially true in the south, particularly in the TVA lakes and many of the reservoirs on the west coast.

Fishing Striped Bass In Freshwater And Saltwater 

Most of the tackle required to catch the rockfish is the same in fresh and saltwater. In lakes, surf fishing is not possible because many inexperienced anglers may not be able to catch any fish while surf fishing. It is very common to have different types of baitfish used for different kinds of water. Some artificial lures that will enable you to catch the rockfish in salt water will also produce in freshwater. 

The major consideration for anglers when choosing striped bass fishing tackle is the size of the fish that they are seeking to catch. This is true for both freshwater and saltwater species. Many anglers enjoy chasing small schooling fish that swim along the surface of the water. These are great fun fishing tactics that require light spinning tackle. Anglers going deep in the water or are free-lining large live baits will need to use heavier tackle.

The Right Rod and Reel for Stripped Bass

If you’re fishing for large striped bass, the type of tackle you require depends largely on the type of water and the size of the fish being pursued. Serious anglers need to use a heavier spinning outfit, a medium spinning outfit, and other medium conventional outfits. Surfers, for the most part, choose to fish with very heavy spinning gear.

Anglers should also have a medium-light spinning outfit that they can use to catch rockfish. One rod that is about 7 feet long with a very fast action works best. That means the rod is a little longer than normal at the tip but is suppler at the bottom. It is possible to cast very light lures to catch striped bass. 

It’s also possible to handle larger fish if the gear is heavy. Such heavy outfits are very versatile and can be used in many different situations. Fishing for striped bass can be very easy if you fish from docks, jetties, piers, boats, and beaches.

What Fish Are In Season In Virginia Chesapeake Bay?

In the Chesapeake Bay, you can catch a lot of fish. It is common for anglers to go fishing in this area on any given day. With the help of other fishers, you can have a great time fishing in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Here are some of the fish types that are commonly found in the waters of Chesapeake Bay.

1. Flounder

The Chesapeake Bay is a good place to find these tasty fish. Fishing for flounders in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay is best done during the appropriate time of year. Fall and early winter are the best times to go fishing in the Chesapeake Bay when the Flounders are abundant. Fishing for flounder in the Bay can be done from September to December. Fishing for flounder is best done at high tides. It is possible to catch a lot of fish when you fish in the early morning or late in the evening

Fishing during these times will allow you to catch several different fish species found in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. There are several great places to catch the flounders in the waters of Chesapeake Bay. You will enjoy more fishing activities if you go to the other islands that you will find when you enter the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. You can visit the beaches of several other bays in the Chesapeake Bay and fish for various fish species.


2. Striped Bass (Rockfish) 

Rockfish (Striped bass) is a very useful fish you will catch if you go out fishing in the morning and evening. Fishing for rockfish at the Chesapeake Bay is very easy because the fish are abundant and readily available. 

Fishing for these fish is very popular during the early spring when most fishers catch the most fish. You can catch some good-sized rockfish from January to February. Fishing for rockfish in the Chesapeake Bay is particularly enjoyable during this period, and you should do it at the right time of the day. Fishing for striped bass is good in the Chesapeake Bay at places where it is easy to find rocky points. Fishing for largemouth bass is also very enjoyable, and you can catch some nice fish in the area.

Striped Bass (Rockfish) 
Striped Bass (Rockfish) 

3. Bluefish

Bluefish is one of the most beautiful fish that you will find in the Chesapeake Bay. Fishing for Bluefish in the Bay is best from late spring to early autumn. Bluefish are very active between the months of May and October in the Chesapeake Bay, and you will achieve the best results fishing for them during the nights in the Bay. Bluefish are very active when it is dark, and they love feeding. 

You can also go fishing during the daytime, but dawn and dusk offer the best results. Finishing the shallower waters of the Chesapeake Bay is advisable to get the most out of your fishing trips for Bluefish. Depending on where you want to go fishing for Bluefish, you can go to places such as Chesapeake Beach, Tilghman Island, and Kent Island. Fishing at these locations is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and have fun while fishing.


4. Spanish Mackerel

Spanish mackerel is one of the best fish that you can catch if you go fishing in the Chesapeake Bay. Fishing for Spanish mackerel is best done from spring until early fall. They love migrating migrate to the Bay during the spring and summer months and head towards warmer climes to spend the winter. Therefore, fishing for the Spanish mackerel is best done from March to October. 

Spanish mackerel are more active during the day than at night. You can catch more fish in the early morning when they are at their best. But, you can still enjoy fishing at any time you want to go to the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Spanish mackerel often travel between the upper and lower bays of the Chesapeake Bay. You can catch them while fishing in the waters around the Chesapeake Bay and along the coast of Virginia. Spanish mackerel will give you a great day and make your fishing trip special.

Spanish Mackerel
Spanish Mackerel

5. Cobia

Chesapeake Bay Cobia
Image Credit: chesapeakebay.net

Cobia is another common fish species found in this vast Bay’s waters. You will get plenty of cobias to catch in the summer season. Cobia migrates to the Bay to spawn, so you will catch a lot of them on each fishing trip. Fish the waters around the Chesapeake Bay from June until August for some great fishing. Fishing for cobias is best when the sun is shining brightest. However, it would be best if you chose a good time to go fishing in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay to get the best catches of cobias.

Wrapping Up

Fishing in Lower Chesapeake Bay can be fun and fulfilling, but you must do it at the right time of the day or night, depending on the type of fish you want to catch. Hence, you must know when the fish species you are looking to catch are actively spawning and taking bites. You should also fish during the right time of the year to have an enjoyable time fishing in the Bay.

Photo of author

Clarence "Fish" Fishburne

Fish grew up in the south fishing for catfish, bream, bass and anything else he could get to bite his bait or lure. After college he moved to Maryland and now fishes the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay and other waters in the surrounding area. He frequently travels to other parts of the country in search of his favorite gamefish, the elusive catfish.

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