Winter Fishing

We can see how the winter months can be depressing, if you’re a Striped Bass. From October to April, the coast of Virginia Beach excites with Striper fever. Anglers from all over the world start their mass exodus to the Striper Capital of the World to take part in the challenging and fruitful Striped Bass season in Virginia Beach. Seasoned anglers and beginners alike can take part in the action, all leaving with big smiles, fond memories and tired forearms.

Striper Season

Winter Fishing

Striper season in Virginia Beach typically opens in October and runs through April. An annual migration, tens of thousands of Striped Bass move through the waters that surround Virginia Beach in search of schooling bait fish. In fact, Virginia Beach rightly lays claim to being the Striper Capital of the World, drawing not only local fishermen to its fertile waters, but anglers from all over the U.S.

Located in the middle of two food-rich currents, the Florida Current coming up from the south and the Mid–Atlantic Coastal Current coming down from the north, and two great bodies of water, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is the ideal feeding grounds for these maritime marauders.

The currents are a push and a pull for Stripers, once helping to move them out of their northern feeding grounds and now into the fertile, warmer water sanctuary of the Chesapeake Bay and mid-Atlantic Coast. In fact, the Chesapeake Bay is the birthplace for 80 percent of the East Coast's Striper population. Once the fish reach approximately 18 inches in length, the siren call of the open ocean beckons them out of the Bay and into deeper waters.

As the massive schools of these young fish make their way to the ocean, they stop at one of the engineering marvels of the world, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT). At 17 miles long, the bridge/tunnel gives the fish refuge from the pumping tidal flows that push both water and bait fish into the Chesapeake Bay. Playing into their ambush instincts, Stripers often use the islands and pilings that make up the foundation of the bridge/tunnel as a hiding place from which to attack moving baitfish.

When the tide slackens and the water isn't moving, the real spectacle begins. The Stripers school up and start prowling, becoming marauding eating machines chasing the great drifts of baitfish and turning the surface of the Bay into a feeding frenzy.

The fishing here is not difficult or technical. It offers rewards for all types of anglers: the hard–core seasoned veterans, fly–fishers, buddies out for a good time, parents taking children on their first ocean fishing trip, or groups looking to try something new.

The fish are so plentiful that Virginia Beach can honestly boast that a fish can be caught on almost every cast. Charter captains often hear their clients say they don't want to catch any more fish because their arms are tired from constantly reeling in fish.

Rudee Inlet and Lynnhaven Inlet are homes to Virginia Beach's sport fishing fleet and offer fishing charters and head boat reservations at the inlet themselves, online or over the phone.

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