As the largest natural estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay is home to 348 species of finfish, including flounder, sea bass, tautog and the local-favorite, rockfish. As fun to catch as they are to eat, 70 to 90 percent of the world’s rockfish, also known as striped bass, reside in the waters of the bay, making Va Beach the rockfish capital of the world and home to the Annual Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout every winter. With the Bay producing nearly 500 million pounds of seafood each year, it’s no wonder we can’t get enough. We are fishing fanatics to the core and are always up for new ways to hook a big one. Thanks to the Bay’s calmer waters, the angling options are more numerous than you might think.

For some fishing inspiration, here are some of our favorite places to drop a line and real in the big one (hopefully).

From a Fishing Boat

For the serious anglers, you can’t beat hopping aboard a fishing boat and dropping in as many lines as the boat can hold. Whether you have a friend with a boat or opt for a charter trip, you’ll have the bounty of the Bay just a bite away.

From a Kayak

It doesn’t get more Virginia Beach than paddling out to the legendary Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to fish like the locals do. With many outfitters available, like Tula Adventure Sports launching out of the Lynnhaven River, renting a kayak may be one of the easiest ways to get in the water and see what you can find.

From the Beach

For those who prefer to keep both feet planted firmly on solid ground, shore fishing is a great way to spend an afternoon. All you need is your tackle of choice and a fishing pole. Just make sure no one is nearby when you cast!

From a Pier

Throwing a line over the edge of a fishing pier is another great option for the land dwellers looking to test their luck without setting sail. The Sea Gull Fishing Pier, off of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, will get you right out over the water, and the views can’t be beaten.