Virginia State Parks offer something for every fisherman

Whether you want to take a kid fishing for the first time, fly-fish for trout, or get into some tournament action, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of Virginia’s 36 state parks. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Cumberland Gap, there is something for everyone when it comes to fishing Virginia State Parks.

Boaters enjoy Kiptopeke and First Landing parks for access to the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. No boat? No worries. Kiptopeke has a lighted fishing pier and First Landing boasts almost a mile of bay beach. For some real excitement, book a kayak fishing trip with a local outfitter.

If big lake fishing is more your style, both Staunton River and Occoneechee parks offer 24-hour access to John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake). State parks are also located on Virginia’s other major impoundments, Lake Anna, Smith Mountain Lake, and Claytor Lake. All these parks have campgrounds and cabins, too.

Smaller lakes don’t mean less fun (or smaller fish) and are perfect for budding anglers. Many parks offer kids’ fishing days or special kids’ fishing areas. Some even loan equipment, so you don’t need to make a big investment. For small lakes, check out Bear Creek Lake, Douthat, Fairy Stone, Holliday Lake, Hungry Mother, Pocahontas, Twin Lakes, and York River state parks. Several of these also have swim beaches or pools, as well as paddle boats and other watercraft rentals.

In the western part of the state, fly-fishing for trout is available in creeks around Grayson Highlands, and in national forest lands around Hungry Mother, Douthat, Natural Tunnel, or Shenandoah River.

Remember to check license requirements before you go. For more information about specific offerings and events, or to make overnight camping or cabin reservations, visit virginiastateparks.gov or call 800-933-PARK (7275).

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