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Your Guide to Spring Fishing in the Chesapeake Bay

Posted by Sarah Barban on Feb 26, 2019 5:08:00 PM

As spring approaches anglers start to get antsy. They're waiting for that first day with good weather so they can get out on the water. That day will be here before you know it so it's time to start planning your spring fishing trip. 

Book a stay at Sunset Beach Hotel and you'll be in the heart of the action with easy access to the Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and inshore and offshore fishing on the Atlantic coast. Plus, we've got boat parking and a fish cleaning station onsite. 

Pro Tip: On Virginia's Eastern Shore waters off the shores of the Chesapeake Bay are known as the Bayside and waters off the Atlantic coast are known as the Seaside. 

Virginia's Eastern Shore has great fishing throughout the year, but here's an overview of what you can expect to catch in the spring months. 

What you can Catch


  • Striped Bass: Stripers, also known as rockfish, run pretty much all year, but the peak fishing for schools of them is in spring and fall. The best place to hook a striped bass is in the Chesapeake Bay, especially around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, where the biggest stripers are usually caught.
  • Black Drum: You can catch black drum along the seaside inlets and on the bayside from may to early June. The fishing is usually hot off of Kiptopeke and at buoys C-10 and C-12. When summer comes on they move out into the mouth of the bay and you can hook them around the second and third islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.  
  • Tautog: This is a great spring fish because tautog peak in March. You'll mostly find them in the mouth of the bay around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel or offshore around reefs and wrecks. 
  • Sheepshead: Later in spring you can catch sheepshead in the lower Chesapeake Bay and around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel or over inshore wrecks. They bite from May to October so they're a great fair weather fish. 
  • Croaker: You can hook these little fish from March through November in the Chesapeake Bay, inshore on the seaside and in the inlets. 
  • Flounder: Flounder season starts in early spring, but the action doesn't usually heat up until May on the seaside. The bayside doesn't see much action until summer. You can hook flatties in the seaside inlets in spring. You'll find them there and in the lower bay and around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel later in the summer. 
  • Cobia: There's lots of great cobia fishing in the lower Chesaepeake Bay whether it's off Kiptopeke, around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, at the mouth of the bay or off Latimer Shoal. The coabia start to bite in May but the real action comes in June. 
  • Spadefish: You can consistently catch spadefish at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel from May through September. 
  • Offshore: If you feel like venturing beyond the Chesapeake Bay or the inshore waters of the ocean there's plenty to catch in the spring months. Black sea bass move offshore in April and Mahi-mahi and yellowfin start running in May. Summer brings even more offshore action. 

Book a stay at Sunset Beach hotel now so you don't miss out on spring fishing season!

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Photos courtesy of Top Dog Fishing Charters

Topics: Cape Charles, Fishing