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The 8 Best Fishing Lakes in Virginia

Discover the best fishing spots in Virginia! This article reviews the top fishing lakes in the state, from the majestic Smith Mountain Lake to the peaceful Lake Brittle. Learn about the different types of fish that can be found in each lake, as well as tips and tricks for the best fishing experience.

Shenandoah River

The Shenandoah River is a major river located in the state of Virginia in the United States. It runs for approximately 200 miles and is the largest tributary of the Potomac River.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, channel catfish, flathead catfish, panfish, walleye, carp, striped bass, and rainbow trout.
  • Types of Fishing: Fly, spin or bait casting, or trolling.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Riverbend Outfitters in Front Royal.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Shenandoah River Outfitters in Bentonville.
  • Closest Hotels: Comfort Inn & Suites in Front Royal and Holiday Inn Express in Strasburg.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Edinburg Mill Store, 5 miles from the river.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Flyer Mart, 8 miles from the river.

Lake Anna

Lake Anna is a 13,000 acre lake located in western Louisa and eastern Orange counties in Virginia.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, panfish, crappie, striped bass, and walleye.
  • Types of Fishing: Casting, trolling, or bottom fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Rebel Fishing Charters in Mineral.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Lake Anna Charters in Mineral.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Fredericksburg and Comfort Inn in Mineral.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Lake Anna Bait & Tackle, 1 mile from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Exxon, 5 miles from the lake.

Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake is a 20,600 acre lake located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, panfish, walleye, striped bass, and muskellunge.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore, trolling, casting or bait fisherman.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Carl’s Marine in Huddleston.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Smith Mountain Lake Guide Service in Union Hall.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Moneta and Hampton Inn in Rocky Mount.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Smith Mountain Lake Bait & Tackle, 4 miles from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Exxon, 7 miles from the lake.

Claytor Lake

Claytor Lake is a 4,500 acre lake located in Pulaski County in southwest Virginia.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, walleye, and striped bass.
  • Types of Fishing: Casting, trolling, bait fishing or fly fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Leisure Time Rentals in Dublin.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Claytor Lake Guide Service in Dublin.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Radford and Hampton Inn in Christiansburg.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Claytor Lake Tackle & Equipment, 5 miles from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Sheetz, 8 miles from the lake.

Potomac River

The Potomac River is a major river located in the eastern United States. It runs for approximately 400 miles, emptying into the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, panfish, striped bass, walleye, carp, muskellunge, catfish and trout.
  • Types of Fishing: Fly, spin or bait casting, or trolling.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Fairfax Rod & Reel Club in Vienna.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Potomac Bait & Tackle in Great Falls.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Manassas and Comfort Inn in Woodbridge.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Great Falls Sporting Goods, 3 miles from the river.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Exxon, 5 miles from the river.

Chickahominy Lake

Chickahominy Lake is a 2,700 acre lake located in Charles City County in eastern Virginia.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, walleye, and striped bass.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, casting or bait fisherman.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Captain Larry’s Bait & Tackle in Williamsburg.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Chickahominy Lake Guide Service in Providence Forge.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Williamsburg and Comfort Inn in Newport News.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Chickahominy Lake Bait & Tackle, 4 miles from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Exxon, 6 miles from the lake.

Lake Gaston

Lake Gaston is a 20,300 acre lake located in Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and Warren counties in Virginia.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, panfish, crappie, striped bass, and walleye.
  • Types of Fishing: Casting, trolling, or bottom fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Rod-N-Reel Bait & Tackle in Littleton.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Lake Gaston Guide Service in Littleton.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Lawrenceville and Comfort Inn in South Hill.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Lake Gaston Outfitters, 3 miles from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Exxon, 8 miles from the lake.

Lake Orange

Lake Orange is a 6,000 acre lake located in Virginian-Pilot in Orange County.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, panfish, walleye, catfish, and striped perch.
  • Types of Fishing: Fly, spin or bait fishing, or trolling.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Lake Orange Boat Rentals in Gordonsville.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Lake Orange Fishing Guide in Gordonsville.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Culpeper and Comfort Inn in Orange.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Lake Orange Outfitters, 3 miles from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Exxon, 4 miles from the lake.

Hyco Lake

Hyco Lake is a 6,500 acre lake located in Halifax and Person counties in northern Virginia.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, walleye, and northern pike.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, casting or bait fisherman.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Hyco Lake Marina in Ruffin.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Hyco Lake Guide Service in Semora.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Roxboro and Comfort Inn in South Boston.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Hyco Lake Bait & Tackle, 5 miles from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Exxon, 7 miles from the lake.

Lake Moomaw

Lake Moomaw is a 3,000 acre lake located in Alleghany and Bath counties in western Virginia.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, panfish, walleye, striped bass, and muskellunge.
  • Types of Fishing: Fly, spin or bait casting, or trolling.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Lake Moomaw Marina in Hot Springs.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Lake Moomaw Guide Service in Hot Springs.
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express in Covington and Comfort Inn in Hot Springs.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Lake Moomaw Outfitters, 2 miles from the lake.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: All anglers must possess a valid Virginia fishing license, and adhere to the state’s size, creel and seasonal limits.
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boat launches and access to restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and wildlife viewing.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Mountain View General Store, 5 miles from the lake.

Find Good Fishing Spots in Virginia and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you’re looking for a great fishing spot in Virginia, explore the Google map below for some of the best lakes and fishing locations our state has to offer. From Smith Mountain Lake to Lake Anna and everything in between, there’s something for all kinds of anglers. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or just getting started, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for a fun and relaxing day on the water. So take a look and find your next great fishing spot!

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to Virginia

The weather in Virginia throughout the year is ideal for sport fishing. It is generally mild with temperatures ranging from the low 50s to the mid 70s. During the summer months, the weather is especially pleasant with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Rainfall is common throughout the year, but it rarely interferes with the fishing season.


Fishing Lakes in Virginia
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