How To Get a Fishing License in Virginia


To do any fishing in Virginia, you need a proper license. It doesn’t matter whether you were doing saltwater fishing or freshwater fishing; you must purchase a license. You’ll have to understand the fish bag limits, size limits, and the regulations for the various fishing seasons before you go out.

These licenses help to preserve and protect the fish populations in the state. As an angler, you need to know the fishing regulations before you go out on your fishing trip. Each state has different rules, and you need to comply with them in the location where you are fishing. You will help conserve fish populations by purchasing a proper fishing license. Your observation of the Virginia State laws will ensure that fish populations are robust for future generations.

Obtaining Your License

There are several ways that you can obtain your fishing license. You can get one by phone, online, or in person. You can also receive a fishing license through email if you prefer.

There are different types of licenses, such as annual, short-term, or lifetime licenses. Make sure this license is always in your possession. You may have to show it to conservation officers or law enforcement officers. You can also purchase a license through licensed dealers such as a hunting store. You need to be aged 16 or over to obtain a permit in Virginia.

Types of Licenses

There are different licenses you can get in Virginia. Here are the typical licenses.

  • Sportsman’s license which includes fish as well as game
  • Resident freshwater fishing license
  • One to four-year licenses
  • Resident saltwater license
  • Resident fresh and saltwater fishing license
  • Reciprocal fishing license which allows you to fish in both Tennessee and Virginia. You need to be in the waters upstream of the South Holston Reservoir. You also need a valid fishing license in addition to this reciprocal fishing license.
  •  65 years age and over freshwater fishing license

Please speak to the local officials to understand the various licenses and how they apply to your situation. You need to have the right fishing license for types of fishing that you want to do. For example, you need a saltwater fishing license to fish in the ocean waters. You need a freshwater fishing license to fish in freshwater.

 Where to Fish

Bear Creek Lake

You get magnificent scenery in this location and fishing opportunities. There are boat rentals, a fishing pier, and boat launches. You’ll find species such as bluegill, largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish, and crappie, among other types of fish.

Lake Anna

Lake Anna is the largest freshwater Inland Lake in the state of Virginia. It covers 20 square miles, and it’s across three different counties. There are over 30 unique fish species that you’ll find here. Its an excellent location for crappie, striper, largemouth bass, and other fish. You’ll find boat launching ramps as well as picnic areas.

Lake Moomaw

This lake is humanmade, and it covers over 2,530 acres. this lake offers excellent fishing in both winter and summer. It’s stocked with cold-water fish like trout as well as warm water fish such as bass, sunfish, and crappie.

Other Top Places To Fish In Virginia

The fishing locations available in Virginia are numerous. Whether it’s Saltwater or freshwater lakes, Virginia has so many spots for you to choose from depending on your preferences. Also, it doesn’t matter if you prefer fly fishing or shore casting, there is something for everyone in Virginia.

The following are some of the top fishing locations in Virginia;

  • Lake Ridge Marina

Starting off the list is one of the popular options for fishing out large bass in Virginia, Lake Ridge Marina. This beautiful spot gives anglers access to the Occoquan reservoir, which is home to many fishes.

At the Lake Ridge Marina, you will find a wide range of fishes like largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie. Although these fishes make up most of the population in this area, you can also find flathead catfish, white perch, and northern pikes.

  • Lake Moomaw

This lake is a very remote spot located in the George Washington forest at Covington. Great for outdoor fun like hiking and swimming, it is also a perfect location for fishing.

Lake Moomaw is usually famous for brown trout. However, there are other varieties of fishes to choose from. Overall, this location is an excellent place for a special family fun day.

  • Briery Creek Lake

The Briery creek lake is another essential location for fishing in Virginia. An even more substantial body of forest surrounds the 845-acre lake. Hence, this location is just as lovely for hunting, as well as fishing.

Primarily, this location is known for having quite a population of largemouth bass. Thus, a lot of tourists visit this creek lake for a swell time always.

  • Leesylvania State Park

The pier at the Sylvania state park has slowly become one of the most popular spots for fishing in Indiana. This state park is a freshwater lake and holds a myriad of fishes within it.

In the Leesylvania park, you can find largemouth bass, striped bass, and perch. Additionally, you can always enjoy fishing from a boat, as the Leesylvania state park offers this service.

  • Prince Williams Forest Park

This park offers over 18 miles of private and secluded waterways and streams for fishing. This location is home to a vast number of fishes like pumpkinseed, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and bluegill.

Within the forest park, there are so many options of where to fish. Some of these spots within the park are; Quantico creeks, banks of the South Fork, and two smaller lakes. Hence, you can expect the park open at all times, all year long.

To Sum It Up

There are excellent fishing opportunities in Virginia. Make sure you have a proper fishing license with you before you go out on the water. You want to comply with the laws and regulations in the state.

Ken Masterson

My name is Ken Masterson. Growing up in Louisiana, I have been fishing since I was 7 years old. I am happy to share my knowledge with the readers here. Feel free to give me feedback in comments or even reach out at kenny@fishjoy.com

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