Kayak Fishing in Chesapeake
For a different twist on fishing in Chesapeake, VA, climb into a kayak and spend a day on the water. Chesapeake is home to 22-miles of waterways, offering some of the best kayak fishing in Virginia. The sport may be limited when it comes to gear, but it’s absolutely thrilling when it comes to execution.
Catch of the Day
Chesapeake’s waterways are home to many species of freshwater fish. Live crickets are the perfect bait for landing bountiful bream -- a great catch for kids just starting out and longtime anglers that enjoy catching a mess of fish. Perch and both white and black crappie regularly patrol for meals along the Northwest River in the warmer months, making for some of the best sport fishing in the area. Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and catfish are big game when the waters cool. Schooling yellow and white perch are also plentiful in the winter months.
Where to Go
In the heart of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, enjoy 3,100 acres of Lake Drummond fishing. Crappie, yellow perch, chain pickerel, flier, and bullhead catfish call the lake home. Large predatory species like the bowfin and longnose gar will put up a heart-thumping fight if hooked.
For more Great Dismal Swamp fishing, put in at the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. The canal threads through some of the most unique historical and ecologically significant habitats in the United States. Ballahack Boat Ramp provides easy access to launch your small boat, canoe, or kayak.
Located on the banks of the Northwest River, Northwest River Park and Campground features year-round freshwater fishing in Chesapeake. Put in at Lake Lesa to fish for trout, bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. Or spend the day floating on the Northwest River to catch yellow perch and winter stripers. The park provides rentals, or you can bring your own kayak.
Elizabeth River Park is a one-stop-shop for your kayak fishing needs. Stop by the Snack Shack for bait, gear, and, of course, snacks, before putting in at the boat ramp. On the dock adjacent to the boat ramp, a fish cleaning station with water service is available to clean your catch.
Located along the Intracoastal Waterway just off Battlefield Boulevard, Great Bridge Lock Park is a small peninsula surrounded by the Chesapeake Canal on one side and the Elizabeth River on the other. The park features a two-lane boat ramp and extensive fishing and crabbing areas.
The park also features the first fully ADA-Accessible Canoe/Kayak Pier and Launch. This new launch and floating pier enhances user safety and includes step-by-step operational instructions for users. A stone/dust walking path from the parking lot connects to the pier and launch for easy access.
Get Your Gear
For a full line of artificial freshwater bait and tackle and live minnows and worms, look no further than Bob’s Fishing Hole. The bait shop hosts weekly large-mouth bass tournaments and monthly panfish tournaments. Rent a watercraft or launch your kayak into the Northwest River on-site, and come back with some epic fish stories.