You can go fishing in designated areas of Toms Cove and Swan Cove or from the beach, outside of life-guarded areas.
- Anglers age 16 and older must possess a valid Virginia Saltwater Fishing or Potomac River Fisheries Sport Fishing license.
- All anglers must register (free) with the Virginia Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) (this includes people who are exempt from licensing and holders of out of state reciprocal licenses).
- State regulations must be observed.
- Visitors may fish after hours by procuring an overnight fishing permit from the Toms Cove Visitor Center.
- Explore Our Seaside provides information about fishing and other recreational opportunities available in other areas along Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Fishing regulations are enforced by refuge law enforcement:
- Only 3 surf fishing poles per licensed angler, and those poles must be attended at all times. This includes persons age 65 or older who are license-exempt in Virginia.
- The use of pneumatic (compressed air or otherwise) bait launchers is prohibited.
- The state regulates certain species of finfish using size or possession limits. You may not alter these species, to include cleaning or filleting, in such a way that its species or total length cannot be determined.
- All other state regulations governing saltwater fishing also apply, as described by Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
Laws, rules, and regulations