What You Need to Know About Rappahannock River Fishing

There’s nothing quite as relaxing or enjoyable as a day on the water, fishing pole in hand. Rappahannock River fishing is one of our favorite activities for a warm day! With many different varieties of fish and plenty of places to cast, the Rappahannock River is a great place for avid anglers, beginning fishermen, and everything in between. Pack your tackle box, grab a cooler (and a few drinks!) and get ready for a fishing adventure.

If you’re planning a vacation to Irvington or the Chesapeake Bay, be sure to request your complimentary Vacation Guide. You can download it in seconds and it’s packed full of great recommendations for your getaway. We’ve compiled all of our favorite places to eat and fun things to do, like Rappahannock River fishing.

Everything You Need to Know for Rappahannock River Fishing

Rappahannock River fishing spots are not nearly as crowded as some of the others nearby, making them great places for a quiet afternoon. Simply cast a line and enjoy the serene location. You may even see bald eagles overhead during certain times of the year. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you head out.

What Species of Fish Are in the Rappahannock River?

There are several different varieties of fish in the Rappahannock River. Look for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, herring, shad, catfish, croaker, carp and American eel. The herring, shad, and striped bass tend to stay in the upper part of the Rappahannock River, while the other varieties like the murkier water of the lower Rappahannock.

Can We Keep the Fish We Catch?

The Rappahannock River is not a catch-and-release river. However, there is a Fish Consumption Advisory for the river. Due to high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (also called PCBs) and mercury, it’s been advised to avoid eating more than two meals of fish a month from the Rappahannock River. A “meal” is defined as around eight ounces of fish at a time. The Virginia Department of Health also recommends avoiding fish with high levels of mercury or PCBs altogether if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. One way to decrease the amount is to only keep smaller, younger fish. Sport fishing is perfect on this river, though, and some beautiful fish are caught nearly every day.

What’s the Best Way to Fish on the Rappahannock River?

The methods of fishing the Rappahannock River are as varied as the fish within it! Walk along the river and you’ll see almost every type of fishermen out enjoying the water. You can stay on the Rappahannock River fishing pier, wade in and fly fish, or set up camp on the banks. Kayaks are also very common on the river and a great way to fish! There are even parts of the river that allow motorized boats. No matter what method you choose, you are guaranteed to have a great time soaking in the beautiful nature and enjoying a warm afternoon of fishing.

Our Bed and Breakfast is the Perfect Place to Retreat to After a Day on the River

Cottage 6 at Hope and Glory Inn

Do you need a relaxing vacation? The charming Hope and Glory Inn is the best place for you! Spend the day rejuvenating in nature with a rod and reel in hand, then retreat to our bed and breakfast to continue the relaxation. Wake up in a luxurious room packed with amenities and join us for a delicious breakfast to start your day on the right foot. Check our availability and start your Irvington getaway today!