Everything You Need to Know About Rappahannock River Fishing

If you’re an angler, then you know that there’s nothing quite as relaxing or enjoyable as a day on the water with your favorite fishing pole in-hand. Rappahannock River fishing is a fantastic outdoor activity, especially when the weather is warm. The Rappahannock River is an excellent destination for avid anglers, novice fishermen, and everything in between due to its wide variety of fish and casting spots. So, pack your tackle box — and maybe a cooler full of snacks and drinks — and get ready for a delightful fishing adventure.

Are you planning a trip to the Northern Neck of Virginia? If so, there’s an essential resource that will simplify your planning process and ensure you experience our remarkable area to the fullest. It’s our free Vacation Guide! Take a look to see our hand-picked recommendations for local restaurants, shops, museums, and outdoor adventures that you don’t want to miss. 

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The Ultimate Guide to 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’s the Best Way to Fish on the Rappahannock River?

So, you know you want to try your luck fishing on the Rappahannock River. However, do you know the best ways to reel in those trophy catches? Luckily, there are several different options. Some anglers prefer to wade in and go fly fishing, while others prefer to stay on the river bank. 

What Species of Fish Are in the Rappahannock River?

Of course, you’ll also want to know what kind of fish you can catch in the Rappahannock River. The upper portion of the river, near Fredericksburg, has herring, shad, and striped bass. The lower section of the river, near our inn, typically has largemouth bass, striped bass, yellow perch, trout, mackerel, rockfish, and catfish that prefer the murkier water. You might even be able to catch some croaker and spot during the summertime!

Can We Keep the Fish We Catch?

Make sure you abide by all of the Rappahannock River fishing regulations! 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 per 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. Sportfishing is perfect on this river, though, and some beautiful fish are caught nearly every day!

Retreat to the Hope and Glory Inn for Rest and Relaxation

The bed inside Cottage 2 at the Hope and Glory Inn

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll need to figure out where to stay for your Rappahannock River fishing trip. Don’t worry — we have you covered with information about that, too. The Hope and Glory Inn is the best place to stay in the area, located in the storybook, waterfront resort town of Irvington, Virginia. With luxurious rooms and private cottages as well as unparalleled amenities, there’s simply no better lodging option. 

One of the many offerings that set us apart from other hotels is that we provide guests the opportunity to take seasonal cruises aboard our boat, True Love, along Carter’s Creek. We’ll even give you some of our exquisite wine and charcuterie to enjoy as you marvel at the beauty around each cove. It’s the perfect adventure for anyone looking to get out on the water in our gorgeous region!

Book your stay at the Hope and Glory Inn today! We look forward to your visit!


The Dog & Oyster Re-Opens

April 5, 2024

We will be OPEN Friday – Sunday throughout April beginning on April 5th