Bait, Tackle and Fishing License
Retail shops throughout the city offer services which will allow you to obtain a Virginia Freshwater fishing license or Virginia Saltwater fishing license, as well as any bait or tackle you may need to complete your angling experience in Newport News. Please see the chart below for a list of establishments where these services are offered.
Please note: Shoreline fishing at Lee Hall and Hardwood's Mill reservoirs requires a Parks Division Shoreline Fishing Permit (can be purchased at the Newport News Campsite Office) in addition to a Virginia Freshwater fishing license.
Please note: Licenses may also be purchased online by clicking on the highlighted text above.
|Location||Purchase Freshwater License||Purchase Saltwater License||Parks Division Shoreline Fishing Permit||Tackle & Bait Available|
|Wilcox Bait & Tackle, 9501 Jefferson Ave, Newport News VA, 23605 (757) 595-5537||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Dick's Sporting Goods, 12300 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 700, Newport News VA, 23602 (757) 249-2140||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|WAL-MART #1773, 12401 Jefferson Ave, Newport News VA, 23602 (757) 874-4434||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|K-MART 3122, 401 Oriana Road, Newport News VA, 23608 (757)874-4242||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Newport News Campsite Office||No||No||Yes||Yes|
If you are a saltwater angler, you're sure to enjoy the easily accessible Chesapeake Bay where a wide variety of fish peak at varying times throughout the year. Please note: a Virginia Saltwater fishing license is required.
The chart below details common species of fish found in the Chesapeake Bay, the reported season in which they are typically popular and recommended tackle and technique for each type of fish.
|Popular Species of Saltwater Fish||Typical Season (Peak Season)||Tackle & Technique Recommendation|
|Bluefish||January - January(April - December)||Trolling spoons and surgical tubes, casting jigs,
|Croaker||March - November(June - September)||Medium Heavy Spinning or Casting Combo with a two-hook bottom rig. Use No. 1 long shank hooks with small chunks of squid or shrimp.|
|Flounder||March - November (April - October)||Strip of squid on a 3-way rig or a 2 to
|Gray Trout||April - November (May - October)||Jigging or casting bucktails and lead heads with plastics, or bottom-bouncing with cut bait or crab.|
|Red Drum||May - November (June - October)||Bigger fish taken on fish-finder rigs with fresh mullet, spot, menhaden or peeler crab. Puppy drum (smaller fish) taken on finger mullet, cut bait, and jigs teamed with plastics.|
|Spot||May - November (June - October)||Bottom-bouncing with a piece of
|Striped Bass (Rockfish)||January - January (September - January)||Cast swim shad, plugs, or bucktails to the pilings, jetties, piers and sea walls. When angling from a vessel, anchor up current of the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel and fish chunks
|Tautog||January - January (March - June & October - December)||Bottom-bouncing with crab, clams or whelk. Fiddler crabs are especially good.|
Newport News offers freshwater anglers three public reservoirs and two lakes chocked full of fish. Harwood's Mill and Lee Hall Reservoirs, provide a wide variety of fish in a perfect setting for anglers visiting the city as well as The Mariners' Lake at The Mariners' Museum Park and Lake Biggins at Huntington Park. All of the Freshwater fishing locations offer access by either boat or shore; several even have rental boats and motors. Be sure to check in at the onsite facilities for the availability of equipment, along with what permits or fees might be required.
Please note: Shoreline fishing at Lee Hall and Hardwood Mills' reservoirs requires a Parks Division Shoreline Fishing Permit (can be purchased at the Newport News Campsite Office) in addition to a Virginia Freshwater fishing license.
The chart below details common species of fish found in Newport News' lakes and reservoirs, the reported season in which they are typically popular and the recommended tackle and technique for each type of fish.
|Popular Species of Freshwater Fish||Typical Season (Peak Season)||Location||Tackle & Technique Recommendation|
|Largemouth Bass||January -January(March - June)||Reservoirs & The Mariners' Lake||Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, or the classic Nightcrawler worm on a small hook.|
|Bluegill||January - January(May - September)||Lee Hall and Harwood's Mill Reservoirs||Nightcrawler worm on a small hook or your favorite fishing lure.|
|Yellow Perch||January - January(May - October)||Lee Hall and Harwood's Mill Reservoirs||Nightcrawler worm on a small hook or your favorite fishing lure.|
|White Perch||January - January(May - October)||The Mariners' Lake||Nightcrawler worm on a small hook or your favorite fishing lure.|
Boat Ramps and Launching Areas
Please see the chart below for boat ramp specifications, such as location and type of water. Please note that fishermen may launch privately owned boats into the city's reservoirs by purchasing a daily or annual Launch Permit. No gas motors are permitted in the reservoirs, and a valid Virginia Freshwater fishing license is required. Please call 757.888.3333 for more information.
Jon boats for fishing are also available for rental year-round at the Newport News Park Campsite Office, and on weekends and holidays during the summer months at Lee Hall Fishing Area and the Harwood's Mill concession office.
|Location||Type of Water||Launch Fee ($)||Hours||Location|
|Denbigh Park||Salt||No - Free||Dawn - 10:00 p.m.||At the end of Denbigh Boulevard, provides access to the Warwick River.|
|Leeward Municipal Marina||Salt||No Launch Ramp||7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.||7499 River Road at the base of the James River Bridge. By boat "set your course" (37 degrees 1' N, 76 degrees 27' W).|
|Peterson's Yacht Basin||Salt||No - Free||24 hours||16th Street and Oak Avenue, provides access to the Hampton Harbor|
|Huntington Park||Salt||No - Free||24 hours||Near the entrance to the James River Bridge on Mercury Boulevard provides access to the James River.|
|Lee Hall Fishing Area||Fresh||Yes||Dawn to Dusk||Newport News Park / Lee Hall Reservoir|
|Campsite Launch||Fresh||Yes||7 am to Dusk||Newport News Park / Lee Hall Reservoir|
|Discovery Center at Newport News Park Launch||Fresh||Yes||7 am to Dusk||Newport News Park / Lee Hall Reservoir|
|Jefferson Avenue Launch||Fresh||Yes||7 am to Dusk||Newport News Park / Lee Hall Reservoir|
|Harwood's Mill Launch||Fresh||Yes||7 am to Dusk||Newport News Park / Harwood's Mill Reservoir|
For more information, contact the Newport News Visitor Center at 757-886-7777. The Visitor Center is located off I-64 at exit 250B and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. We're just a call away and can be reached by phone at 757.886.7777 or toll-free at 888.493.7386. We look forward to seeing you soon in Newport News, Virginia!