Q: Is a fishing license required if you stay in a property on the canal or back bay (Sandbridge)

Added Details:

Does a saltwater fishing license also cover fishing in the canals or back bay?

Asked by: Todd P.

Hi Todd,

If you want to fish in public in Virginia Beach, you must have a valid fishing license.  Period.  There are very few exceptions.

The main exceptions that we know of are

  • If you are 16 years of age or younger you do not need one
  • If you are 65 years of age or older you do not need one
  • If you are on a fishing boat or other vessel that already carries a valid fishing license
  • Virginia Beach Oceanfront Fishing pier
  • Resident, active-duty members of the armed forces while on official leave

You can also view other Exceptions to Virginia Fishing License Requirements

Other than those exceptions, a fishing license is required.  If you find others, please let us know.

You can find out more about Fishing Licenses by visiting the following link

Virginia Beach Fishing Licenses

You can also visit the state’s website for more information

Virginia Fishing and Hunting Licenses

With regards to your other question…

Does a saltwater fishing license also cover fishing in the canals or back bay?”

The answer is YES.  If you purchase a saltwater fishing license, it will permit you fish in any saltwater or brackish water in the area.  Since almost all water in Virginia Beach is saltwater, your best bet is to have a saltwater license.


We hope this helps answer your question and as always…



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