When most people think of Chincoteague Island, visions of wild ponies tend to fill their heads – and why not? The annual Chincoteague Island pony swim is a very unique and special thing – but it’s hardly the only reason to visit Chincoteague Island!
Chincoteague was once known for its unique, salty oysters. While “Chincoteague Salts,” as they’re known, are still sought after, most of the currently rebounding local oyster beds were over-fished during the 19th century. Today we’re more known for our fishing, clamming, and crabbing.
Fishing Chincoteague Island
Some of the best fishing grounds on the Mid-Atlantic Coast are found right here in the waters surrounding Chincoteague Island. Whether you dream of heading out to sea on a charterboat or prefer to do your angling from shore, Chincoteague can provide!
Summer brings flounder, trout, croaker, sea bass, kingfish, and spot into the shallows while blue fin and yellow fin tuna cruise the deeper waters. Striped bass and Drumfish tend to be the best bay and surf targets come spring or fall.
Certain designated areas have been set aside for fishing, while others remain off-limits. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries regulations before heading out. Local fishing reports and tide information are also key to a successful fishing trip.
Clamming Chincoteague Island
Toms Cove is the spot on Chincoteague Island for clamming. You’ll see several different types of clams on our beaches, including “quahogs,” or hard-shell clams, soft-shell clams, and tasty razor clams.
All the prospective clam-digger needs is a bucket, a clam rake, elbow grease, and knowledge of what to look for. Clams leave a tell-tale hole in the mud. Often you’ll see water squirt up out of said hole as you approach. That’s a clam, alright – now all you need do is dig!
Chincoteague clammers are allowed a maximum of 250 clams in one day. Resale of any clams taken from Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is prohibited, so you should only take what you know you can eat. As with fishing Chincoteague, knowing the clamming regulations before you go is a must.
Crabbing Chincoteague Island
Crabbing may be one of the most popular activities there is in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Our blue crabs make a very tasty treat, beloved by vistors and residents alike.
Designated crabbing areas in the refuge include Swan Cove and along Beach Road. The boardwalks near the entrance gates to the refuge also permit crabbing.
Catching blue crabs only requires a net, a baited line, and a bucket. A smelly, old chicken neck is about the best bait you can ask for. Plop it in the water and wait – you wont have to wait long!
Crabbers are allowed one bushel of hard crabs per day. Again, size and quantity restrictions are enforced, so be sure to bone up on the crabbing regulations before heading out.
After a long day’s fishing, clamming, or crabbing, you’re going to want somewhere comfortable to collapse. Consider Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast your Chincoteague Island headquarters no matter what brings you here. Our historic and distinctive Chincoteague Island B&B offers the best of today’s amenities with the quaint charm of simpler times. Let Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast be your home away from home. Book your stay today!