As the warm weather returns to the Virginia Coast, the beaches will begin to fill with swimmers and sun bathers. What else can you do at the beach in Chincoteague and Assateague?
Fishing – Visitors can choose to fish in designated areas of Toms Cove and Swan Cove. Visitors may also choose fish from the beach, outside of life-guarded areas. Fish after hours by procuring an overnight fishing permit from the Toms Cove Visitor Center.
Some of the fish common to the waters around the refuge are bluefish, striped bass, summer flounder, Atlantic croaker, spot, and red drum. Clearnose skate, bullfish, and Southern stingrays may be caught, as well as smooth or spiny dogfish sharks. Crabs are notorious bait thieves, and can include lady crab, spider crab, and blue crab.
Crabbing – One of the most popular activities at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is crabbing. Crabbing is permitted in designated areas in Swan Cove and along Beach Road, as well as from the boardwalks near the entrance gates. Blue crabs make a tasty meal, and catching these feisty creatures only requires a few tools: a crab line, a net, and a bucket for your catch. Don’t forget bait! Chicken necks are a good choice – the smellier, the better! When crabbing, remember to observe state limits on size and quantity. Each person is allowed one bushel of hard crabs per day.
Clamming – All you need to clam are a bucket or basket and a clam rake. Look for the tell-tale “key hole” in the mud, or just pick a spot and start digging. There are several different types of clams that can be found in the waters around the refuge, including hard-shell clams (also known as “quahogs”), soft-shell clams, and razor clams, which have a long and narrow shell. Visitors may take a maximum of 250 clams in one day. There are also multiple commercial and private clam beds in the waters around Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. These areas are prohibited for recreational clamming. Resale of clams taken from the refuge is prohibited.
Come back to the blog to see the rest of the list!
Lodging on Chincoteague
When visiting Chincoteague, we invite you to be our guests at Miss Molly’s Inn. We are a premier bed and breakfast with personable, friendly staff and delicious breakfasts. Welcome to the island!