DOCKSIDE, NIGHTLIFE AND TOURNAMENT VIBES
If you’re looking to add Virginia Beach to your circuit later this summer or fall, there are plenty of options for transient slips, but availability can be dependent on the size of your boat.
“Owners with large tower boats who want a slip in town should make reservations with the Virginia Beach Fishing Center well in advance of a trip. This is where I keep Waterman, and you’re right inside Rudee Inlet, so you don’t have to contend with the bridge. If your boat doesn’t have a tower, then the bridge isn’t a problem. If no slips are available in town, there are usually plenty available inside Lynnhaven Inlet just a few miles away. Either way, you can still stay in town and Uber your way around,” Standing says.
The Hyatt House on 27th Street offers discount room rates for fishermen, but there are plenty of other places to stay both on and off the beach. Standing owns three gathering places on the boardwalk: Chix Seaside Grill for light fare, Waterman’s Surfside Grill for fine dining, and the Shack on 8th with a laid-back open-air bar offering games, live music and great scenery. Waterman’s has superb seafood — take my word for it — and they’ll be happy to cook your catch if an errant tuna, mahimahi or wahoo happens to interrupt your marlin fishing during the day. Virginia Beach’s oceanside nightlife is varied, and the vibe of the entire town is mellow and very family-friendly.
Virginia Beach combines the best of billfishing with a great place to vacation, topping if off with one of the best tournaments held on the East Coast each year: the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament. It’s held during the prime of white marlin season — this year August 23 through 26 — so if you’re interested, register early because it’s limited entry, and the tournament is very popular with locals and traveling teams alike.