Looking for the best place to fish near Natural Bridge? Keep reading for top-rated fishing spots within an hour’s drive of Natural Bridge! Whether you’re looking for some excitement or a “reel” challenge, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know before fishing in Natural Bridge, VA.
Check out our Natural Bridge Vacation Guide when you’re ready to start planning the rest of your adventure in Virginia! This free resource has everything you need to plan an unforgettable trip to the mountains, from the best restaurants to nearby attractions.
Top 2 Spots for an Epic Catch Near Natural Bridge
Reel in Your Next Adventure in the Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley is known as one of the top destinations for anglers. Between the warm waters of the Shenandoah River and the cold waterways in and around the Shenandoah National Park, a wide variety of fish call the area home. Where the North Fork and South Fork combine at Front Royal, the area is known for its largemouth bass, sunfish, and crappie. North of Front Royal, you’ll find the main stem of the Shenandoah River, where you’ll find channel catfish and muskellunge.
There are several access points along the Shenandoah River. We recommend taking a canoe or kayak if you’re fishing the South Fork. You can rent one from Shenandoah River Adventures. Trade-in the river fishing for the cold water streams within the Shenandoah National Park. Brook trout, the state fish of Virginia, call the hundreds of miles of waterways in the region home. Because the water is clear, the trout see you coming. This makes for a challenge of outsmarting the fish. Anglers love the opportunity really test their skills.
There are more than a dozen boat ramps and launching areas that the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources lists with fishing tips and directions. There are several places to put in and fish for Front Royal and the Main Steam of the river. More than 70 streams running through the Shenandoah National Park contain native brook trout. If you can get to a stream, it’s pretty much fair game for fishing, but there are some park rules you’ll want to look into first.
Catch a Largemouth Bass in Smith Mountain Lake
Smith Mountain Lake is a 20,600-acre reservoir known as one of Virginia’s premier fisheries. There are tons of public and private boat ramps spread throughout the reservoir. You can also enjoy a leisurely picnic, relax at the beach area, or check out the hiking trails.
Anglers are typically after the black bass in Smith Mountain Lake. You can find the most largemouth bass located upstream, heading away from the same, in the Hales Ford Bridge Area, while smallmouth bass is usually in the lower portion of the reservoir. Anglers are generally more successful at the lower ends of the reservoir because of the lake’s topography.
Anyone 16-year-olds or older must have a valid Virginia State fishing license. You can purchase one on the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources website. We also recommend reviewing the state’s regulations to ensure you aren’t unintentionally breaking any rules.
Make Natural Bridge Hotel Your Home Base to Find the Best Place to Fish Near Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge Hotel is the perfect home base for your fishing adventure in the Shenandoah Valley! Start by reserving our Picnic at Natural Bridge Package. This unique vacation package includes overnight accommodations for two or the family (up to two adults and two children), breakfast in the morning, a picnic lunch to go in a backpack cooler that is yours to keep, and tickets to the Natural Bridge State Park and the Caverns at Natural Bridge.
Pack the picnic when you go fishing and enjoy extra adventures at the park and caverns! There are so many great outdoor activities like hiking and biking that everyone will love! When you get back to Natural Bridge Hotel, you’ll have plenty of time to rest and relax. Choose from our cozy Main Inn Rooms, Premium Balcony Rooms, Guest Rooms on Cottage Hill, or Veranda Rooms. With more than 150 rooms to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your whole family!