Cast your fishing line

Cobia, gray trout, croaker, crappie and largemouth bass are fish you might hear about if you live in Hampton Roads.

If you're a newcomer to the area, you might be unaware of the requirements for freshwater and saltwater fishing — not to mention where you might find a good catch.

Saltwater anglers have plenty of locations to choose from. You can purchase a license if you're between 16 and 65. Anglers 65 and older don't require a saltwater license.

Once licensed, you can find a variety of fish off the Fort Monroe, James River or Seagull piers, DP fishing correspondent Don Lancaster says.

Fishing off a boat might lead you to the Chesapeake Bay or one its four regional tributaries: the Back River, Poquoson River, James River and York River. Spot, croaker, 100-pound cobia or trophy-size striped bass are prevalent in the bay, Lancaster says.

Hampton Roads offers many seasonal sites for freshwater fishing. Lancaster suggests Harwood's Mill Reservoir, Lee Hall Reservoir and Waller Mill Park for game fishermen. Chickahominy Lake, the Chickahominy River and Beaverdam Park are other good spots.

Fishing remains popular in Hampton Roads, despite a reduction since 1995 in the number of commercial fishermen in the area, which extends from Mathews and Middlesex counties to Virginia Beach. In 1995, there were 1,306 licensed fishermen, compared with 1,222 in 2005, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission reported. Call the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 804-367-1258 for more information.

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