Frequently Asked Questions

Jump To: Inshore Fishing, Sailing, or Float Fishing Trips

Kayak Trips

How much experience is necessary?

None: We make first-time kayakers comfortable on the water.  Each trip begins with basic instructions in paddling and safety.  We can work with more experienced paddlers to design a more challenging tour. 

How physically demanding are the tours?

No special fitness required.  Our introductory tours require only minimal fitness and familiarity with the water; we tour salt marsh channels and take breaks to talk about history and wildlife. If you have special needs, we can work together to design a trip that is right for you.

What should I bring?

Think about bringing water, sun block, hat, camera, zip lock or dry bag for your phone, sunglasses (with strap), insect repellant, towel (for the car), change of clothes (if you are going directly to another activity), cash for tip (if your guide does an excellent job), snack, any special medical needs (your guide will have basic first aid kit).  Be sure to bring a smile!

What should I wear?

Quick drying, breathable clothing is best. Water shoes or active sandals are ideal, but some wear flip flops…just know they may get wet. If there is a stiff wind or it looks like rain, bring a rain jacket or poncho.

Do I need to bring my own lifejacket or other gear?

We supply all the equipment you need:  kayak, life jacket (PFD), and paddle.  Your guide will have a dry sack for small items such as car keys.

Can I bring my camera, phone, or other electronic device?

Most everyone brings a digital camera or cell phone.  You assume the risk for any personal equipment – we suggest keeping them in a zip lock bag while paddling and removing them when photo opportunities arise.

What ages/weights do the kayaks accommodate?

We have guided customers from age 3 to 78.  Age is no restriction to an enjoyable experience.  Our life jackets fit kids as small as 30 lbs.  We have tandem boats with an extra, center seat for special little guests! Our single kayaks have a capacity of 375 lbs.  Let’s talk when you book your trip and decide what fits your needs. 

What kind of kayaks do you use?

We have a selection of sit-in and sit on top kayaks, both single and tandem, of varying lengths; all are designed for recreational paddling and day touring.  Our sit-in kayaks have large cockpits for easy entry/exit and a roomy feel. Our kayaks are top quality, made in America, and include Necky, Ocean and Old Town brands. 

Is the weather a factor?

We consider the weather, wind and tides every time we plan a trip.  In general, windy conditions are not a factor; we will cancel trips if weather conditions threaten comfort or safety.  If you do not feel comfortable, we will work with you to reschedule your tour.


Inshore Fishing

Do I need a fishing license?

Virginia Coast Ecotours motorboats are registered with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission as Saltwater Boat Sport Fishing boats.  However, each angler needs to register with the VMRC Fisherman Identification Program

Do I need fishing tackle?

Anglers are welcome to bring their own rods, reels and tackle.  However, we can provide all the necessary tackle as well as rigs specific to the species of fish we are targeting.

How many anglers can go on a trip?

Our boats can accommodate two, three or four persons.  However, most of the time it is best to have no more than two anglers fishing at any one time, as it becomes too busy to be fun. 


Sailing Instruction

Do I need prior sailing experience?

No, this class is designed for new sailors.  Desire to learn is important, not experience.  

Do I need to know how to swim?

Yes.  Wearing life vests is mandatory during our classes.  All participants should be comfortable in the water and moving around a small boat.  

Is weather a factor?

We will work with you to choose a day with good weather for sailing.  Guests will receive a full refund for any trips cancelled due to weather.


Float Fishing Trips

Do I need a fresh water fishing license?

Yes, all anglers will need to buy a fresh water fishing license. In some cases, guests may need to buy a Trout License too. Clarify what licenses you need with your guide before your trip. Some people may be exempt from needing to buy a license. Learn more about licenses here: Fishing License Information. You can purchase your license online here: Buy your Virginia freshwater fishing license online.

Can I go on a trip even if I have never fly fished?

Yes, our half-day float trips are designed specifically for beginners. If you prefer to have more time to learn, look into our full day trips.

Do I need to bring any fishing gear?

No, we will bring all the fishing gear you will need for the trip including fly rods, flies, tippet, and any other fishing accessories.

If I want to bring my own fly rod, what weight should I bring?

For smallmouth and shad a six or seven weight is preferred. For catfish or striped bass you will need an eight weight.

What should I wear?

You will need to wear clothing that dries quickly. We strongly suggest not wearing anything cotton for it dries slowly and does not insulate when wet. You will need shoes that you are comfortable getting wet. Your guides will have a dry bag for you to put spare clothing or a coat in.

How many people can fit on the raft?

We can fit a maximum of two adults on the raft. Depending on the situation, we may be able to accommodate a child with their parents.

Is there an age limit for the float trips?

For half day floats, the minimum age is 10 since we go down Class I-III rapids. We can arrange a personalized float to accommodate your needs.

Where do we meet for our trip?

Your guide will explain the meeting point and other logistics before your trip.