Having access to the Chesapeake Bay and beautiful Rivers is one of the biggest perks about visiting or living in Mathews County. Our access to the water is a privilege, but also a serious responsibility as our location in the bay is susceptible to high winds, weather changes, dramatic tides, and dangerous conditions including freezing temperatures, and strong currents. We want you to have fun and enjoy your experience on the water, but also come prepared during your visit.
Whether you are spending the day on the beach, on the boat, or doing water sports, please make sure to pack and come prepared. Boaters should be licensed and knowledgable of all Boat Safety, navigation and education. Visit the Department of Gaming and Inland Fisheries for a watercraft guide.
Check the conditions
Always make sure to check up on the weather, tides, winds and currents before going out on the water, especially in a non-motorized watercraft.
Check out NOAA Tide, Wind and Water Temperature Charts before embarking on your trip and know that depending on your location, these numbers will vary:
Freezing temperatures can occur early fall and late spring, so don’t be fooled by the air temperature, water temperature operate much differently!
Fishing License and Other Documentation
Fishing without a license is illegal and you could get in trouble with local law enforcement. Pick up a fishing license in Mathews from these locations:
- Hyco Market, 10896 Buckely Hall Rd., Mathews Main Street
- Online: DGIF Go Outdoors Virginia Online Registration
Food, Water, and Snacks
And more water!
Check the “Equipment Regulations” list from the VA Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries to see requirements for quantity and grade of equipment required for motorized and non-motorized craft. Ensure your preservers meet the weight and age ranges of your passengers, especially children.
Water Shoes or Boots
Protect your feet and wear water shoes along the beaches, rivers and marshes.
County Map or Blueways Map
Available at the Mathews Visitor Center
Sunscreen– Cover up!
Pack a waterproof bag for all of the important essentials you may need on your trip: wallet, cash, licenses and/or ID’s, medication, inhalers, first aid kit and survival kit such as a whistle, knife and flashlight.
Depending on your activity, pack all of the necessary equipment recommended by the industry and VA regulations!
Emergency Contact Numbers
Before you leave, ensure that someone close to you knows your itinerary for the day, and that you have the contact numbers of the local Coast Guard and Marine Police. Ensure you carry enough fuel for your vessel, and know of marinas where you can fill up.