In 1608, shortly after the Jamestown settlement was established, Captain John Smith crossed the James River and traded with the Warraskoyack Tribe, first residents of present-day Isle of Wight County. Established in 1634 as one of the 8 original shires of the Virginia Colony, this rural community with its quaint towns of Windsor and Smithfield is rich in history. The Pagan and Blackwater Rivers, Jones and Cypress Creeks provide a bounty of fishing opportunities. With the Smithfield Station and several other area marinas, historic downtown Smithfield is as easily accessible by water and land, so after a day on the water, you can take in the area's historic attractions, shopping, dining and lodging opportunities as well.
Robert Clontz Park, located in Smithfield, is a gorgeous boardwalk on the Pagan River, and a perfect spot for fishing. Carrollton Nike Park offers a fishing pier in a beautiful park setting and Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge, located next to the James River Bridge, makes it an excellent spot for fishing in the James.
For boaters, the county offers Jones Creek Boat Ramp & Fishing Pier and Tyler's Beach Boat Ramp, the privately owned Brown's Marina, and Gatling Pointe Yacht Club, and the family owned Smithfield Station, Waterfront Inn, Restaurant & Marina. Butler Campgrounds has a fishing pier in addition to tent camping and a boathouse. Windsor Castle Park, located in downtown Smithfield features a canoe/kayak ramp.
Be sure to finish your trip by dining at one of our lovely waterfront establishments: the Smithfield Station or, in the scenic village of Rescue, Captain Chuck-a-Muck's.
Fresh and salt water licenses are required in Virginia and may be purchased in town. A good source for bait and tackle is Hearn's Bait Barn & General Store located on Main St. in Smithfield. Water trails and tours are also available at the Visitor Center.