Cruises -- While most visitors head for the beach on Assateague, don't overlook the broad bays and creeks that surround Chincoteague. A good way to get out on them is with Captain Barry's Back Bay Cruises (tel. 757/336-6508; Barry Frishman moved from New York to Chincoteague and set about learning everything he could about the water and what's in it. Now he shares his knowledge by taking guests out on his pontoon boat for 1 1/2-hour early-morning bird-watching expeditions ($25 per person); 2-hour afternoon "Sea Life Expeditions" ($25 per person); a 4-hour morning or afternoon "Coastal Encounter" in search of crabs, fish, shells, and clams ($45 per person); and champagne sunset cruises ($35). Call for Barry's schedule and reservations, which are required.

Fishing -- Before it became a tourist mecca, Chincoteague was a fishing village for centuries -- and it still is. Both work and pleasure boats prowl the back bays and ocean for flounder, croaker, spot, kingfish, drum, striped bass, bluefish, and sharks, to name a few species.

You can get to it yourself, either from a rented boat or by throwing your line from a dock. For charter boats, equipment, supplies, free tide tables, and advice, check in at Barnacle Bill's Bait & Tackle (tel. 757/336-5188) or Capt. Bob's (tel. 757/336-6654), both on South Main Street.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.