VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY)– The Reelin N Dealin was already having a good day on the water when it turned into a great day some 70 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
Tuesday afternoon, Reese Bowles was in the chair and Taylor Christian was behind the wheel when something grabbed a 12-inch colorful piece of bait.
“My son grabbed the leader and when he did, the fish loped a couple of times behind the boat. We all said ‘whoa that’s a big one right there,'” said Bowles.
Fortunately, the seas were calm for a dangerous two-and-a-half-hour battle at sea.
“I had the fish on the side here just trying to get it close enough so we could take it and every time it kicked its tail my entire body would move up and down. So I had my buddy Bryce grab my belt loop so I didn’t go over, said Zachary Bowles.
Dozens of well-wishers were pier side as a crane did the heavy lifting. The catch weighed in at 944 pounds. The state record, also set in Virginia Beach in 1979, is 1,093 pounds.
“We don’t get the hoopla of some of the places to our south, but we got the same fish and we got the same opportunity,” Bowles said.
In recent years flavorful swordfish have made their way to waters off the coast of Virginia Beach. To celebrate the arrival, the younger Bowles is hosting a swordfish tournament. The Oceans East Swordfish Tournament opens on October 1 for waters within 100 miles of Rudee Inlet.