Jason had never been to the South Tower, and Chris was itching to go. So when we saw a weather window, we put it together. The heat index was supposed to push over 100-degrees. Great. Captain Rudy Levasseur, Chris Quinn, Jason Legg and I pulled out of The Fishing Center in Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach, at 5:30 am with live croakers. We pointed my boat to the southeast for a 50-mile run. There was a light chop from a southerly breeze at about 10 knts, so it was an easy 2-hour ride. ****Related Articles:**
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When we arrived, the tower was shrouded in a light fog bank so we couldn’t see it at even a mile away. As we moved closer there was a boat already there, picking AJs off the tower with poppers.
In no time we were rigged up, and Rudy eased closer to the tower. The fog seemed to have lifted, and it was already getting warm. We could see the amberjack in the water, and our Costas made visualizing them at about 20-feet down a snap.
I dropped my first bait down and felt it begin to dart for the bottom. Then I felt the tell tale pummeling as a jack inspected it for breakfast. Within seconds, I told Rudy he was on.
I repositioned my line so we could make our move, and Rudy began motoring away from the tower as I eased the drag to full. I braced myself as we guided the jack away from its fortress with the fish sporadically stripping line.
Once we were safely away from the structure I backed off the drag, and of course the jack commenced to work me over.
Chris was up next. It is always fun to watch folks humbled by a big amberjack, and Chris enjoyed the challenge. We took turns repeating the live bait ritual until the guys just couldn’t take watching the other boat anymore, and broke out the poppers. By then, there were four other boats working the tower, with everyone hooking up. The lures had no hooks, so we had a blast as the jacks crashed on the poppers. We also spotted a big barracuda chasing the poppers. Then Jason decided he wanted to catch one on light spinning tackle.
Jason was able to hook one of the jacks further off the tower with live bait on his spinning rod. Although we thought he was going to get spooled, he managed to gain his line back. Turns out, that fish was his biggest at 50-inches.
The action was crazy all morning. At around 11:00, it was starting to get pretty hot and everyone had their fill of amberjacks.
The wind was forecast to kick up that afternoon, and it had already picked up to around 15 knts. We headed back north, stopping by to check out a few wrecks and buoys on the way in without much luck. The wind was kicking at a good 20knts by the time we were back at the dock at 2pm.
Everyone had a blast. Most of the fish were ranging to around 47-inches, but there were several big ones going over 50-inches. It may be hot, but so is the jack action so now is the time to go.
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