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Billfishing on Fire in Virginia Beach
by Mike Mazur
Courtesy Capt. Justin Wilson
Fishing with Capt. Justin Wilson (left), Joey Harris (right) caught this 446-pound swordfish out of Virginia Beach. It is a pending Virginia state-record.

Every now and then, you time an article out just right. Such was the case with the Virginia Beach billfish story we recently published in our July/August issue of Sport Fishing. 

I received an email a couple days ago from one of the captains we featured in that piece, Justin Wilson (757-639-1571; Apparently, the outstanding billfishing of the past few seasons is not letting up. At all. From the sounds of it, it’s on fire right now. The whites, blues and sails are snapping like crazy. And Justin's boat just landed a pending state-record swordfish, a 446-pound whopper.

Don’t take my words for it. Here’s Justin’s email:

Hey Mike, just wanted to update you on the fishing here in Virginia Beach. Your article titled “Sleepy Little Slam Town” could not be more spot on. Several boats have had slams in the past two weeks with blues, whites and sails. Steve Richardson on the Backlash had a double slam with two blues, several whites and several sails. Another boat, the Matador with Capt. Jake Hiles, had a super slam with several blues a few whites a sail and a sword. And we caught a pending state record swordfish on my boat with a 446-pounder last night. It was caught by my friend Joey Harris. Earlier that night, my 8-year-old nephew Jordan Nestor also caught a small sword as well. The old record was 384 and caught in 1978 by Captain David Wright on the High Hopes. His mate caught it. He was one of the other captains you featured in the article. That record stood for a long time, we feel very fortunate to have caught it. Fishing has been going off in VB. Come on up and go fishing with us!

Justin, I intend to take you up on that offer soon! -mm


(By the way...this was not the only recent record fish caught out of Virginia. In June, Susan Nelson caught a new state-record wahoo, a massive 122-pound, 1-ounce beauty.)