Jet Setting Jacks
A cold front has just passed through the area and, now that the wind has laid down and the water is calm, the bite should be on fire. Holeman and Leake set their sights on a spot just three miles offshore where a pair of retired U. S. Air Force jets that once streaked across the wild blue yonder are carrying out a new mission 75 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Originally headed for the scrap heap, the F101 Voodoo jets were repurposed as artificial reef material in June 2014 and now rest on the natural sandstone bottom, part of Bay County’s continuing effort to provide healthy habitat and grow the fishery. Within hours, baitfish began to arrive at the site and it’s now a thriving home to a wide variety of popular species.
For Holeman, the most exciting part is producing “the show” – chumming bait to bring dozens of hungry amberjack to the surface for an epic battle on light tackle. These powerful fish give anglers all the challenge they can handle, a fight Leake describes as “… like pulling a truck out of the mud with dental floss.”
As the amberjack race through the water in a frenzied attack, will Holeman and Leake be able to get their fill of saltwater action before the predator becomes the prey?