Reese Bowles, Treasurer
Reese is a native of Virginia Beach, where he still resides. He grew up on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay working on head boats at Lynnhaven Inlet. When he was old enough to drive, he became a mate on charter boats at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center. He earned his USCG Captain’s license in 1986 and ran several offshore boats from Ocean City and Virginia Beach. Along the way he graduated from Princess Anne High School, Tidewater Community College, and Old Dominion University – that was just the beginning.
Reese is best known as an outdoor radio personality on local station AM850 from 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM every Saturday morning when his show Catchin’ With Captain Reese airs. The show provides updates to area anglers on current fishing hot spots, conditions, and conservation regulations. Fish stories (some true – some not), and fun conversations with listeners add a folky dimension to the Saturday morning program. At the conclusion of the show, Reese heads out on the water in his 32’ Mirage sport fishing boat to give “On-The-Water Reports.” These reports are scheduled on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., and Sundays from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m..
Hosting a fishing radio show came easy to Reese, as his Dad, Joe Bowles, did on-the-water reports for WTAR during the late 1960’s. He’s also been trained to film, edit, and produce fishing videos and was a reporter for Fox 43 television for a summer season where he created fishing forecasts and gave one-minute reports on location. He’s been a guest on local television many times and featured in newspaper articles. He has traveled and researched fishing in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific areas as a representative of IGFTO.
Besides the radio show and water reports, he’s been asked to emcee numerous fishing tournaments such as the Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament, Catchin’ for Kids Tournament, Mid Atlantic Rockfish Shootout, Frostbite Challenge, and the Wine, Women and Fishing Tournament. He also participated as a guest at the Mid-Atlantic Boat Show each February. He also enjoyed being the weigh-master for the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament.
He is a two-time recipient of the Dr. James Wright Conservation Award, and an active promoter for the Red, White, and Blue Kids Fishing Day at the Virginia Beach Police Training Center. He has also taught 5 sessions on conservation, tagging, and releasing, as well as fish handling. He was the proud co-founder of the Catchin’ For Kids, a yearly charitable fishing event that raises funds and toys for Toys For Tots.
He is the founder and coordinator of the first Rod and Reel Club in Virginia Beach Public Schools and has been recognized by the Virginia Beach Superintendent of Public Schools for his work with the Salem Middle School Rod and Reel Club. He’s been awarded the Virginia Beach Anglers Club Media Award, the Coastal Conservation Association Partner in Conservation Award, and the Virginia Beach Dr. Jim Wright’s Memorial Conservation Award. During his radio shows, guest appearances, or when simply speaking to friends, he supports and promotes “Save The Bay: Practice Catch and Release.” Reese is also an avid fisherman.
Now that he’s joined forces with IGFTO, he sees it as a great opportunity to continue his catch and release mantra. He’s an IGFTO veteran observer in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Los Sueños and Quepos Costa Rica. He wishes to thank IGFTO for “making my dreams of travel and fishing through retirement a reality.”
Reese was voted in to the Board of Directors in January 2022 during their annual meeting in Los Sueños and is IGFTO's new Treasurer.