Paddle Therapy

Big boys navigate little boats when Capt. Travis Holeman and Capt. Justin Leake go after redfish in the marshy flats near Panama City Beach. It’s Travis’ first attempt to fish from a standup paddleboard, but that doesn’t faze Justin’s penchant for turning everything into a competition.

The tide has been coming in all night, and the redfish have pushed deep into the marsh where they’re cruising waters only a few inches deep. Conventional fishing boats can’t get close enough, so Justin and Travis anchor their Morada 24 just outside the fishing zone and use it as a “mother ship” launching pad. They head for the marsh with only the bare essentials because, as Justin explains, there’s no need for an arsenal of rods and reels and a tackle box full of lures when fishing from a paddleboard.

Capt. Holeman, a veteran of speedy center consoles and fast-paced tournament fishing, welcome this opportunity to slow down and watch the redfish up close in their natural environment. As he works on mastering the basic combination of balance, paddling and casting, Justin’s past experience on paddleboards means he can focus on catching fish.

And when Travis guides his angling partner to the sweet spot near a hungry redfish, it’s a “win-win” experience that neither will soon forget!