Just about any time of the year, anglers can count on catching a red drum (“redfish”) in the waters off Panama City Beach, but encounters with its bottom dwelling cousin aren’t so common. This week, Capt. Justin Leake and guest angler Capt. Ricky McNaron happen onto a school of black drum and enjoy some arm tiring action.
Black drum are named for the distinctive sound they make by rubbing muscles against their air bladder during spawning season. While redfish feed mostly by sight, black drum rely on sensory organs known as barbels (“whiskers”) on their lower jaw to forage for shrimp and crabs. Justin and Ricky use the black drum’s affinity for shrimp to their advantage and hook into some monsters by jigging live and artificial bait.
Also this week, Justin meets his childhood hero John Schneider, star of the 80s TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and rides shotgun through the streets of Panama City Beach in a replica of the show’s iconic General Leecar. Over on the Grand Lagoon, Capt. Travis Holeman goes up against a local restaurateur in an epic battle to create the perfect grouper sandwich.