There’s electricity in the air and a surprise down deep as Chasin’ The Sun goes offshore on a high-speed, fast-reeling adventure. Capt. Justin Leake hops on board with Capt. Harris Scruggs of Team Aquatic Charters for a look at how fast boats and state of the art equipment are transforming the offshore charter fishing industry.
“This style of ‘deep dropping’ is outside of my wheelhouse,” says Capt. Leake, who fishes mostly inshore and near shore waters. “There’s a whole world out there that I’ve never explored and species that I’ve never caught.”
Positioned over reefs in 300 feet of water about 35 miles offshore, Harris relies on electric reels rigged with strobe lights while Justin opts for fast-geared conventional reels. Here in federal waters where there’s less fishing pressure, the fish are bigger and the species more varied – blue marlin, yellowfin tuna and swordfish patrol these areas – and anglers are never quite sure what to expect.
While traditional head boats still carry dozens of anglers offshore for great fishing adventures, the big center consoles powered by multiple outboard engines get them to the fishing spots and back in just a few hours. For Justin, going deep means adding a new trophy to his collection – a snowy grouper.
Also, Capt. Travis Holeman checks in at Adventures At Sea, where visitors can rent personal watercraft, book a parasailing trip or take a wildlife cruise in the waters off Panama City Beach.