The Chasin’ The Sun crew goes bigger, farther and deeper than ever before on a quest for new angling adventures when Capt. Justin Leake joins an experienced offshore crew in search of pelagic fish in the Gulf of Mexico’s DeSoto Canyon.
Capt. Jeremy Mullis, a professional offshore guide, pilots a 43-foot Everglades center console, on loan from Legendary Marine, to a newly-deployed Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) tethered to the bottom in 1,650 feet of water, some 70 miles off the coast of Panama City Beach. FADs attract large pelagics such as billfish and tuna and offer anglers a place to target their efforts in wide open water.
“This FAD has only been out here for a couple of months and it is already attracting a lot of life,” says Capt. Leake after some nice catches of mahi mahi and blackfin tuna. “These devices give the average angler a place to start and a high chance of success right off the bat,” adds Capt. Mullis.
Before heading back to Pirates Cove Marina, the crew breaks out electric reels, multi-hook rigs and five pound weights for some ultra-deep drops targeting golden tilefish.
Later, Capt. Travis Holeman revisits NOAA’s Panama City Laboratory to learn how fisheries biologists are monitoring the gulf’s natural limestone bottom as part of ongoing efforts to protect and preserve crucial fish habitat.