It’s an “all eyes on deck” proposition when the captains and crew hit the water for a sight fishing adventure in the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City Beach. With slick calm conditions and crystal clear water, Capt. Justin Leake and Capt. Travis Holeman put their experience and skills to the test.
“We don’t waste our time in unproductive water when we sight fish,” says Justin. “When we cast, we’re covering a lot of water and throwing at targets.”
Sight fishing isn’t for everyone. Anglers that just want to get their rod bent should probably opt for a less technical experience. Travis and Justin, however, prefer the challenge of first seeing the fish and then maneuvering their bait into the strike zone to entice a bite. “I like it because we’re making it more difficult,” says Justin.
Whether it’s actually seeing the fish in shallow water, using modern electronics to locate deep water schools or relying on surface feeding birds to pinpoint hotspots, successful anglers use their eyes to their advantage.
“There’s no wrong way or right way, it comes down to what’s working that day,” says Travis. “You’ve got to talk the fish into eating.”
After nice catches of redfish, pompano and jack crevalle, Travis and Justin stow their angling gear and head indoors for some friendly competition at Axe Throwing PCB, one of the area’s newest attractions.