Fish On Smack

Trash talkin’ and tarpon chasin’ rule the day when Capt. Justin Leake invites an old buddy to join him for a day on the “Silver King Highway” off Panama City Beach.

Justin and professional redfish angler Fred Myers are lifelong friends but it’s sometimes hard to tell once the good-natured ribbing starts.  Even as teammates on the tournament trail, they constantly competed against each other in a never-ending battle for bragging rights. “One reason we give each other a hard time is that we’re trying to challenge ourselves to become better anglers,” says Capt. Leake. “But it’s really about giving your buddy a hard time because that’s just what we do.”

It’s a windy and choppy day on the Gulf of Mexico but Justin and Fred agree that adapting to conditions is just part of the process. Myers is more concerned with how to adapt his redfishing skills to the much larger and acrobatic tarpon. “My challenge is what to do once I hook up,” says Myers. “If a redfish jumped like a tarpon, you’d never catch one.”

Capt. Leake knows these waters well and it doesn’t take long to find some large schools of tarpon migrating along the coastline. Will Fred’s experience fighting redfish translate to success with a silver king? If not, Justin will make sure he never hears the end of it!

Also, we take a look at the “Pirates of the High Seas Fest,” an event that draws thousands of swashbucklers to Panama City Beach each October.