One can spend a lifetime fishing the waters surrounding Panama City Beachand still experience something new every time you leave the dock. That’s the case for Capt. Justin Leake and hospitality executive Ethan Register when they find plenty of fall saltwater action on near-shore reefs.
Both Justin and Ethan grew up in Bay County and have spent literally thousands of hours chasing trophies in local waters. While Justin made fishing his occupation, Ethan pursued a career in the tourism industry and currently serves as Executive Vice President of Holiday Inn Resort, the official lodging partner of “Chasin’ The Sun.”
“I’ve seen Justin and that ‘Chasin’ The Sun’ boat pass by the resort and wanted an opportunity to go fishing with him,” says Ethan.
Most reef anglers rely on heavy tackle and big hooks but Capt. Justin plans to show his angling partner a non-traditional approach using light line, tiny hooks and small baits. “With those smaller baits, I have a lot of different options to catch non-typical reef fish,” says Justin. “But I must keep enough distance between me and the reef to prevent the fish from retreating back into the reef and breaking off my line.”
The beauty of reef fishing is you never know what will come up. For this pair, it’s a memorable day loading a variety of species into the cooler for a tasty meal back on dry land.
Also, we take a look at the conservation and preservation efforts of the St. Andrew and St. Joseph Bays Estuary Program at Florida State University Panama City.