The Depth of Red
When it comes to fishing the waters in and around Panama City Beach, there’s a wide variety of species to target. Some species, such as tarpon and red snapper, are subject to seasons and migration patterns, but one fish rises above all others for its abundance and catchability year-round. And that’s the redfish, star of the newest episode of “Chasin’ The Sun.”
“The redfish is the most popular inshore gamefish all along the Gulf Coast and there are a lot of reasons why that’s the case,” says Capt. Justin Leake. “There’s a different kind of payoff for every situation and I love it all.”
Redfish can be found in the bays, on the shallow-water grass flats, under bridges, in local inlets and along the beach. That gives anglers many options to choose from when targeting this hardy species – boat-based, standup paddleboards, wade fishing and surf casting are among them.
“Because of the breeding population that exists in the upper Gulf of Mexico, redfish are here en masse and catchable year-round,” says Capt. Travis Holeman. “You’re able to catch them so many different ways and that’s what makes them the greatest fish in the gulf.”
But it’s the challenge of sight fishing shallow water that the captains enjoy the most. “You have to be super technical and super stealthy,” says Justin. “There’s nothing more technical than getting within just a few feet of a redfish and it not knowing you’re there.”
And if you could choose just one rig to target redfish? Travis and Justin visit Half Hitch Tackle and share their thoughts on the perfect rod, reel, line and bait setup to do the trick.