Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to recreational fishing, being successful just might mean calling in a professional. Charter fishing guides can often be the difference between returning to the dock empty handed and landing that once in a lifetime trophy.

Capt. Justin Leake and Capt. Travis Holeman, who have guided thousands of charter trips, reveal some tips for selecting the perfect guide and making the most of a day on the water. “Of course, we want to catch fish but it’s all about my anglers having a great time,” says Justin.

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Hooking up with a guide that fishes local waters on a daily basis means visiting anglers can take advantage of current patterns and hit the hotspots quickly. “Guides understand the fishery,” says Travis. “They can also assess the angler’s experience and skill level to determine the best approach.”

Over the years, Travis and Justin have just about seen it all and eagerly share the “do’s and don’ts” that every angler should observe once the trip gets underway.

Also featured is the Grand Lagoon Grand Slam, a tournament that draws anglers from throughout the southeastern U.S. to Panama City Beach for fall fishing action.