Episode 42: Capt. Justin Rea – Permit Madness
Justin Rea has had a remarkable life on the water. His mother, Beryl, was a fishing guide in Bishop, California when she handed her three year old son a fly rod. Little did she know that gift would pay huge dividends over the next 48 years.
At age 31, Justin moved to the Keys and started to chase bigger and faster animals than what swam in the local creeks and small rivers of Bishop. Justin would become one of the best guides in the Lower Keys. His proving grounds were the high profile flats where massive tarpon and permit swim. His high praise were wins in the most coveted permit tournament in the world, “The Del Brown!” Having won it four times and finishing second three times, you wouldn’t be wrong calling him one of the best in the world at his craft.
His efforts and vision were bigger than the trophies on his wall. His heart would lead him to a platform of conservation. He was influential in conjunction with the Lower Keys Guides Association in successfully removing barracuda from the cross hairs of the local commercial fishing fleet. He and his wife, Lauren, were visionaries in starting the catch and release Cuda Bowl, where today it’s a highly praised tournament to win. And more recently in 2019, he and his son Ryan won the prestigious Key West Slam Tournament.
We have fished with Justin over the years and have experienced some of our greatest moments on the water with him. His diving, spear fishing, and kite boarding bring his spectrum with the ocean full circle. This man is not one demential. It doesn’t matter what the species or activity is, he is full throttle into everything he does.
Justin may seem laid back and very mellow to many people but on the inside he is full of vigor and passionate about his beliefs. We are honored to call Justin a great friend and so glad he came on the podcast. Thanks buddy!