In 1965 Capt B. J. Putnam and his Family moved to Panama City from Decatur AL so that “Put” could start his life long dream, of owning a charter fishing business. Having been an avid fishermen and hunter all his life, he made frequent trips to Panama City with friends to go fishing. He purchased the M/V Terry, worked for one year as a deckhand to gain experience and to qualify for his Captains license. In 1966 while heading offshore with friends to explore the then new marlin fishery, the Terry caught fire and burned. Capt Put then purchased the M/V Melody II, which he fished for one season before purchasing the Lady M. In 1972, Capt Put decided to start a retail fishing store and Half Hitch Tackle was established. In 1975 Capt Put leased Bay Point Marina, which he kept until a change of ownership in 1978. While running the marina Half Hitch remained open and was operated by the late Steve Stewart. Losing the lease on the marina in the fall of 1978, Capt Put returned to Half Hitch where he was joined by his son Richard. Thomas, the older son, joined the company full time after graduating from college in 1980. In 1982 property was purchased and the business moved to its present location on Thomas Drive in Panama City. In 1984 Half Hitch Tackle expanded to include operating the Dan Russell Pier concessions for the City of Panama City Beach. In 1990 the company expanded again and opened a location in Destin Florida. Capt Put passed away on July 11, 1993. Thomas assumed the helm to continue his dad’s dream. Wife Fan joined the business full time after Capt Put’s death. In 1997 Half Hitch expanded again to include a consumer show division. In 2004 Half Hitch opened its 4th location in Port St Joe, Fl.
The Putnam family still owns and operates Half Hitch Tackle with the same commitment that Capt Put instilled in his family and employees. Capt Put believed in hard work and treating customers with the greatest of respect. Fair prices and great customer service was a must. He knew that a happy customer was a customer for life. He considered every customer a friend and should be treated as one. He was a true friend of all fishermen and fought for what he felt was the best for all. He started and ran numerous fishing tournaments and was an original member of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. He devoted countless hours of community service including serving on the Tourist Development Council. He always felt what was good for fishing was good for Panama City and for Half Hitch.