The color of the landscape has changed over the weekend on the docks. It went from being almost completely red with snapper to gray with king mackerel, amberine and cobia.
With the king mackerel prominently hanging on the nails Sunday, it was the day for "holy mackerel" as Destin Fishing Rodeo Weighmaster Bruce Cheves likes to call them.
Don't know if catching a kingfish on Sunday makes it blessed or not, but when this reporter saw the one pulled off the Gentle Winds Sunday, the words "holy mackerel" came to mind a couple of times.
The big mac brought in by Allen Jensen, 25, of Norcross, Ga., weighed in at 42 pounds, almost two pounds larger than any of the winners in the 2012 Destin Fishing Rodeo.
"I was just trolling in the back," said Jensen, when the mackerel latched on to the lure. "It took out a lot of line … it went a long ways.”
Jensen said he tangled with the fish for about 10 minutes.
"It's the most difficult fish I've ever fought," said Jensen, noting he's been coming to Destin every year to fish since he was about five.
"I couldn't even feel my right arm after I got it in," he said, rubbing his arm and looking at the colossal king on the rack.
The king mackerel wasn’t the only fish hauled in on the Gentle Winds with Capt. Greg Marler Sunday. They had several baskets filled with amberine, mingo, white snapper and a couple of lane snapper.
Capt. Tony Davis on the Anastasia and his group of anglers reeled in some 20-plus pound king mackerel along with a good cobia. Capt. Davis said they caught the kingfish trolling live bait. In addition to the fish they boated, Davis said they lost a sailfish.
"It started jumping and shaking its head … and broke off," Davis said.
Anglers on the Gulf Breeze with Capt. John Gibson filled the racks with a few king mackerel, lane snapper, mingo and white snapper.
King mackerel was the catch of the day for Alabama anglers on the Sea Winder with Capt. Stan Phillips. Deckhand Jamie Grimmer said they had their limit in about 30 minutes. They also pulled in a black snapper.
Anglers aboard the Game On with Capt. Eric Thrasher filled the racks with king mackerel.
Capt. Bill Watson and his crew on the Sweet William III targeted white snapper and managed to pull in 63, along with three king mackerel.
Pittsburgh anglers on the Sure Lure with Capt. Don Dineen reeled in king mackerel and a big Spanish mackerel.
Capt. Neill Finkel and crew aboard the Shock'n Y'all hooked up with about a 300-pound tiger shark and a few king mackerel.
Louisiana anglers on the Backlash with Capt. Jason Mikel pulled in a couple of small wahoo, three king mackerel, white snapper, mingo and lane snapper.
"We caught everything on the lure," Capt. Mikel said, referring to the wahoo and kingfish.
The fishing is still good, and whether your mackerel is a blessed catch or not — they still eat the same.
See you on the docks.