In the last couple of days, the lady anglers have been making a big showing at the 65th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.
On Monday, Taylor Barnhill came in with a 45.4-pound amberjack aboard she caught aboard the Strange Brew II with Capt. Ken Nettles. Her catch put her in second place in the 25 and Under Private Boat Division.
"I thought my arms were going to fall off," said the 18-year-old from Crestview.
Captain Nettles said the amberjack made a couple of "Hail Mary Runs" before she got it to the boat. It took about 20 minutes for her to land the fish.
Her amberjack was just one of three all about the same size, a 45-pounder and a 45.2-pounder.
Later in the day, the Intracoastal Experience came in with a leading lady. Brandi White of Arizona pulled in a 6.6-pound sheepshead for a first place spot in the Quantum Inshore Division. She was fishing with Capt. L.W. Burroughs.
Stephanie Creel, fishing aboard the Mother Dog got on the daily board with a 21-pound king mackerel.
Minutes after, young Jasmine Becker came walking up with a 2.8-pound pompano for a daily as well.
But before the night was over, Anna Garland took the lead in the Party Boat Division with a 30-pound grouper caught on the Sweet Jody with Capt. Cliff Cox.
Sunday was a big day for the ladies as well.
A couple of females on the New Florida Girl's American Spirit with Capt. Jim Green found spots on the big leaderboard. Kathy Adcock of Crestview weighed in a 29.4-pound almaco jack for first, and Angela Bradford of Goodwater, Ala. pulled in a 4-pound mingo for a second place spot.
Probably the most excited angler on Sunday was Destin's Kay Biggers. Kay, who was fishing with her husband Capt. Brad Biggers, along with family and friends on the Mother Lode, got on the daily board with two big fish for the first-time ever.
"This is the first time I've got to weigh in a fish," Kay said with a big smile on her face as she stood beside her 47.8-pound amberjack. Kay said she's fished with the kids on "Take-A-Kid" fishing day, but never got to enter a fish in the rodeo — which is a big surprise with her husband being a boat captain for 30-plus years.
Seconds after her amberjack got on the daily board, so did her 35.4-pound grouper.
When all the paperwork was filled out and they all boarded the boat, Kay was still hooting and yelling. Capt. Jason Hallmark, who was working the deck, said "you should have heard her when she was pulling it in."
Rodeo fishing just gets better every day, and there is not many left. Thursday is the last day to enter a fish in the 65th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. The scales will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the docks behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar.
See you on the docks.