He didn't fish every day of the 65th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo, but he fished enough to win the Captain's Award in the charter boat under-25 division.
L.W. Burroughs, captain of the 22-foot Pathfinder tagged IntraCoastal eXperience, snagged enough points with fish that held on the leaderboard at the end of the month-long fishing tournament.
"I'm still a little giddy," said the 45-year-old captain Monday evening from his home in Crestview.
"There was good competition in it this year. I was pleasantly surprised," Burroughs said.
Although he's been fishing since about age 5, this was only his fourth year to fish the Rodeo.
"I hadn't been doing it that long," he said. "I've fished a bunch of tournaments up and down the coast, but I always thought it (the Rodeo) was for the big boats and the big guys."
But for the past four years he's been competing in Destin and doing quite well.
This year Burroughs and his anglers took first place king mackerel and black snapper in the Charter Boats Under 25 Division; along with first and second place in flounder and first place in sheepshead in the Quantum Inshore Division.
But the catch he's most proud of was the 43.4-pound king mackerel pulled in by J.T. Woodham of Mobile.
A buddy of his, Ken Timparpley, had told Burroughs where to find the mackerel. They tried the spot and the fish was there.
"He knocked that bait down and the fight was on," he said, noting it took about 15 minutes to get the big mac to the boat.
"It bent the rod over hard and ran out about a 100 yards of line real fast … it truly was a smoker," Burroughs said.
Once they got it on board, it was too big for the fish box; he had to put it in the rod box, instead.
"We had good fortune and good luck," Burroughs said.
In addition to his fish that lasted on the leaderboard, he had about seven fish that were good for dailies as well.
Although Burroughs only fished about 12 days during the rodeo, he says he fishes about 300 days a year as a fishing guide. Burroughs keeps his boat at Bens Lake Marina at Eglin but picks his customers up behind Ships Chandler on Destin harbor.
"I couldn't do it without them," Burroughs said, speaking highly of the Wrights, who own Ships Chandler.
And his favorite fish to target are speckled trout.
"I love inshore fishing for trout," he said, noting he grew up fishing on the Choctawhatchee Bay and sound. The biggest trout he's ever landed was a 7.52-pounder while tournament fishing.
To book a trip aboard the IntraCoastal eXperience with Burroughs call 850-585-7173.