He only caught one, but that’s all it took to win the fifth annual Destin Sheepshead Shootout.
Out of a field of 92 fishermen, local angler Richard Rogers of Choctaw Beach reeled in an 8.01-pound sheepshead to take first place in the one-day event hosted by The Ships Chandler on Saturday.
“It was tough fishing,” said Peter Wright of The Ships Chandler. “We started off with rain, but then it got pretty … everybody had a lot of fun."
Wright said folks were coming in and telling them they could see the fish in the water, but couldn’t get them to bite.
All in all they only had about a dozen fish weighed.
Placing second behind Rogers was LW Burroughs and in third place was Scott Whitehurst.
As for Rogers, he was fishing with his buddy Kyle Meeks of Enterprise, Ala. aboard Meek’s 21-foot Cape Horn.
“We caught one fish all day … keyword: one,” Rogers said.
Rogers said they fished under the Destin bridge at the same piling they fished last year.
“We couldn’t get those jokers to bite for nothing,” he said. “We had everything under the sun for bait.”
They had shrimp, fiddler crab and oysters.
But fiddler crab was the ticket.
After about two hours of fishing, the tide started to go out and he finally snagged one.
Using fiddler crab for bait on a spinning rod with 15-pound braid with a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader, he got his one fish.
Last year, Rogers said he and his buddy caught 15 sheepshead in the same spot using fiddler crab. He placed fourth with an 8.2-pounder.
So even after he caught the 8-pounder on Saturday, they stayed until the last minute trying to catch a bigger one, just in case.
Once the tide changed, he said the water cleared up.
“We could see them like crazy. They would just go up to it (the bait) and just look at it. Those things are frustrating,” Rogers said.
Right before they decided to call it a day and head to the scales at The Ships Chandler they hooked one more fish.
Although they never saw the fish, they had an inkling it was a redfish because of the way it ran. Plus, redfish are known to hang out around the bridge.
Nevertheless, they had the one fish that counted.
“Sometimes it’s just better to be lucky than good,” Rogers said.