They only caught one, but that was all it took for the crew aboard the Kitchen Pass with Capt. Travsi Ream to win the Destin Flathead Classic at Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House.
Angler on the rod pulling in the winning 61.5-pound cobia was local fisherman Terry Dutra. His catch reeled in $38,185 for Team Kitchen Pass. They finished first overall and had the biggest fish of the day for Sunday.
“This was our first big win on the Kitchen Pass,” Ream said.
The crew fished the tournament all three days. On Friday they saw one, and then three on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, the last day of the tournament, they finally hooked one.
“It was like the bottom of the ninth,” Ream said.
Fishing just west of the Navarre Pier, they spotted the lone ling a little after 2 o’clock.
“We lost it for a second but then it came back up and we got a toss on it,” Ream said.
Using a live eel for bait, they were able to get the cobia to eat.
“I thought it was smaller at first … but then realized we needed a bigger gaff,” Ream said.
It took Dutra about 15 minutes to get the fish to the boat and gaff man Matt Pearson was able to stick it.
“We thought it was in the 50s,” Ream said.
Even when the fish went up on the scales at Boshamps he still didn’t think they had the winning fish until the weight popped up on the scales.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” he said.
The big money winner in the three-day fishing event was Team Flat Dangerous who took home $53,418 in prize money. They brought in two fish for a combined weight of 95.9 pounds, plus won big in the Calcutta division. Sally Williamson was the angler who pulled in their biggest fish, a 49.3 pounder.
The second-largest cobia in the tournament was pulled in by the group aboard Pro Bear on Friday, a 59.2-pounder. They were fishing in the 26-feet and under division.
Third place went to Capt. Jason Hallmark and the crew aboard the Sea Fix with a 54.4-pounder pulled in on Saturday. This cobia was also the largest fish on Saturday.
There was over $24,000 in winnings to other Calcutta categories, with a tournament total of $115,050.
“We had a record 44 boats and nine pier fishermen in the tournament,” said Miller Phillips of Boshamps in an email.
“Although the fishing wasn’t spectacular, we always have a good time during this tournament, partly because of the casting contest, crawfish boil, and dock parties every night,” he said.
This tournament kind of marks the end of cobia season for a lot of boats.
“After about 40 days of looking for these fish, we've had enough. Time to get the riggers on and head to the rigs,” Phillips said.