With 112 anglers competing, the sheepshead was in high demand.
“The fishing was tough for most anglers,” said Pete Wright of The Ships Chandler, host site for the sixth annual Sheepshead Shootout.
But not for the crew aboard the Miss Lily with Capt. Zach Wolfe. He and his crew pulled in 17 sheepshead with Wolfe weighing in a 9.34 pounder to take home the big money in the one-day tournament.
The shootout was a winner take all event with the top dog taking home the $25 entry fee from the 112 anglers, which came to $2,800.
Wolfe said all 17 of their fish were “all comparable” with about a pound difference between them all.
As for the winner, “it had bigger shoulders on it,” he said.
It wasn’t the first fish of the day, or the last, it came somewhere in the middle of the 17.
“We kept working at it ... and weighed in at the last minute,” Wolfe said.
Although Wolfe wasn’t divulging any fishing spots or particular baits used, he did say they were using light spinning tackle with 15-pound braid and a 20-pound leader.
The limit on sheepshead, which is open year-round, is eight per person and must measure 12 inches to keep.
While the group on the Miss Lily didn’t have any trouble getting the sheepshead to bite, others did.
“The fishing was tough for most anglers,” Wright said, noting most folks fished around the Destin bridge.
“It was the luck of the draw on who picked the right piling. Some pilings were holding fish, others were not,” Wright said. “The fish seemed to be hubbed up on single pilings, not moving up and down the bridge like they usually do.”
Nevertheless, folks still managed to pull in some good sized fish.
Placing second overall with an 8.65 pounder was Daniel Young.
Kyle Meeks, who was fishing with last year’s winner Richard Rogers, came in third with an 8.62-pound sheepshead.
As a matter of fact, Meeks and Wolfe tied for second place in 2018, each with an 8 pound 10 ounce fish.
In 2017, Wolfe won it outright with a 9.29-pounder.
The winning junior angler this year was Jade Higgs with a 6.46 pound sheepshead.
Rochelle Lebold won the ladies division with a 7.84-pounder.