5 things to know about the 2020 Destin Fishing Rodeo and surrounding events

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

From cancellations to additions, the 2020 Destin Fishing Rodeo is making some changes.

The one thing, however, that will not change is there will be a fishing tournament the month of October in Destin on the docks behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar.

But in the meantime, here are five changes concerning this year's 72nd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

More:PHOTOS: Big winners at the 2019 Destin Fishing Rodeo

A 256-lb bull shark was weighed at the Destin Fishing Rodeo on Oct. 17, 2015. The shark was caught on land near Inlet Beach by angler Glenn King of Fortson, Ga. with the help of the fishing company, Family Land Based Shark Fishing and Tagging Excursion.

One - The Meet Miss Destin event slated for Sept. 17 at The Inn on Destin Harbor has been canceled.

"The facility is lovely but with having as many people as we expect at the event, we felt like it was not going to be conducive to social distancing," said Helen Donaldson, executive director of the Destin Fishing Rodeo.

More:MISS DESTIN 2020: ’I’m not scared to touch a fish’

Plus the event is a food-based event as well as a chance to get to meet Miss Destin 2020, Lauren Adams.

"People would not be able to wear their mask because they would be eating," Donaldson said.

So the plan is to do an event in the spring before the Miss Destin pageant, that will showcase The Inn as well as Miss Destin Lauren Adams.

Miss Destin 2020 Lauren Adams says crawfish is her favorite seafood and can't wait for the October Destin Fishing Rodeo to begin.

"We just want to make sure we can celebrate her reign as Miss Destin," Donaldson said.

Two - The Kid's Wagon Boat Parade and Reel Local Rodeo Kickoff Party are both still on as planned for Sept. 25th at AJ's.

 "AJ's is doing this wonderful event (the wagon boat parade) to celebrate the Rodeo. It's been a good tradition and they want to continue that," Donaldson said.

More:PHOTOS: Destin Fishing Rodeo 11th annual Kid’s Wagon Boat Parade

The 12th annual Kid's Wagon Boat Parade will roll at 6 p.m. on Sept. 25. 

This is the logo that will be on the 2020 traditional Destin Fishing Rodeo T-shirts.

Following the wagon parade is the kickoff party on the docks, a family-fun gathering and cookout outside at AJ's.

Three - There will be no Captain's Meeting on Sept. 25.

Donaldson said the meeting, which is usually held indoors at AJ's, isn't going to take place due to social distancing requirements.

Captains will be able to pick up their buckets, filled with goodies, at the Rodeo merchandise trailer during the kickoff party on Sept. 25. After that, their buckets can be picked up at the trailer throughout the month of October.

Four - The annual Destin 5K Rodeo Run set for Oct. 4 has been canceled.

For the past couple of years, the run had fielded more than 150 runners, which is not conducive to social distancing.

So during this pandemic, the run has been canceled for 2020.

More:2019 - Locals shine in Rodeo Run

Five - The Rodeo will be adding triggerfish to their lineup of eligible fish to catch.

After an announcement from the NOAA Fisheries last week that triggerfish would be opening back up in state and federal waters starting Sept. 1 and going through Oct. 25, the Rodeo decided to add triggerfish to the leaderboard.

More:2018 - Triggerfish almost made it in the Rodeo

"We did not take away anything ... we just added triggerfish to the five major divisions - Charter, Private, Party Boat, 25 and under charter and 25 and under private." Donaldson said.

There will be a first and second place in each division as well as a triggerfish on the daily board.

ShellyReed landed a 51.4-pound amberjack while fishing with her son Capt. Jason Hallmark on the Sea Fix in last year's rodeo.

"We were very fortunate that our sponsors all came through for the awards for that," she said.

The last time the Destin Fishing Rodeo was able to have triggerfish in the lineup was 2013.

However, triggerfish will not be open the entire month, it will last about 85 percent of the month.

"And we're going to take advantage of being able to catch a big old triggerfish," Donaldson said.