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Destin Fishing Rodeo is still fishing and weighing fish as Hurricane Delta approaches

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

DESTIN — With Hurricane Delta targeting the Gulf of Mexico, Destin Fishing Rodeo officials are keeping a watchful eye, but have made no decisions.

"It's too soon to make any decisions until we see where this thing is going," rodeo Executive Director Helen Donaldson said Tuesday morning.

"We'll kind of follow the boats. If the boats have to start moving to safe harbor ... I think that's our sign," she said.

But for now, "We're still fishing and we're still weighing fish," she said.

A number of boats were out fishing Tuesday morning.

This photo was taken aboard the Sweet William III by Capt. Bill Watson on Tuesday morning about 12 miles south of Destin. Watson said the Gulf was kicking up 4-5 footers.

Delta is not the first storm to threaten to shut down the rodeo.

Related: Oct. 2018 - Hurricane Michael forces fishing Rodeo closures

More:Oct. 2017 - Destin survives Hurricane Nate

Donaldson, who has been director of the rodeo for 22 years, said the rodeo has lost a couple of days because of storms for each of the past four years.

More:With Sally barely gone, area emergency personnel preparing for another hurricane

But the question for now is will Delta close down the rodeo this year?

"If they evacuate (the fishing fleet from) the harbor, then we'll make the safest decision," Donaldson said. 

"We will stay as long as we can safely," she said.

The rodeo, celebrating its 72nd year, is Destin's longest running tradition and draws thousands of anglers from all over the United States.

Weigh-ins are daily on the docks behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

As weighmaster Bruce Cheves says, "stay tuned."