Destin Inshore Guides brings in first fish of 73rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Bringing in the first fish of the Destin Fishing Rodeo is nothing new for Capt. Josh Calhoon on Destin Inshore Guides, but this year he wasn’t really trying. 

“We were fishing, but decided to take a break from the dolphin,” Calhoon said. 

Destin Inshore Guides brought in the first fish of the 73rd Destin Fishing Rodeo. Standing from left are anglers Nic Roberts, Capt. Josh Calhoon, weighmaster Amber Helton and Miss Destin 2021 Kaylie Sparks. The king mackerel weighed 19.2 pounds.

He and his anglers from Kansas had already caught redfish, bonito, Spanish mackerel and even did battle with a sandbar shark. And then about 8:30 a.m. Friday they snagged a good-sized king mackerel. 

Between sharks and dolphin taking their fish, Calhoon decided to give the weigh station at the Rodeo a call to see if anyone had weighed in a fish. When he realized no one was waiting at the docks to weigh in, he decided to come in and take a break from the predators. 

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They arrived at the Rodeo docks behind AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar about 9:30 a.m. The scales opened at 10 a.m. 

Calhoon also brought in the first fish of the Rodeo in 2018 and 2019. 

Nic Roberts shows off the cup he was awarded for weighing in the first fish of the 73rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

On Friday, Calhoon pulled out a Spanish mackerel that had a bite out of it from a shark and then he pulled out the king mackerel. 

Nic Roberts of Wichita, Kansas, was the angler on the rod of that first fish of the 73rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. His king mackerel weighed in at 19.2 pounds. 

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“It was a lot of fun … a good workout,” said Roberts, who had never fished in the Gulf of Mexico before. “It was pretty cool. It fought quite a bit.”  

Nic Roberts of Kansas shows off his 19.2-pound king mackerel he caught aboard Destin Inshore Guides with Capt. Josh Calhoon. Roberts' fish was the first one weighed at the 73rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. Wishing him well is Miss Destin 2021 Kaylie Sparks.

Before Friday morning, Roberts said his biggest fish was maybe a catfish back home. 

Capt. Calhoon said they hooked the king while trolling live bait. 

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“It made one good run,” said Calhoon, who noted it took about 10 minutes to get it to the boat. 

Nic Roberts fills out the paperwork at the judges' table for his catch. Roberts caught the first fish weighed in during the 73rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

After Rodeo weighmaster Amber Helton called time and weight on the fish, Calhoon and Roberts headed back in search of trout.