Rodeo ready to roll out Saturday

Tina Harbuck | 315-4466 | @DestinLogTina |
Sun shines through the roof of the weigh-in area for the Destin Fihsing Rodeo on Thursday. NICK TOMECEK/THE LOG

Bleachers in, check.

Leader board up, check.

T-shirts and hats in, check.

Scales up, check.

All that’s needed now are fish.

Saturday marks the start of Destin’s oldest tradition, the Destin Fishing Rodeo.

Celebrating its 68th year, the rodeo runs the month of October with the scales open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

The rodeo will is open to all anglers and is free to those who are fishing aboard a registered boat. The rodeo awards prizes for daily catches as well as for those whopper catches that last the entire month on the leader board.

Things to note are Shark Saturday, which of course is held ever Saturday at the rodeo. However, that’s not the only day shark can be brought to the docks. Shark, among others, are on the daily board as well.

“New this year is the Big Mac daily,” said Rodeo Executive Director Helen Donaldson.

It’s a $100 to buy in for the month.

“But we’re going to give a $100 a day for the largest king mackerel brought to the scales,” she said.

The Big Mac daily is courtesy of Mike Wright and Emerald Coast McDonalds and is guaranteed for 31 days of rodeo fishing.

However if fishing is not your thing, but you like to be entertained, weighmaster Bruce Cheves will be down on the rodeo barge daily hanging fish and telling tales.

In addition to fish and Bruce stories, another hot item that you will not want to miss out on is the rodeo T-shirt.

This year the rodeo has a traditional design as well as T’s for the ladies and children and even a shark shirt inspired by the iconic "Jaws" poster.

“If you spend any amount of time in Destin, on any day of any week of the year, you are going to run into a rodeo T-shirt,” Donaldson said. “Go to Atlanta, Nashville or wherever, you will run into a rodeo T-shirt. It’s the most popular T-shirt in town. And if you don’t have one, you are missing out.”