23 fish last 31 days on the Destin Fishing Rodeo overall leaderboard
It's easy to get on the leaderboard of the Destin Fishing Rodeo on Day 1, but staying on the board for 31 days is a bit harder.
Out of the 1,150 fish entered in the 72nd annual Rodeo, 23 fish entries lasted on the board the entire month. Some slipped to second place, but they remained on the board nonetheless.
"Whoa, that's very unusual," Rodeo weighmaster Bruce Cheves said when he heard the large number.
"Well, they set the bar," Cheves said on Day 1. "We went from 3:30 to 8:30, five hours with no stopping, no break, no nothing."
And when it all was said and done, 155 fish had been weighed and put on the board that first day.
"Captains come down every day and look at that board when they didn't have a trip to see what they've got to beat. It's the spirit of competition," Cheves said.
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The one fish that retained its No. 1 status without a chance of getting knocked off was the first fish of the Rodeo, a 1.4-pound speckled trout caught by Brett Peterson of Fort Walton Beach.
Other anglers and their catches that retained a first-place status on the board included:
• Steve Ortner of Freeport, with a 9-pound triggerfish on the charter boat Destination. Fish entry No. 18.
• Evan Norris of Crestview, with a 3.2-pound mingo on the 25-foot-and-under charter boat 30A Light Tackle. Fish entry No. 102.
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• Paul Harris of Fort Walton Beach with a 22-pound almaco jack and a 24.8-pound blackfin tuna caught aboard the 25-foot-and-under private boat Sundance. Fish entries 57 and 59.
• Blake Napier of Destin with a 7-pound triggerfish caught aboard the 25-foot-and-under private boat Kaley Rae. Fish entry 118.
• John Martin of Troy, Alabama, with a 45-pound grouper caught aboard the Big John for a first in the Senior Division. Fish entry 141.
• Bradley Beighley of Gainesville, Georgia, with a 24.8-pound dolphin in the Offshore Division caught aboard the Windwalker II. Fish entry 51.
• Andrew Collins of Glasgow, Kentucky, with a 7.4-pound triple tail in the Offshore Division caught aboard the Stelluna. Fish entry 76.
• DeWayne Goforth of Marion, North Carolina, with a 6.4-pound Spanish mackerel in the Inshore Division caught on the Silver King. Fish entry 111.
Entries that dropped to second but stayed on the board include:
• Clifton Amos of Louisville, Kentucky, and his 81.6-pound amberjack caught aboard the charter boat Into the Blue. Fish entry 81.
• Evan Norris of Crestview and his 3.2-pound mingo and 2.4-pound scamp caught aboard the 25-foot-and-under charter boat 30A Light. Fish entries 103 and 105.
• Donald Cochren of Prattville, Alabama, with a 7-pound black snapper caught on the 25-foot-and-under charter boat Pay N Dues. Fish entry 3.
• Chris DiPasquale of Destin with a 22.2-pound blackfin tuna caught aboard the private boat Goin' Deep. Fish entry 101.
• Chip Dibble of Niceville with a 22.8-pound king mackerel caught aboard the 25-foot-and-under private boat Chips' Ahoy. Fish entry 143.
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• Bruce Brandewie of Fort Walton Beach with a 15.4-pound grouper caught aboard the 25-foot-and-under private boat Mullethead. Fish entry 28.
• John Varner of Navarre with a 6.4-pound triggerfish caught aboard the 25-foot-and-under private boat Mullethead. Fish entry 30.
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• Jack Wallin of Nashville, Tennessee, with a 33.8-pound cobia in the Reef Division caught aboard the Suzie Q. Fish entry 85.
• Michael Lurnley of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, with a 3-pound sheepshead in the Inshore Division caught aboard Panhandle Fishing Charters. Fish entry 5.
• Rolando Walters of Navarre with a 6.2-pound Spanish mackerel in the Inshore Division caught aboard the Suzie Q. Fish entry 89.
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In the Deep Drop Division there is only one place for the species.
• Jonathan Smith of Roswell, Georgia, lasted with a 5.2-pound tile fish caught on the Championship. Fish entry 154.
• Judah Barbetta of Carrier, Mississippi, with a 20-pound yellowedge grouper caught on the 100 Proof. Fish entry 149.