Scott Whitehurst wins annual Sheepshead Shootout at The Ships Chandler

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Out of a field of 67 anglers, Capt. Scott Whitehurst of Destin aboard his boat On the Bite brought in the winning sheepshead at 8.31 pounds for all the money in the Sheepshead Shootout held out of The Ships Chandler on Saturday. 

The Sheepshead Shootout is a winner-take-all tournament, with Whitehurst going home with a little over $1,600. 

Capt. Scott Whitehurst of On the Bite shows off his winning sheepshead, an 8.31-pounder, in the Sheepshead Shootout at The Ships Chandler on Saturday.

Whitehurst and his two buddies were fishing near Cinco Bayou when he nailed the winning fish.  

Whitehurst said they didn’t get on the water until about 9 a.m., and it was semi-rough on the north side of the bay. 

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Pete Wright of The Ships Chandler said it was about 39 degrees at the 8 a.m. starting time, with a wind chill of about 30 degrees. 

Pete Wright of The Ships Chandler weighs in the sheepshead brought in by Nick and Chris Hunter aboard the Backwoods. Chris had a 6.82-pounder.

“Nobody minds the cold, it’s the wind that gets them,” said Wright, who noted it was blowing 15 to 20 knots out of the north Saturday morning. 

Whitehurst said they got their oysters off the pilings for bait and had their first bite about 10 a.m. 

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Whitehurst, Tom Seals and Steve Rees landed three sheepshead all together. They caught two near boat slips and caught the big one from under a dock, Whitehurst said. Seals had a 6.38-pounder and Rees a 5.31-pounder. 

Dawson Dinnes of Navarre took second place in the Sheepshead Shootout with this 7.81-pounder.

“It fought pretty good,” said Whitehurst, who added that he was using 8-pound test line. 

About 20 minutes before the scales were to close, things got busy at The Ships Chandler.  

Chris and Nick Hunter on the Backwoods came in with some sheepshead to weigh. Chris got on the board for a little while with a 6.82-pounder. Nick said they had been fishing under the Marler Bridge all day and caught three. 

Capt. Scott Whitehurst, Dawson Dinnes and Tatum King show off the buckets and goods they won in the annual Sheepshead Shootout at The Ships Chandler on Saturday.

Right behind them was Jake Haymaker and his buddies with a cooler full of sheepshead. They had 19 in the box, with the biggest weighing 6.67 pounds. It lasted on the board for just a few minutes. 

Dawson Dinnes of Navarre came in with a 7.81-pounder for second place. Dinnes said he was using shrimp for bait. 

Jake Haymaker, Justin Toth and Justin Ziegler loaded the cooler with 19 sheepshead. Their biggest weighed in at 6.67 pounds.

“It was hard out there. ... It was rough,” Dinnes said. 

Third place went to Tatum King, also of Navarre, with a 7.31-pounder. 

Although second and third place didn’t receive any money, they got a Yeti bucket loaded with all kinds of goodies from Costa Del Mar sunglasses, hats and more.