DESTIN RODEO: The final fish is in (PHOTOS)

Robert Sconiers of Westville weighed in the last fish of the 64th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo, a 16.4-pound red grouper. His fish caught aboard the Cari Lynd claimed the first place spot on the leaderboard in the private boat division.

@font-face { font-family: "News706 BT";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.bodycopy, li.bodycopy, div.bodycopy { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12.25pt; line-height: 10.5pt; font-size: 9pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } It may have been the last fish to hit the docks of the 64th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo, but it found a first place spot on the leaderboard.

Robert Sconiers of Westville, Fla., weighed in a 16.4-pound red grouper at 7:07 p.m. to take over the first place spot for red grouper in the Private Boat Division. He was fishing aboard the Cari Lynd, the last boat to back in at the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar Wednesday night. Sconiers’ fish was entry No. 1,067.

As a matter of fact, the Cari Lynd brought in two red grouper. The first was a 15.6-pounder caught by John Whittington of Marianna that took over second place on the leaderboard.



For all the photos and fish tales from the 64th Destin Fishing Rodeo, CLICK HERE.


Although the number of fish entries was a bit down from last year’s 1,109, Rodeo Executive Director Helen Donaldson said, “It was really a good rodeo.”

Last year, the rodeo boasted 205 private boat entries and 81 charter boats for total of 286. This year the rodeo hit 325 total with 107 charter boats registering.

“It was all good,” Donaldson said. Outside of the rain on the first day and wind the last few days, “It was great. It’s sad that we lost the last weekend to wind.”

And even though the wind kicked up 5- to 8-foot waves on the gulf, some of the boats still ventured out and braved the seas to bring in those last few catches.

On Tuesday, only a handful of boats went out. But the ones that did got on the leaderboard in a big way.

A little after 6 p.m., the Intracoastal Experience came in with what some refer to as a “gator trout” because it was so big. Benvinda Burroughs weighed in a 6-pound trout to take over first place in the 25-foot and under charter boat category.

Minutes later, Bob Mawson who was fishing aboard the party boat Sweet Jody with Capt. Cliff Cox came in with a 15.6-pound red grouper and a 33.6-pound king mackerel both for top spots on the leaderboard.

The last and final day of the rodeo started a little slow, but picked up as the day progressed.

Capt. Kelly Windes on the Sunrise was one of the first boats to back in. Patrick McLean weighed in a 24-pound amberjack to get on the daily board. Larry Gibbs also weighed in a 17.6-pound grouper for a daily.

Windes said it wasn’t quite as rough out Wednesday.

The crew aboard the Miss Nautica walked their catch down to the scales. They had a couple of 17-pound amberjack, one reeled in by a lady angler and the other by a junior — both good for dailies.

A little after 4 o’clock, Capt. Jason Mikel on the Backlash backed in with a whopper of a fish. They threw a 55.2-pound cubera snapper on the docks that wowed the crowd. Kim Morgan of Texas was the angler on the rod.

The huge snapper had some ferocious looking teeth and it looked a lot like an overgrown black snapper.

Capt. Mikel said this is only the third one he has ever caught; the last one that came over the rail of his boat was about 10 years ago.

But before Morgan caught the snapper, she pulled in a big amberjack that tilted the scales at 64.2 pounds.

“I was worn out before I started today,” Morgan said. And she really was tired after hauling in more than 100-pounds of fish combined.

The Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill backed in minutes later with a 17-pound almaco jack caught by Cody Wilen and a 5.8-pound red grouper pulled in by Guy Santucci.

But those didn’t last long on the daily board.

Capt. Curt Gwin on the Only Way came in with a 20.6-pound almaco jack caught by Lewis Eaves of Louisiana to knock Wilen’s jack off the daily board.

About 5:30 p.m., the Huntress came backing in and their anglers were definitely in the Halloween spirit. They had a cat woman, a beer man and a guy that was dressed up as ZZ Top.

Anyhow, the cat woman, also known around town as Mary Kay Phillips, got on the leaderboard with a 24.2-pound blackfin tuna.

The man dressed like a bottle of beer, Clyde Pierce, weighed in a 9.8-pound king mackerel for a daily and ZZ Top, Dan Kirk, weighed in the first wahoo of the day a 32.8-pounder.

The party boat Destiny weighed in a couple of fish for dailies, a 1.2-pound lane snapper and a 2.2-pound mingo.

Then came Capt. Mike Eller aboard the Lady Em with their crew of super heroes. Tossing beads and entertaining the crowd were Batman, Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, Popeye and Spiderman to name a few.

They had a pile of fish, but none that was big enough to make the leaderboard.

Next up was the Cari Lynd that got on the board with a first and second place red grouper.

Weighmaster Bruce Cheves rang the bell one last time, to end the watch of the 64th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

Although the rodeo is done for another year, the fishing hasn’t shut down.

See you at the docks.