HIDE AND GO LING: Locals land first ling of spring

The first cobia is in. A little before 4 p.m. Friday, the crew aboard Ole Yeller pulled in at HarborWalk Marina with the first of the season, a 46.9-pounder. Holding the first cobia from left are Paige O'Shea, Capt. Taylor Waterfield, Jerry Nuffer and Dennis Bennet. Bennet was the angler on the rod that hauled in the ling.

On the second day of spring, we've got a ling.

Local angler Dennis Bennet, fishing aboard Ole Yeller with Capt. Taylor Waterfield, Jerry Nuffer and Paige O'Shea, pulled in the first cobia of the season before 4 p.m. Friday.

The cobia, which kicks off the Destin Cobia Tournament at HarborWalk Marina, weighed in at 46.9 pounds and lured in $300 for the angler for weighing the first.

Not only was it the first cobia of the season, but it was the first trip out searching for the crew aboard Ole Yeller.

"We were just going on a little test run to make sure everything was working right on the boat, we weren't really expecting to find one," Waterfield said. "We were just messing around and there he was."

The group of friends, along with dog Elvis, left about 2:30 p.m.

"We rounded down on the east beach and got to about Sandpiper Cove. We were out there about 15 minutes when we spotted him down deep," Bennet said.

They turned the boat back around there was the elusive cobia.

"He came up on top and we threw the jig and he ate it. Three minutes later he was in the boat," Bennet added. He used a chartreuse Ding-A-Ling. "That's the color," Bennet said with a smile on his face.

The ling was a lone swimmer and the only one they saw.

After they got the fish in the boat they headed back to HarborWalk to claim bragging rights for landing the first of the season.

"We've got bragging rights, that's what it's all about," Waterfield said.