GO WEST YOUNG MAN - Full Draw lands colossal cobia

TINA HARBUCK
Capt. Justin Destin and deckhand Jonathan Wilson showoff a 91.2-pound caught aboard the Full Draw Thursday to take the lead in the Cobia World. Championships at Harbor Docks and the Flathead Classic at Boshamps. Danny Burkhalter was the angler on the rod that pulled in the massive catch

They just finished cleaning the boat, but Capt. Justin Destin and deckhand Jonathan Wilson didn't mind hauling the 91.2-pound cobia out of the box one more time to show it off Thursday evening at Fishing Fleet Marina.

"We had no idea how big it was," Destin said.

"We were thinking it was only about 70 pounds or so," Wilson said.

However when it was hoisted on the scales at Harbor Docks in the Cobia World Championships it weighed in at 91.2 pounds — the new leader.

The fish also took over the top spot in the Flathead Classic at Boshamps as well.

The crew aboard the Full Draw saw a dozen cobia and managed to land five. The other four were in the 30- to 35-pound range, Destin said.

As for the big one, angler Danny Burkhalter landed it about noon Thursday down near Navarre just off the beach.

"It was on a big leatherback turtle," Wilson said, noting it had three other fish with it.

Destin said they caught one of the smaller cobia first.

"Then the turtle popped back up," and there was the big one, Destin said.

Using an eel for bait, they tossed it at the huge cobia, and he ate immediately.

"It was starving. It looked like it hadn't seen anything in a while," Destin said.

As soon as it took the bait, "It made a pretty good run," he added.

Burkhalter hung on and reeled and finally got the fish to the boat after a 25- to 30-minute fight.

Wilson got a gaff in the fish and pulled it in.

Before it was said and done the Full Draw crew caught three cobia off the turtle and two more later that afternoon.

"I couldn't imagine a better crew to catch it with," Destin said, noting they had a great day.

However, they're not stopping now.

"We're going back tomorrow," Destin said standing on the deck of his boat Thursday night.

"It's not over until it's over … especially in this game," he said.