Final Fling pays out big bucks for cobia event
The crew aboard the Endless Summer was the big money winner in the Red Stripe Final Fling cobia tournament last weekend at AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar taking home $24,750.
Richard Urrutia of Birmingham, Ala. hauled in a 79.10-pound cobia while fishing with Capt. Tommy Green on the Endless Summer along with Capt. Jim Green on the deck.
Urrutia's cobia placed second overall, but because they were entered across the board in the Calcutta, the Endless Summer took home the big bucks.
The Final Fling paid out a total of $80,950 in prizes.
The largest cobia of the tournament was an 80-pounder reeled in by Zach Wolf on the Only Way with Capt. Curt Gwin. They came in second in the money with $21,800.
However their fish was tops on the scales.
Capt. Gwin said they were fishing down west of Destin in about 10-feet of water when the cobia came swimming out of the rip.
Using live bait, Gwin said the cobia pulled off twice.
The third time was the charm.
"He just barely got hooked on one of the treble hooks," he said.
The cobia made three good runs.
"We had it at gaff range twice … we were holding our breath," Gwin said.
After about 30 minutes, they landed the cobia.
On day two of the tournament, they fished down east and went five for 14 and released one, with the largest weighing about 50 pounds.
As for the crew aboard the Endless Summer, Capt. Tommy Green said it was a "classic battle."
Green said they saw the big cobia on the green reef. They tossed an eel at it first, but it wouldn't eat it. Then they threw out a ruby lip.
"He got all over that," Green said.
"It drug us about two miles off the beach," he said, noting the cobia was heading straight offshore.
The 79-pounder was one of three they saw while fishing down east of Destin near Seagrove on day two of the tournament.
On the first day, the Endless Summer crew caught three with the largest weighing in a little better than 46 pounds.
Placing third with the biggest cobia was Jeff Gill with a 71.20-pounder on the Reel Worthless. They were also third in the money taking home $17,660.
Capt. Jason Hallmark and crew on the Mother Lode won the aggregate and was fifth in the overall money with $5,625 in prizes.
Fourth in the money was Salty Dog with $7,920.