Ladies make good showing in Summer Open

Tina Harbuck
The crew aboard the Loose Hook'r show off their winning king mackerel, a 48.45-pounder. The fish was pulled in by Andy Hollister.

The ladies got it done this past weekend hauling in three of the top five fish in the Harbor Docks Summer Open King Mackerel Tournament.

With 25 boats entered, Andy Hollister on the Loose Hook’r took first place overall with a 48.45 pound king mackerel.

“Fishing was a little slow with the full moon this weekend, and other than early Saturday morning, the weather was beautiful,” said Eddie Morgan, Harbor Docks tournament organizer.

“There were plenty of big kings caught, and the ladies caught most of them, with three women finishing in the top five. We also had tons of dolphin weighed in as well as a few wahoo. One boat, the "To Be Determined" even reported a sailfish release.”

As for the ladies, Kelsie Jacobs, a former Miss Destin, placed second with a 38.55-pound king mackerel caught on the Phoenix with Capt. Scott Robson. She also won the Lady Angler division with her mackerel.

“It was the first king on the boat Sunday,” Jacobs said.

She said they caught a few kings on Saturday, but they snagged the big one on Sunday while trolling.

“It kept running and pulling, and when it would get close to the boat it would take off again,” she said.

And although the fight didn’t last that long, Jacobs said it was the biggest king she had ever caught.

“I was very excited.” She also commended Harbor Docks for putting on a great tournament.

Amy Wright, who fished the event last year, took third with a 35.60-pounder pulled in on the Papi with Capt. Justin Moak.

“We caught it on Saturday on a downrigger on a mullet,” Wright said.

“It ran a little bit, then it started coming right at me,” she said noting it took about 10 minutes to get in the boat.

The crew aboard the Papi caught five king on Saturday and seven on Sunday.

“I love the tournament and what it represents,” Wright said.

And fishing for mackerel is good as well.

“It’s fun and they put up a fight,” she said.

Miki McClung, who was part of the crew that placed first last year with a 57.9-pounder, came in fifth with a 33-pounder caught aboard the Come Fly With Me.

Destin’s Mike Wright placed fourth with a 34.55-pounder pulled in on the Sea Fix with Capt. Phillip Blackburn.

The boat to take top honors in the “Big Three Kings” was the Phoenix with 96.7 pounds total weight.

Luke Bilger, fishing aboard the Heavy Hitter, was the winning Junior Angler with a 10.6 king mackerel.

Top money winners for the tournament were Phoenix with $10,522.50; Loose Hook’r, $5,250; Papi, $5,245.50; Sea Fix, $995; and Come Fly With Me, $520.

“We are already looking forward to next year's tournament, and are committed to growing and improving the Harbor Docks Summer Open to be one of the premier kingfish events on the gulf coast,” Morgan said.