Usrey lands first fish in rodeo, again

Tina Harbuck

After waiting for almost six hours for the scales to open, Lynn Usrey of Miramar Beach, for the second year in a row, was first to weigh in a fish — kicking off the 67th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

At 10 a.m., Usrey weighed in a 6.2-pound redfish to be the first official fish weighed in the Rodeo, Destin’s longest tradition that goes throughout the entire month of October..

But Usrey was determined to be first.

“I left the house at midnight to go fishing,” he said

He put in his 12-foot-6 kayak tagged Bonito Bandito at Joe’s Bayou first, but it was rough.

“I almost sank my kayak,” he said.

So he pulled it out and came around to Destin harbor to try his luck.

Using light tackle, with 6-pound test line, he snagged a catfish about 12:35 a.m. on his first bait in the water.

But he wanted something bigger.

He caught about three speckled trout that were undersized, before he landed the big red on a pinfish.

“I try to use light tackle, because you get more bites,” he said.

However when he landed the redfish, Usrey loaded up and headed to the scales located behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

“There was nobody here when I got here,” he said of his 4:15 a.m. arrival. “But I saw somebody following me down the hill,” to the scales.

He sat back and relaxed until the scales opened at 10 a.m.

Usrey, who is undergoing chemo treatment for leukemia, plans to fish the rodeo when he can this month.

“I love to fish and it keeps me occupied,” he said.