FISH FLASH: Juniors find a spot on the board

Tina Harbuck

The good thing about the Destin Fishing Rodeo is there is a category for all ages of anglers, and Monday was the day for juniors.

Nine-year-old William Garrett De Araujo Jorge of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., reeled in a 23-pound blackfin tuna for a first place spot in the Junior Division Monday afternoon. The young man was fishing with Capt. Mike Graef on the Huntress.

About 30 or 40 minutes later, William Sexton Howell of Destin came in with a couple of king mackerel. He had a 29.6-pound king mackerel for a second place spot on the overall leader board in the Junior Division. And he also had a 39.4-pounder for the largest king mackerel on the daily board in the Under-25 foot boat division as well as first for that boat size on the big board. He was fishing aboard the SS Mullett with Capt. William James Sexton.

The junior anglers, however, weren’t the only ones finding a spot on the leader board in the 67th annual fishing tournament.

Earlier in the day, Linda Hall of Tennessee reeled in a 28.6-pound king mackerel while fishing aboard the Un Reel with Capt. Paul Dale Wagner for a top spot in the Senior Division, sponsored by The Destin Log.

Gerald Hannahs of Arkansas weighed in a 16.2-pound grouper for first in the 25-foot-and-under Charter Boat Division. He was fishing with Capt. John Tenore on the Dawn Patrol.

Capt. Gary Jarvis and his crew on the Backdown 2 came in from an extended voyage with a 30.2-pound dolphin for a first place on the board.

And the party boat Vera Marie came in from an extended voyage with a 15.6-pound blackfin tuna for a first place spot.

Before the scales closed, the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill backed in with a couple of fish that made it onto the leader board. Chris Thomas weighed in a 16.4-pound scamp for first in the Charter Boat Division and Mark Solomon weighed in a 16.2-pound scamp for second. Both guys were from Tennessee.

And Keith Amiel of Shalimar pulled in a 4.2-pound scamp for first in the 25-foot-and-under Private Boat Division. He was fishing aboard Eyeced ‘Em with Capt. Mike Raim.

It was also a good weekend for the Rodeo with some big fish breaking on to the big leader board. Matt Duke of Georgia weighed in a 26.8-pound blackfin tuna for a first place spot in the Charter Boat Division. He was fishing aboard the Phoenix with Capt. Scott Robson.

The Twilight took over in the mingo category with a 5.8- and 5.4-pounder on Saturday.

Rodeo regular Marlin Perry of Tennessee landed a 45.2-pound king mackerel while fishing with Capt. Jim Green on the American Spirit for a first in the Party Boat Division.

Lauren Champion of Santa Rosa Beach weighed in a 34-pound wahoo for a first place spot in the Private Boat Division. She was fishing on the Finatic.

Another lady that got on the board Saturday was Laura Homing of Georgia with a 24.4-pound blackfin tuna on the Phoenix. She is first in the Ladies Division.

And of course Saturday was Shark Saturday and Capt. Billy Teems and his group didn’t disappoint with a 152.2-pounder caught by Jeff Loomis of Georgia.

Sunday saw another big fish hit the docks from an extended voyage trip aboard the Lady Em. Capt. Mike Eller and his anglers came in from a three-day trip with a 131.4-pound yellowfin tuna caught by local angler Richard Sadler. His catch is in first place in the Extended Voyage Division.

The Rodeo is rolling right along with more than 535 entries and we’re almost to the halfway mark.

Come on down and check it out on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. The scales are open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

See you on the docks.