FISH FLASH; Big fish Thursday

Tina Harbuck

It was a big day on the docks Thursday with several fish coming in for first and second place spots on the leader board in the 67th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

One of the largest to tip the scales was a 50.8-pound king mackerel caught by John Leugers of Destin while fishing on the private boat Big Boy with Capt. Greg Haeusler. His catch is now in first place in the AJ’s King Mackerel Bonus Awards and first in the Private Boat Division.

Marguerite Parker, who was a Rodeo judge at the time the mackerel was brought in, said it was one of the biggest she’s seen in a while.

Another fish that hit the docks for a first place spot on the board was a 5.6-pound black snapper caught by 7-year-old William Mullins of Arizona. He was fishing with his dad on the Bountiful. His catch is a leader in the Private Boat Division as well.

Sterling Winkler of Fort Walton Beach broke into first place in the 25-and-under Private Boat Division with a 3.6-pound mingo caught aboard the Coastline Tree with Capt. Guy Santucci.

The Huntress came in after 6 p.m. Thursday with a 26.4-pound blackfin tuna caught by senior angler Steve Gause of Livingston, Texas. His catch leads in the Senior Division.

Trenny Woodham of Mobile, Ala., found a first place spot in the Inshore Division with a 5.6-pound speckled trout caught on the Green Machine.

Colin Chou, of Freeport, fishing on his kayak, It’s Chou Time, pulled in a 3.2-pound sheepshead for a first place spot in the Non-Motorized Vessel Division, and Grady Morrison of Navarre is leading in the Pier, Bridge, Jetty and Surf Division with his 4.8-pound catch.

In addition to all the big fish that placed first on the board Thursday, just as many came up just a bit short, but placed second.

Kevin Orman of Mississippi pulled in a 25.2-pound blackfin tuna while fishing on the Relentless for a second place spot in the Charter Boat Division.

Mike Banks of Nebraska pulled in a 45.8-pound wahoo while fishing with Capt. Eric Thrasher on the Game On for a second place in the Charter Boat Division.

“It took off running and then went down deep. It wouldn’t come up,” Banks said of the wahoo. He said it took him about 25 minutes to get the fish in.

Steve Noble on the No Alibi hauled in a 151.2-pound hammerhead shark for a second place spot in Charters.

Marlin Perry, a Rodeo regular, earned a second place spot in the Party Boat Division with a 29.8-pound wahoo caught on the New Florida Girl’s American Spirit with Capt. Jim Green.

Capt. Robert Hill and his group on the Twilight came in from an extended voyage with a 129.6-pound yellowfin tuna for a second place spot. The angler was Kris Koehler of Illinois.

And the Green Machine also had a second place catch, a 4.8-pound trout, in the Inshore Division.

Thursday was a big day all the way around. And this weekend promises to be just as good if not better.

Don’t forget the scales are open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

See you on the docks.