FISH FLASH: Rough Gulf slows anglers down, but not for long

Tina Harbuck

The beautiful sunshine can be a bit deceiving, at least for those wanting to go fishing.

Although the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and kicking up 6-footers or better on the Gulf of Mexico, making for some tough fishing. As a matter of fact, just a handful of folks went out on Monday, and not for long.

Capt. Brant Kelley and crew on the Relentless went out Monday, but were back in long before noon as were the group of anglers on the Sea Horse with Capt. Dean Cox.

The Sea Horse found a couple of spots on the daily board of the 67th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. Jason Redman of Pennsylvania weighed in a 7.8-pound king mackerel for the largest of the day, and Jacqueline Redman weighed in a 5-pounder for the largest caught by a female.

And believe it or not, there were a couple of fish that made it on to the big leader board.

Dwaine Spencer of Mobile, Ala. came in with a 3.6-pound flounder caught on the Green Machine for a first in the Inshore Division.

The other two fish to make the big board were entries in the Pier, Bridge, Jetty and Surf Division. Devon Debarr of Fort Walton Beach brought in a 16-pound king mackerel and Robert Powers of Mary Esther came in with a 4.6-pound Spanish mackerel. Both fish are in first place for their species.

Although Monday and Sunday were slow, not true of Friday and Saturday.

Before the Gulf got rough, the fishermen got after it and brought in catches for some top spots on the board.

Brinson Smith of Georgia got on the board Friday with a 29.6-pound grouper caught on the Phoenix with Capt. Scott Robson.

In the 25-and-under Charter Division, Halie Loethen of Missouri pulled in a 3.2-pound Almaco Jack for a second place spot. She was fishing on the In-To-Wishin.

In the Private Boat Division, Randy Langston of Destin came in with a 22.6-pound blackfin tuna for first place. He was fishing on the Knot Crazy with Capt. Randy Langston.

Amanda Rodriguez of Indiana placed second in the Ladies Division with a 23.4-pound blackfin tuna caught aboard the Huntress with Capt. Mike Graef.

In the Junior Angler Division, Hunter Owens of Tennessee placed first with an 18-pound grouper he caught aboard the Swoop with Capt. Mark Tilden.

In the Offshore Division, Brian Shook of Tennessee came in with a 17.2-pound dolphin for a first place spot on the board. He was fishing aboard the party boat Destin Princess with Capt. Reid Phillips.

Capt. Kelly Windes and crew on the Sunrise came in with a 44.4-poun warsaw for a spot on the board in the Reef Division. Kevin McDaniel of Mary Esther was the angler.

On Saturday, the Rodeo saw a few changes in the Extended Voyage Division.

Capt. Mike Eller and his group came in from a two-day trip with a haul. Thomas Denny weighed in a 21.6-pound blackfin tuna and a 20.6-pound blackfin tuna for first and seconde palce. Kevin Grant of Kentucky weighed in a 44.2-pound wahoo for a second place spot. They also had a 150-plus pound big-eye tuna, but there is no spot for it on the board.

The biggest catch of the day was a 256-pound shark hauled in by Glenn King of Georgia. His catch was the winner of Week 3 for Shark Saturday and also leads in the Mako My Day Shark Division.

The Rodeo is past the halfway mark with 715 entries thus far, but I’m sure there will be more to come.

See you at the docks.