McCain catches sailfish, follows tradition

Tina Harbuck

He was a little hesitant at first, but Javan D. McCain soon fell in line with tradition.

In the fishing community, when an angler catches his first billfish, they get tossed in the water.

So when McCain, of Fort Walton Beach, came in at the Destin Fishing Rodeo with a sailfish on Friday, he was soon asked if it was his first.

McCain was quick to say yes.

“It was my second trip ever in my life,” McCain said of deep sea fishing.

McCain fishing aboard The Great Escape with Capt. Jason Rogers landed a 46-pound sailfish for a top spot in the Billfish Division of the 67th annual Rodeo.

When weighmaster Bruce Cheves informed him of the tradition, he first said, “I think I’ll pass on that tradition.”

However, McCain later said he thought Cheves was joking with him.

But when he realized it was a “real tradition,” he was quick to say “let’s go.”

Before commencing with tradition, he had to fill out the paperwork on his prized catch.

McCain said it took him 37 minutes to get the sailfish to the boat.

“He jumped about three times,” he said, still reeling with excitement.

“We tried to let him just tire out.”

“But I’m hooked … no pun intended,” McCain said.

As soon as the all the papers were filed with the rodeo for his catch, he emptied his pockets and got ready to be tossed in the harbor.

McCain went willingly and came up smiling, with soaked jeans and all.