FISH FLASH: Things are always a changing at the Rodeo

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

After a slow start to the week due to rough seas, things have picked up the last couple of days at the 67th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

As a matter of fact, Thursday evening got quite busy at the Rodeo scales located behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

Marlin Perry, a Rodeo regular from Tennessee, weighed in a 20.6-pound grouper for a spot on the daily board. He was fishing aboard the New Florida Girl’s American Spirit with Capt. Jim Westbrook.

Tom Milliren, also aboard the Spirit, got on the board with a 7.8-pound Almaco Jack, at least for a couple of hours. Milliren was knocked off right at close by Janet Miller who pulled in an 8.4-pounder for the top spot on the daily board. Miller was fishing aboard the Only Way with Capt. Curt Gwin.

Things changed often on Thursday afternoon.

Phil Tracy, also on the Spirit, weighed in a 2.6-pound mingo that got on the daily board, but again it didn’t last.

Mark Wright weighed in a 2.8-pound mingo he caught on the Sure Lure with Capt. Don Dineen, only to get bumped by a 3-pounder pulled in by Janet Miller.

A little after 4 p.m., John’s Mako came in with a 7.8-pound king mackerel caught by Matt Hvizinga of Michigan for a top spot on the daily board in the Under-25 Division.

At 5:15 p.m. the Bountiful came in with a 27.8-pound wahoo, that was good for a daily, but it also made it onto the big leader board in the Private Boat Division for a second place catch. Doug Johnson of Arizona was the angler.

About 6:30 p.m. things really started hoping at the docks. Dalton Morrison, 17, came walking up with a 19-pound king mackerel he caught off the Navarre Pier. His catch was good for a first place spot on the board in the Pier, Bridge, Jetty and Surf Division. Morrison said he caught the king on a cigar minnow.

A few minutes later the Bow’d Up with Capt. Brady Bowman at the helm backed in with a couple of fish that made it on to the daily board. Mindy Simerly weighed in a 21-pound blackfin tuna and Mary Davis a 23.8-pound blackfin.

While the Bow’d Up was weighing fish, the group off Capt. Mike Graef’s Huntress walked their fish over to the scales. Steve Painter of Georgia weighed in a 2.4-pound scamp which was good for a daily.

The Only Way came in next with the Almaco Jack and mingo that moved into first on the daily board.

The last boat of the day, was the party boat Sweet Jody with Capt. Cliff Cox at the helm. Craig Tatum, of Fort Walton Beach, weighed in a 17.2-pound king for a top spot on the daily board. Tatum’s catch was fish entry No. 763.

The Rodeo is far from over and the weekend promises to be good.

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

See you on the docks.