Good things come to those who wait

Tina Harbuck | 315-4466 | @DestinLogTina | tharbuck@thedestinlog.com
A crowd gathered on the docks behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar to catch a glimpse of the big grouper caught aboard the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill. The 47.6-pounder took over second place in the charter boat division of the Destin Fishing Rodeo. TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG

When it comes to the Destin Fishing Rodeo, you never know what’s going to come around the corner. But you can almost count on it, if you leave your seat in the bleachers, that’s when the big fish is going to be tossed on the docks.

And for those that left the rodeo early on Monday evening, you missed seeing some good fish.

About 6:30 p.m. Capt. Robert Hill and his group of Tennessee anglers aboard the Twilight came backing in with several good fish that made it on the leaderboard.

Chris Thomas weighed in a 43-pound wahoo, which was good for a daily in the big boat division and his wife Kirsti weighed in a 4.6-pound scamp, also good for a daily.

The big catch on the Twilight was a 47.6-pound grouper that took over second place on the overall leaderboard for the biggest grouper in the charter boat division. Jim Vazquez was the angler that hauled in the massive grouper.

Mark Solomon, also on the Twilight, weighed in a 16-pound Almaco Jack for a spot on the daily board.

Capt. Hill said the day on the Gulf started rough but the seas got better as the day went on.

“The current was running, it was hard to get a bait down,” Hill said.

But apparently the bait got to where the fish like it.

Right before 7 p.m., the Perfect Shot with Capt. Brady Bowman at the helm backed in with a few fish that made the board.

Santi Powell of Kentucky weighed in a 30.2-pound king mackerel for the ladies largest fish of the day.

Robert Burruss of Alabama, also on the Perfect Shot, weighed in a 3.4-pound mingo and Valencia Burruss of Georgia brought in a 2.2-pound black snapper for a spot on the daily board.

The last fish of the day was a 1-pound mingo caught by 8-year-old Peter Lisi Jr. of Georgia. He was fishing aboard the After Bite, an under-25 private boat.

Earlier in the day, folks did get to see a few good fish. Bob Gordon, who was fishing aboard the Huntress with Capt. Mike Graef, weighed in a 34.6-pound cobia for a top spot in the reef division.

“It was the roughest day so far this month,” said Capt. Graef. “We had steady 6-footers.”

About 3 o’clock the Un Reel with Capt. Justin Destin backed in with a huge king mackerel. Joseph Semeraru of Tennessee was the angler who hauled in the 31.4-pound king mackerel. His mackerel was the largest of the day and good for a rodeo T-shirt.

Just before 4 p.m., Capt. Tony Davis aboard the Anastasia backed in with a board breaker. David Greewald of Atlanta weighed in an 18.2-pound red grouper for a first place spot on the overall leaderboard for red grouper, knocking the 18-pounder caught aboard the Backdown 2 to second place.

“My forearms are still hurting,” Greewald said. “It pulled hard.”

Rodeo fishing was also good over the weekend with a couple of big shark hitting the deck on Saturday along with a blue marlin.

Hueliton Zimmermann of Navarre who was fishing aboard the Finatic with Capt. Mike Noling weighed in a 297-pound blue marlin for a first place spot in the billfish division.

And Kirby Tharpe of Ozark, Alabama, fishing aboard the Southern Charm with Capt. Richard Rogers, had the largest shark of the day with a 221.4-pounder to take top honors in the Mako My Day Shark Division.

One thing for certain about rodeo fishing, the leaderboard is constantly changing and if you don’t want to miss out on the action, you’ve got to be there.

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

See you on the docks.