Holy Mackerel...what a king

Tina Harbuck | 315-4466 | @DestinLogTina | tharbuck@thedestinlog.com
Lynne Hare of Shalimar pulled in this 46.6-pound king mackerel on Monday for first place in the 25-and-under charter boat category. She was fishing with her son, Capt. Alex Hare on the Silver King. Also pictured is Miss Destin Sydney Curry. TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG

King mackerel has certainly taken center stage of the 68th Destin Fishing Rodeo the last few days with some whoppers hitting the scales.

Sunday saw the biggest one yet come in at 56.4 pounds. And as weighmaster Bruce Cheves likes to call them on Sunday, it was a “Holy mackerel.”

Carl Hardy of LaGrange, Georgia, was the angler who hauled in the huge mackerel while fishing aboard the Rent Money with Capt. Mitch Alsobrook and Capt. Ken Jorgensen.

His catch topped the leaderboard in the AJ’s King Mackerel Bonus Awards, the 25-and-under Private Boat Division and the Big Mac Classic Daily.

However, his king mackerel wasn’t the only big fish to get on the overall leaderboard on Sunday.

Lewis Sapp of Ozark, Alabama, hauled in a 35.6-pound Almaco Jack while fishing with Capt. Bryan Kelley on the Scream’n Drag for a first place spot on the board in the charter boat division.

The party boats got in on the action as well. Capt. Cliff Cox and his crew on the Sweet Jody got on the board in a couple of spots. Jerome Matusak of Illinois landed a 21.2-pound king mackerel for a second place spot. Mutusak also reeled in a 29.6-pound wahoo for the largest wahoo landed by a senior angler. John Holman of Panama City reeled in a 4.6-pound mingo for a first place on the board.

The party boat Swoop with Capt. Mark Tilden brought in a 20.4-pound blackfin tuna caught by Sue King of New Jersey for a second place spot on the board.

The private boat category also saw some movement on the board. Tom Whittemore of Niceville reeled in a 33.2-pound grouper while fishing with Capt. Mike Noling on the Finatic for a first place fish.

Rachel Childs of Freeport, fishing aboard the Ameracat with Capt. Edward Miller, pulled in an 11.2-pound black snapper for first. Not long after, Shawn McNeil of Destin aboard the Knot Crazy came in with a 10.6-pounder for second place.

In the 25-and-under private boats, Koby Kennison of Destin got on the board with a 45-pound wahoo for a first place spot.

Monday started off slow at the scales but had a big finish.

A little after 5 o’clock, Capt. Alex Hare on the Silver King came in with a boat full of ladies who all hooked up with some mighty big king mackerel. As a matter of fact, Hare’s mom, Lynne of Shalimar, hauled in a 46.6-pound king for a first place spot on the leaderboard in the 25-under-charter boat category.

“It was gut hooked so it only took about five minutes to get it in,” captain said.

The other ladies aboard the boat pulled in mackerel ranging from 20- to 28-pounds.

Capt. Robert Hill of the Twilight came in with four fish that made the daily board. They had an 8.8-pound red grouper, 9-pound scamp, 28.4-pound grouper and an 18.6-pound Almaco Jack.

Next up was the Dawn Patrol, a 25-and-under charter, with Capt. John Tenore who got in on the king mackerel action. Paul Profitt weighed in a 40-pounder for second place on the big board.

“We lost a big one that broke off,” Tenore said, noting it ate a 6-pound bonito for bait.

Speaking of bonito, not all bonito are bait. The big ones are worth bringing to the scales, which is just what Capt. Mike Graef and his crew on the Huntress did. David Smiley of Destin weighed in a 15-pounder for first place on the board.

Marty Esposito, also on the Huntress, weighed in a 5.4-pound mingo for a daily and second place on the big board.

The rodeo is winding down with only six days to go. And if you want to get an up close and personal look at what is hitting the docks, 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 at the docks.