Hurricane Michael forces fishing Rodeo closures

Sheri Kotzum | 315-4353 | @DestinLogSheri | skotzum@thedestinlog.com
This large amberjack hit the docks of the 70th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo on Sunday. The Rodeo will be shut down Tuesday and Wednesday because of Hurricane Michael. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

As Hurricane Michael barrels toward the gulf coast, Destin Fishing Rodeo officials aren't taking any chances.

The Rodeo will be closed on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Wednesday, Oct. 10.

“We’re all still kinda up in the air about where this thing’s gonna go, but we just felt like we needed to make a call so people can get prepared,” said Helen Donaldson, executive director for the Rodeo.

Donaldson said most of the boats in the harbor will probably have to be moved, as well as the barge the rodeo uses to weigh the fish.

"This is for the safety of everybody," Donaldson said. "We don't want them out there fishing in bad weather just to compete for a T-shirt."

Officials hope they can resume the Rodeo activities on Thursday, but will keep a close eye on the storm. They will be posting updates on their Facebook page if anything changes.

This isn't the first time the Rodeo has closed as a result of bad weather. Last year, the Rodeo was closed from 3 p.m. Oct. 7 to 10 a.m. Oct. 10 due to Hurricane Nate.