Boats bring in board changers at Rodeo

Tina Harbuck

When it comes to Rodeo fishing, one thing is for sure, the leaderboard is going to change.

And such was the case on Wednesday, with more than a dozen anglers finding a spot on the overall leaderboard of the 70th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

Alabama angler Will Wilson, who was fishing aboard the Wynsong with Capt. Allen Staples, came in a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday with a 7.2-pound tripletail for a first place spot on the board in the Offshore Division. His catch knocked Willie Beedle and his 4.4-pounder down to second place.

Not long after, Capt. Steve Regan on the Wahoo backed in with three huge king mackerel, two caught by junior anglers. Caleb Williams had the largest of the three with a 38.4 pounder for first in the Junior Angler Division. Andrew Lawrence came in second with a 30.6-pound king. The third king weighed 37 pounds and was caught by Conner Grant. Grant also weighed in an 8.4-pound grouper that lasted on the daily board for a few minutes.

When asked if they caught all the king on the same spot, Capt. Regan wasn’t divulging any information.

Just before 4 p.m., Capt. Scotty Whitehurst aboard On The Bite came in with a king mackerel as well. Eugene Bailen of DeFuniak Springs weighed in a 13 pounder. His catch found a first place spot in the 25-foot and Under Charter Boat Division.

Capt. Eric Thrasher and his group aboard the Game On weighed in a 4.4-pound mingo that was good for a daily until Capt. Cliff Cox on the Sweet Jody came in later with a couple of monster mingo. David Wagoner of Arkansas weighed in a 5 pounder and George Gollehon of Niceville weighed in a 4.8 pounder.

The 5 pounder took the daily award, but both the mingo on the Sweet Jody are now in first and second place in the Party Boat Division.

Anglers on the Huntress with Capt. Mike Graef came in with a couple of dailies and one was good for the big board as well. Charles Puckett of Arkansas weighed in a 36.2-pound grouper for a daily and Puckett also pulled in a 23-pound blackfin tuna for a daily as well as second place in the Charter Boat Division for blackfin.

Capt. Graef said the water was pretty offshore and the fishing is good.

Not long after, Capt. Phillip Blackburn on the Backdown 2 backed in with a board changer. Mark Torbett of Tennessee weighed in a 20.6-pound red grouper that was good for a daily as well as second place on the big board in the Charter Boat Division.

Other board changers on Wednesday were a 3.2-pound mingo on the Island Pour for second place in the 25-foot and Under Charter Boat Division, and a 5.4-pound red grouper and a 4.4-pouund red grouper, both on the Island Pour for first and second.

Capt. Toye Hill on the Angler got in on the red grouper action. They weighed in a 4.8 pounder for a first place spot in the Private Boat Division.

The Capt. Jack Sparrow Under 25-foot Private Boat came in with a 5.8-pound black snapper for a first place spot on the board. Gavin Lindsey of Oklahoma was the angler.

There is still plenty of time to try and break on to the leaderboard of the Destin Fishing Rodeo, but you’ve got to have a line in the water.

The scales located behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar is open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

See you at the docks.