‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’
The weatherman has lied again.
When the boats were headed out Monday to do a little fishing for the Destin Fishing Rodeo, the weatherman was calling for 3- to 4-foot seas.
“If you added them up … it might have been about right,” said deckhand Carter Phillips who was on the back deck of the Huntress Monday afternoon when they pulled in with a few fish to weigh.
“I might just kiss the dock myself,” said Capt. Mike Graef of the Huntress. “I haven’t seen it that bad in a while.”
Anyhow, they had taken a couple of guys out from Merriam, Kansas, on an eight-hour fishing trip and came in with a couple of daily fish to weigh.
Danny Eddy weighed in a 1.4-pound mingo, which he was very proud of, and his buddy Kendrick Rainy weighed in a 21.2-pound blackfin tuna.
“We’re not in Kansas anymore,” Rainy said, after standing and fighting the massive waves to reel in his tuna.
“It was like an eight-hour roller coaster ride,” Phillips said, who was still managing to smile after the rough day on the water.
Not long after, Capt. Mike Eller on the Lady Em came in with a tub of fish to weigh in.
Sam Roistcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee, weighed in a 22.2-pound wahoo for a spot on the daily board.
Greg Carson of Tennessee knocked off the blackfin weighed in by the Huntress with a 22.8 pounder.
The biggest fish on the Lady Em was a 61.8-pound amberjack reeled in by Harrison Braocas.
Capt. Eller said it was rough day on the water.
“We had 3 to 4 footers … no big deal. But when you crossed the line, it went to 6 to 8 footers.
“Once you crossed the tide line … everything changed,” Eller said, noting he had a couple of guys falling down on the deck.
The tide line was about 20 miles.
Word is by Wednesday, the waves should get back to manageable.
Over the weekend there were some pretty good catches brought in at the docks.
The big day appeared to be Saturday with some mighty big king mackerel getting tossed out at the scales.
Capt. Greg Haeusler on the Big Boy, a private boat, came in with some whopper mackerel. Greg weighed in a 37.2-pound king mackerel for second place in the Private Boat Division and Joni Foster of Destin weighed in a 38 pounder for first.
Foster also pulled in a 47-pound king for first in the Ladies Division.
LaDai McCasland of New Mexico weighed in a 32.2-pound king for second in the Ladies Division. She was fishing with Capt. Mike Dates on the First Shot.
Some of the bigger mackerel of the day came in on the Dawn Patrol with Capt. John Tenore. Paul Profitt Jr. of Tennessee landed a 52.6-pounder for first in the 25-foot and Under Charter Boat Division. Profitt also took second with a 34.2-pounder.
Paul Profitt Sr. hauled in a 41.8-pound king for first in the Senior Division.
Another big catch, or would have been a big catch, was pulled in on the Sea Fix by angler Mike Wright. Wright, who says he’s always wanted to get a head, really got a head on Saturday — an amberjack head. By the time a shark chomped on it, all that was left was just the head, not six inches of body, just the head.
They brought it in for a courtesy weigh at the scales and it tilted the scales at 31 pounds. With a head that big, it has been estimated to weigh about 100 pounds or better.
“I’d hated to see the shark that could eat a 100 pound jack in one bite,” said Rodeo Chairman John Brashears.
The Rodeo is coming down to the home stretch with eight days left to fish. So it’s not too late to give it a try and get on the leaderboard.
Remember the scales are open daily on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
See you at the scales.