Anglers tough it out on rough Gulf

Tina Harbuck

For the last couple of days, the conditions on the Gulf of Mexico has been a bit rough, but anglers are toughing it out and bringing in some decent catches, including some leaderboard catches.

One of those anglers breaking on to the big leaderboard Monday evening at the 71st annual Destin Fishing Rodeo was Alisha Vieths of Amarillo, Texas, with a 68.4-pound amberjack caught aboard the Finest Kind with Capt. Jason Mikel.

“We had 6-footers,” Capt. Mikel said of the Gulf conditions. “But it was better than (Sunday).”

But braving those rough waters was Vieths, who hauled in the biggest amberjack of the day.

“It was awesome … it was the first fish of the day,” she said.

And the ‘jack, like most amberjack, put up a fight.

“It was a fight … I thought for sure it was Jaws coming in,” she said.

When it was all said and done, her catch ended in first place in the Ladies Division for amberjack.

Capt. Mikel had a couple of big amberjack on Sunday as well a 72.4 and a 70-pounder.

Another fish that broke on to the big leaderboard Monday was a 25-pound blackfin tuna caught aboard the Silver King with Alex Hare. Angler on the rod was Forester Sanders of Georgia. His catch is leading in the 25-foot and under Charter Boat Division.

Chad Stone of Texas also caught a big blackfin tuna, a 25.4-pounder. However he was fishing aboard the Big Deal with Capt. Zach McKeithan in a bigger boat. His catch is in first place in the Charter Boat Division.

Frank Brown of Roswell, Georgia, pulled in an 11.2-pound king mackerel while fishing aboard the Know Egrets for a first place in the Senior Division.

Joshua Taylor of Nashville, Tennessee, pulled in a 38.6-pound wahoo while fishing aboard the Tropical Winds with Capt. Steve Allen for a second place spot in the Charter Boat Division.

Earlier in the day, the party boat Swoop with Capt. Nick Price at the helm came in with a 13.6-pound king mackerel caught by Nashville angler Horace Tipton Jr. for a first place spot in the Party Boat Division.

That’s the cool thing about the Rodeo, we have a division for almost every species of fish and various size boat categories. Plus we have ladies, seniors and junior divisions.

Other the fish that hit the scales Monday and making the daily board was a 14.4-pound king on the On the Bite with Capt. Scotty Whitehurst, a 3-pound mingo on the Nothin’ Matters with Capt. Tyler Breilmayer, and an 18-pound Almaco Jack on the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill. The Special K brought in a couple of dailies, an 8.8-pound grouper and an 8.8-pound scamp.

Capt. Kent Hardin on the What Doin’ brought in a 5.6-pound Spanish mackerel for a daily and Capt. Josh Calhoon on Destin Inshore Guides weighed in a 5.8-pound redfish.

Some of those fish didn’t look very big, but as weighmaster Bruce Cheves likes to say – “Have you caught anything that big today?”

To catch a glimpse of some of these Rodeo catches drop by the scales located behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar throughout the month of October. The scales are open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

See you on the Rodeo.