Big fish thump the docks

Tina Harbuck

Tropical Storm Nestor may have shut down fishing for a day, but it’s hard to keep good fishermen down.

After only a couple of fish weighed on Saturday with Tropical Storm Nestor swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico to the east of Destin, the boats and fishermen were back at it on Sunday and Monday bringing in some good catches at the Destin Fishing Rodeo.

Monday evening we saw some big thumpers hit the docks.

Capt. Allen Staples of the 100 Proof backed in just before 6 p.m. from an overnight trip with a couple of fish that made it on the board in the Extended Voyage Division. Charles Thomason weighed in a 76.4-pound amberjack for a second place on the board and Scott Sparks hauled in a 23-pound grouper for first on the board.

About 6:20 p.m. Monday, Capt. Robert Hill of the Twilight backed in with some big thumpers as weighmaster Bruce Cheves likes to call them. Why thumpers? Because that’s the sound they make when the deckhands tossed them on the deck.

In a matter of minutes, Capt. Hill and his crew threw out three “thumpers.” They had three monster amberjack.

First to weigh in was Jodie Taube of Tennessee with an 86.2 pounder for first in the Ladies Division.

Second to go on the board was Cody Gross of Arkansas with an 89.6-pounder for first in the Charter Boat Division and first in the AJ’s Bonus Awards Division.

Next up was an 80.8-pounder caught by Hope Matheson of Tennessee for second in the Ladies Division.

“We caught them all back-to-back,” Hill said, noting they got them on the same spot. “They were biting today.”

However when asked how far out they were, Capt. Hill said, “Do I have to tell you?”

In addition to the amberjack they also weighed in a 14.6-pound scamp and a 13.6-pound king mackerel.

Not long after, the crew aboard the Sweet Jody with Capt. Cliff Cox walked up with a tub of fish. Erika Korfien of Shalimar got on the board with a 23.6-pound blackfin tuna for first place in the Party Boat Division.

Just before 7 p.m., the Bow’d Up with Capt. Brady Bowman backed in with a few fish to weigh. Mary Davis, 74, got on the board with a 35-pound king mackerel for first in the Senior Division.

Tiffany Cook, also aboard the Bow’d Up, weighed in a 43.4-pound king mackerel for first in the Ladies Division.

Before the scales closed, Zach Thompson of Indiana weighed in a 24.4-pound blackfin tuna to get on the board in second place in the Charter Boat Division. He was fishing with Capt. Casey Godwin on the Suzie Q.

Capt. Godwin said it was rough on the Gulf Monday.

“It was like a washing machine out there ... coming from every direction,” Godwin said.

Sunday afternoon the Maximus backed in with four fish that got on the daily board. Constantine Alimov of Illinois brought in a 10-pound grouper and a 6.4-pound red grouper and Ivan Chernink, also of Illinois, weighed in a 8.2-pound black snapper and a 12.8-pound scamp.

Capt. Nino Bright and Capt. Groovy Davis of the Into the Blue had a fish get on the daily board. Dana Swenson of Colorado weighed in a 47.6-pound amberjack. Her catch was the largest by a lady for the day.

Capt. Davis said it was rough going out the Pass Sunday morning, but once you got off shore a bit he said it was nice.

Capt. Josh Calhoon on Destin Inshore Guides came in with three fish for the board. His angler was local fisherman Brett Posey. Posey weighed in a 6.6-pound redfish for a daily, but then he broke onto the “big board” as weighmaster Cheves likes to call it with a pair of sheepshead. Posey weighed in a 4 pounder and a 2.6 pounder for first and second in the Inshore Division.

The Huntress with Capt. Mike Graef at the helm backed in with a Almaco Jack for a daily. Barbara Rothrock weighed in a 20.6-pounder. Her catch lasted on the daily board until the party boat Destin Princess backed in with a 30.8-pounder caught by Russell Francis of Crestview.

The Destin Princess also had a 39.2-pound amberjack caught by Drew Underwood of Tennessee to take over the top spot in the Party Boat Division.

Not long after, the Hook’d 1 came in with a 32-pound amberjack for a first in the 25-foot-and Under Charter Boat Division. Colby Terry of Alabama hauled in the ’jack that found a first place spot on the board.

Capt. Trey Windes of the Outta Line backed in with a 15.2-pound barrel fish caught by Cactus Schroeder of Texas for a first in the Deep Drop Division.

The 100 Proof with Capt. Staples came in with a 64.4-pound amberjack that wowed the crowd and took over the top spot on the daily board until ... the Finest Kind backed in.

Capt. Jason Mikel of the Finest Kind has been killing the amberjack this month and on Sunday they didn’t disappoint the crowd on the docks. Davis Wynn, 11, hauled in a 73.6-pound amberjack for a daily and first on the big board in the Junior Division.

“It took like 30 minutes to get in,” said the young angler.

The Finest Kind also weighed in a 18.8-pound blackfin tuna for a daily.

The last to weigh in was the group aboard the Sweet Jody with Capt. Cliff Cox. They got on the board with a couple of dailies, a 10.4-pound king mackerel and a 3.4-pound mingo.

Fishing is good, but the Gulf apparently is a little rough.

Remember the scales are open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar until the end of the month.

See you at the scales.