Destin Fishing Rodeo is still on for 2020
With all the social distancing in place and people still trying to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Destin Fishing Rodeo is still on for 2020.
“We don’t yet know what differences may be seen at the weigh-ins in relation to COVID-19 restrictions, but we will endeavor to have a fun Rodeo with the safety of our volunteers, participants and spectators at the forefront,” said Helen Donaldson, executive director of the Rodeo.
The Rodeo is Destin’s longest running tradition and will be celebrating it’s 72nd year this October. The month-long fishing tournament draws anglers from all over the United States to vie for a spot on the leaderboard that boasts about 200 divisions, from shark to billfish, and mingo to grouper.
The Rodeo board of directors recently met to discuss a few rule changes and to move forward with plans for the fishing tournament.
The board decided to drop Shark Saturday from the lineup of divisions. In years past, the largest shark brought in on a Saturday would receive $250 prize at the end of the month. However, due to a decline in shark entries, Shark Saturdays has been canceled. Last year there was only one shark brought to the scales during the Rodeo.
But not to fear, there is still a spot on the leaderboard for shark. There will now be an overall Shark Division with a first and second place. Eligible shark can be brought to the scales any day during October, provided it is a legal shark according to federal regulations.
The decision was also made to add dolphin to the daily board to bring the total eligible species up to 13. Anglers will receive a $25 merchandise voucher for the largest fish each for the following species: Almaco Jack, blackfin tuna, king mackerel, red grouper, amberjack, grouper, mingo, Spanish mackerel, black snapper, scamp, redfish, wahoo and now dolphin as well.
There will also be a daily for the largest fish caught by a lady and a junior angler. The voucher can be used for anything in the merchandise trailer from shirts, hats, visors to mugs. It just has to be used by the end of October.
For now, the Rodeo is a go with weigh-ins daily throughout the month of October on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.