The entire month of October is rodeo time, ye-ha! Not the kind of rodeo with cowboys, clowns, and horses though. It’s the 63rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. Begun in 1948, the Destin Fishing Rodeo has become the premiere saltwater fishing tournament for anglers of any age.
Anglers from all over the country come to Destin by car, boat, and via the Northwest Florida Regional Airport in October. For 31 days, the docks at A.J.’s Seafood and Oyster Bar in Destin become the hub of rodeo revelry. Weigh-ins are from 10am until 7pm daily. Throughout the month of October, more than 30,000 angler will compete and weigh-in, hoping to take home their own portion of the $100,000 plus in prize money.
The tournament is divided into four classes: junior, teen, ladies, and senior divisions with daily, weekly, and overall monthly prizes being awarded. The rodeo is free to anglers fishing from registered boats which include both private and charter vessels. Anglers who are 14 or younger can fish for free from pier bridge jetty, however a $25 fee is required for anyone 15 or over.
There are awards for nearly every kind of game fish, including king mackerel, marlin, sailfish, red snapper, or grouper. A listing of all prizes up for grabs can be found here, on the Destin Fishing Rodeo’s website.
Saturday the 15th is the Rootin’ Tootin’ Rodeo Roundup. This event, just for kids 12 and younger, sports a $10 entry fee, but bait, a rod and reel combo, t-shirt, pier access for the angler and a parent, and lunch as well as a certificate suitable for framing will be awarded to every child who brings in a fish weighing 1 pound or more. The event takes place on Okaloosa Island Pier from 9am until noon. There are several other special events taking place during the rodeo. Additional information can be found here.
If you love to fish, there is still plenty of time to make it to Destin to compete in this event. For travel information, visit our website or connect with us via social media including Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to have you enjoy this Gulf Coast tradition with us.