Fall is a beautiful time of year to visit Destin. Temperatures range between 60° and 80° F, rainfall is less than 3 inches, and the large crowds of summer have dissipated significantly. But that doesn’t mean that Destin has nothing to offer. The beaches are still gorgeous, the water is still warm and the fish are still plentiful!
But even better, it is time for the exciting saltwater sensation – the Destin Fishing Rodeo! Established in 1948, the Rodeo has grown from a little known event to one that entices anglers from all around the globe. The Destin Fishing Rodeo is held the entire month of October and a minimum of 30,000 people can be expected to participate. The Rodeo is a non-profit organization that is supported by the members, sponsors, local businesses and the Destin, Florida fishing community.
Rodeo participants who purchase a spot aboard a registered Destin charter boat such as the Backlash will not have to pay an additional entry fee, plus the bait and tackle provided. But even better, choosing to fish with aboard one of Destin’s fishing charters means you will also get the benefit of the captain and mate’s knowledge of how to reel in that prize winning fish, while enjoying the best places in the Emerald Coast to fish. Charter fishing boats are also a great way to meet others who are passionate about fishing, too.
Anyone can participate and there are prizes – daily, weekly and the grand prizes per division – at month’s end. Divisions for competition are juniors, teens, ladies, men and seniors with prizes of cash and merchandise totaling more than $100,000. There are daily Destin Fishing Rodeo weigh ins at A.J.’s Seafood & Oyster Bar from 10am to 7pm. Also, every child who enters a fish that weighs 1 lb. or more in the Destin Fishing Rodeo gets a rod and reel and a certificate suitable for framing. Winners are announced and prizes are awarded on November 6th at A.J.‘s.
Participants can opt to fish from a Destin charter fishing boat, from their own boat (this must be registered), in the Destin Bay, via inshore or offshore trolling or deep sea bottom fishing. Virtually every type of fish is acknowledged during the Rodeo with some days (October 4th 11th, 18th and 25th) being specially designated for shark fishing. There are even special event days set aside just for the kids. These events are the Rootin’ Tootin’ Rodeo Round-Up on October 18th from 10am to 7pm, the Kids FallFest on October 20th from 1 to 3pm, and the Halloween at the Harbor event on October 31st.
If you haven’t already made plans to participate in the Destin Fishing Rodeo, then what’s stopping you? With so much fun to be had, this is definitely an event you do not want to miss out on! Be sure to plan on some time in Destin this fall, you are certain to have a fantastic time.