PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Anglers from the southeast and beyond have been participating in the inaugural Panama City Beach Fishing Rodeo for the past few weeks.
The tournament started on Sept. 24 and will finish up on Sunday.
Over 100 boats are participating in the tournament and there are already some impressive catches on the board through the first 12 days of competition.
“Working at the marina, we get to see a lot of cool fish all the time, but having the rodeo going on it really just ups that competition so even today in the pouring rain, are out there trying their luck, they want to get up on this board,” Captain Anderson’s Marina Marketing Director Chelsea Ray said.
The weather didn’t scare off any anglers on Tuesday as there was still quite a few boats that went out on the water.
“It was really rough, the weather forecast said one to two foot swells but it was four to six foot most of the time, rainy and windy and kind of miserable, but it was fun, really fun,” Katherine Quinn, an angler from Memphis, Tennessee said.
17-year-old Quinn did battle the weather and was able to bring in a big 154 pound shark on the Lady Black, giving her second place in the shark category for federal charter boats.
“It was really difficult, it was a fighter, dragged us around the ship a bit,” Quinn said.
That wasn’t the only impressive catch. On Thursday, a professional fly angler, Meredith McCord broke the world record for her category, bringing in a 30.9 pound Amberjack.
However, the competition isn’t over yet and anglers have until Sunday to compete.
“Even if you don’t have a boat, you can buy a ticket for a head boat and automatically be entered into this rodeo. We’ve got everything from to vermillion snapper, it doesn’t have to necessarily be a sport fish to get up on this board. Even if you have a paddle boat or kayak, we have a division for that,” Ray said.