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Well, we did it. My wife ended up winning the pelagic Big Four grand prize.

We got off to a late start on Friday after having some things pop up at home to deal with. I think we didn't leave the dock until about 2pm. We went S/SW about 30 miles to an area I've had some trolling success before and set out a spread of 4 rods. We debated about who would take the first fish and decided that it would be my wife's. At about 5pm the rod with the Rapala Magnum screams. After a nerve-wracking fight, she managed to get the fish within gaff range without breaking it off in the engines. That fish ended up being a beautiful 13.5lb wahoo.

We set the lines back out and about an hour later the left rigger with a green squid chain/green machine goes off. It was my turn. After a quick fight, my wife gaffs an 8lb bonito for me on her first try.

We trolled until nearly dark with no more hits. I then moved us to a good looking spot over the yellow gravel area and dropped the wreck anchor. The plan was to have lines in the water all night and hope for some snapper/grouper/kings. That plan was a complete bust. The wind told the boat where to go, but the current was strong and in nearly exactly the opposite direction. Basically, anything we dropped went to the port side bow of the boat. After catching about a half dozen small mingos, we gave up and decided to take turns sleeping and keeping watch.

After a few hours of that, the wind really kicked up and we decided that it might be best to go in to more shallow, sandy bottom so that I could use the main anchor instead of the hand-deployed wreck anchor. I didn't want to have to try to pull the wreck anchor if the wind had gotten any worse. We moved in to about 110 feet and dropped the main anchor. The seas continued to build and XM weather was showing a second, larger storm coming as soon as the current one passed. We decided to punt and come in to the marina for a few hours sleep.

We finally got in and arrived at the house at 5:30am. After a few hours sleep, we got back out with the plan to troll for spanish and stay near shore. My wife boated a 1.7lb spanish and we got a small hard tail. As our last effort, we decided to troll the buoy line in. As we approached the furthest red buoy, two reels screamed. I grabbed the quieter of the two reels and my wife took the louder one. I made quick work of a 5ish lb king then went over and gaffed my wife's 7.7lber. We continued to troll in with only a small spanish to show for our efforts.

We came back to the marina and took my wife's fish by car to be weighed. Her 1.7lb spanish was momentarily on the board. The 13.5lb wahoo was the first and only wahoo weighed in the open division. With the points from her wahoo and king, she was at the top of the pelagic big four.

We then went back to the marina to clean the fish, rods, and start on the boat cleaning. After we got home and changed, we decided to go watch the last hour of the weigh-in to see if my wife would remain on the board. There was a scare when a 28lb wahoo came to the scales, but it was landed by a junior angler and thus didn't count in the open division or pelagic big four. As the scales closed, my wife's name was still there. It was her first wahoo and her first rodeo. I'm very proud of her effort and success.
 

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The Boondoggle had top red snapper in both division!

Congratulations on the win! We decided to snapper fish on the Boondoggle with the season extension. We took first place on the Open and Junior division on the red snapper! Had a blast fishing with the kids. Lauren Ashmore that won the open division is 21 year old college student and this was her first offshore trip and my nephew Wade Segrest who is 9 won the junior division. Left a much better taste in my mouth after the Florabama Tournament. I'm proud to be a member at Grand lagoon at what they do putting on this tournament.
 

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Great job this was the first year in several my son lost red snapper his was 17 .6lbs didn't see you guys at the award cerimony figured you were snapper fishing.We still had another awesome year great rodeo for sure
 

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No we didn't stay for the ceremony. Would have been fun but we live north of Montgomery and that would have put us pretty late getting back and we were all wore out from fishing. Congratulations to your son. He was only 3 ounces short and had the biggest of the day on the friday weigh in!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd like to thank everyone that put on the rodeo. It was very well organized and executed. The awards flowed well and didn't ramble on for hours like they sometimes can do. There were several categories without fish weighed in. I encourage you to participate next year and claim some of those awards.
 
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