The Destin Fishing Rodeo,  A Genuine Destin Tradition


The Destin Fishing Rodeo was founded way back in  May of 1948 by longstanding Destin founding families bearing both the Marler and Melvin last name. Originally, it ran during the month of May, but was later moved towards the end of the tourist season, and now starts on the 1st of October. This was an effort to extend our tourist season here and allow local business to gain some more time to make great memories, inspire awesome fishing stories and of course stimulate the local economy. Who would’ve thought that would be one of the most important and impacting decisions they ever made. In 2006 the Tourist Development Council estimated that the Destin Fishing Rodeo was directly responsible for generating over 5 Million dollars! It’s no wonder there is so much buzz around town this time of year.


Today,  Anglers who participate in the Destin Fishing Rodeo can expect  to win cash, high quality rods & reels, weekend getaway packages and lots of other unique and highly sought after prizes. In the early years the prizes were a bit more practical. Back in 1950, the top prizes included Land in Destin, Kitchen appliances, windshield wipers and even Beer.


For many, the most exciting part of the whole event is the daily weigh-ins hosted by Destin’s wandering Weighmaster Bruce Cheves, which happen on the docks behind Aj’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. Destin Charter Fishing Boats come in throughout the day between 10 a.m and 7 p.m. to present their prized catches.There’s stadium style seating down below and plenty of room to stand around to watch all of the action. This is a great opportunity to enjoy some of the best food and cocktails Destin has to offer while admiring the record setting catches these Charter Boat Captains, crew and anglers work so hard to get.

The Wandering Weighmaster

If there was ever both an inspirational and motivating quote associated with Destin’s rich heritage, it has to be “Bring me a fish and I’ll make you famous”. These words spoken with unmeasured enthusiasm by Destin’s own Wandering Weighmaster, Bruce Cheves, who invites anyone with any fish they’ve caught to gain instant notoriety by simply bringing it to him down on the rodeo dock. Like any great host, Bruce welcomes incoming charter boats and their anglers to step up onto the dock for an official weigh in and a snapshot of their catch with The current year’s Miss Destin, who so happens to be Miss Rachel McMullen for 2017.

Since 1991, Bruce has been a huge part of The Destin Fishing Rodeo bringing education, enthusiasm and a comedic twist to those who watch him host this magical and historical event.

Since his first weigh in here in Destin, He’s weighed over Twenty World Record fish. Such a great example of one person having a positive impact on the whole world.

Annual Seafood Festival  

There’s nothing that better compliments the start of the Destin Fishing Rodeo quite like the Destin Seafood Festival. Beginning the first weekend in October, The Destin Seafood Festival gives attendees a unique way to experience all of Destin’s local history all at once. Live music, awesome food, shopping and kids activities are just some of the many things this unique and history rich festival has to offer. For more information You can check out the


If you’re looking for a way to experience Destin Florida, look no further than Both the Destin Fishing Rodeo and the Destin Seafood Festival. For more information on these events, follow the links below. If you’re interested in booking a charter fishing trip In Destin, Florida, be sure to give Destin Fishing Company Charters a call at (850) 865-6250 or send us a message with our Contact Form.

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