Destin Boat Captain gets his win at the ECBC

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 9:49 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -Jeff Shoults of Destin, and his Destin based boat “Mollie” caught the winning blue in the ECBC, and for Shoults, that’s been a long time coming.

Shoults and his boat “Mollie” have been a part of all 18 billfish tournaments at Sandestin, his “hometown” fishing tournament.

With angler Wes Long of Guntersville, northeast of Birminham in the chair, Jeff and the “Mollie” crew hauled in a 660.4 pound blue Marlin Friday, then weighing that fish in at the scale Saturday afternoon at the Baytowne Marina.

It turned out to be the biggest fish caught in the tournament, with one exception, a fish that was disqualified because of the way it had to be caught.

So the fish off “Mollie” won first place and that fish netting 446 grand, and with third place in catch and release, Shoults and the Mollie crew received 514 thousand dollars in the tournament.

This the first time Shoults, has won the event!

“I got to weigh a fish in my home town, I’ve won the Sandestin tournament! Thank God I can finally say I”ve got that monkey off my back.” Jeff told me Saturday night, just before the awards ceremony at the scale. “When you get that bite it’s exhilarating. And then of course when you see the fish as big as the one we caught, it jumps up another level. And then when we’re back over the top of her, and she’s thirty or forty feet down and you can see here, and you know she’s the one, she’s gonna win, it just jumps another level.” Jeff said.

And not until the fish is actually on the back of the boat does everyone’s heart slow down just a bit, the captain told me.

“There’s 100 thoughts that go through your head. Is the hook gonna hold? Is the leader going to hold? Is he going to pull too hard? There’s so many thousands of things that go through your head. And luckily with a great crew you don’t have to worry about that they’ve got it all under control. It was just exhilarating. The level of adrenaline, I really don’t know what you could compare it to. I have no idea, it’s so exhilarating, so exhilarating.”

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