Ding-A-Ling Cobia Tournament at Boathouse Marina has a big day 1

The second annual Ding-A-Ling Cobia Tournament at the Boathouse Oyster Bar and Marina got off to a good start on Monday with two big fish on the board.

Before most people had even had their breakfast, Captain Tyler Brielmayer and his guys on Nothin Matters were already hooked up with a big, 77.2-pound cobia.

Brielmayer said they were fishing about 15 miles west of Destin when he spotted a huge manta ray from his tower with about four cobia hanging around.

Just then, her deckhand Jesse Vonderosten sprang into action and threw an eel. Vonderosten said the eel swam in and when the cobia grabbed it, “the line tore off my finger…it was a fucking slob.”

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After hanging it, he handed the cane to Stephen O’Brien who was on deck.

“He lasted about 15 more minutes. He was going straight south… he stayed deep. It was epic,” O’Brien said.

They had the cobia on board at 7:30 a.m. and decided to look for more.

Brielmayer said they found another, about 50+ pounds, but lost it.

BJ Teems and Deric Cantz carry a cobia on the Hound Dog's back.  The cobia caught by Teems weighed in at 56.8 pounds and was the second biggest of the day on day one of the tournament.

The second largest cobia to hit the scales on Monday was the 56.8-pounder caught by BJ Teems on the Hound Dog with captain Taylor Waterfield.

Waterfield said they also fish west of Destin. Waterfield said he saw three, but the one they carried was the largest.

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Using an eel as bait, Teems hooked the cobia and put it in the boat at 1:30 p.m. Teems said the cobia put up a good fight.

“He was fighting for his life and I was fighting for dinner,” Teems said.

After putting the fish in the boat, they fished some more and found two more cobias, but they both weighed around 25 pounds, Teems said, noting that they had left them swimming.

The crew aboard the Hound Dog with Captain Taylor Waterfield brought in the second largest cobia on day one of the Ding-A-Ling Cobia Tournament at the Boathouse Marina.  From left to right are Captain Waterfield, Deric Cantz, BJ Teems and Billy Teems.  The cobia weighed 56.8 pounds.

Nothin Matters weighed in shortly after the scales opened at 4pm at the Boathouse Marina. Hound Dog backed up at the marina a little after 6 p.m. The scales were open until 8 p.m.

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“I was delighted to be able to weigh three fish on the first day. That was already half of what was weighed last year,” said Amber Helton, weigher and event planner for the Boathouse.

“The first fish weighed and caught on the Nothin Matters was bigger than the big ling last year…so we already have a record heavy fish for the Ding-A-Ling,” Helton said.

The weigher and event organizer at the Boathouse Oyster Bar and Marina fills out the leaderboard on day one of the Ding-A-Ling Cobia Tournament.

The third fish she weighed landed on the Always Tight, but it wasn’t big enough to plank. Minimum weight is 45 pounds unless they jig it. If they catch the cobia on a jig, it must be the minimum size for their vessel, 33 inches for state and 36 inches for federal boats. The winner of this division will win a rod made by Johnny King and Nick Shores.

The Ding-A-Ling Tournament runs until April 17 with the scales open from 4-8 p.m. every day except Sunday, when the scales are open from 4-7 p.m. with a prize-giving night following.

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