13 winners crowned on last day of Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

149-pound stingray at fishing rodeo

Phillip Ladner of Waveland describes his catch that took over 1st place at the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo in Gulfport.
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Phillip Ladner of Waveland describes his catch that took over 1st place at the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo in Gulfport.

The final day of the 70th Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo on Tuesday was punctuated by 13 winners. Tuesday’s winners were in the following categories: barracuda, bonita, dolphin, gar, jack crevalle, pompano, red snapper, sheepshead, speckled trout, stingray and tuna in the salt water division; Bream and Catfish in the freshwater division.

The 23-pound, 9-ounce red snapper was brought in by Jarrod Davis of Hurley with five minutes remaining in the rodeo. His first-place red snapper was caught about 60 miles south of Gulfport.

“We were actually catching king mackerel, chumming a little bit,” Davis said. “He swam up eating up all the chum. I had an old hard tail laying in the bottom of the boat, and I hooked him, put him out there, and he sucked him up. I fought him for about 30 minutes and it was over.

“It was awesome.”

His fishing partner, Mark Gros, also brought in a winner Tuesday in the form of a 24-pound, 12-ounce barracuda.

“We pulled up to the rig, and we were catching bait,” said Gros. “The barracuda came up and ate one of the bait. So I put a wire leader on, caught another bait and hooked him on the wire leader.

“It’s a great rodeo,” Gros summed up the impressions of many of the fishermen and women who participated in this year’s rodeo. “We always enjoy it. I know we’ve been fishing it for at least ten years.”

Logan Terwilliger of Gulfport caught the 84-pound, 8-ounce winning tuna 105 miles south of Gulfport. He said the catch was different from anything else he has experienced.

“The bite was real slow,” said Terwilliger. “It was awesome. I was shaking. I didn’t know what to do. I was freaking out. It was the biggest tuna I’ve ever caught.”

A familiar name showed up on the leaderboard in the catfish category: Charlie Yarberry, nicknamed “Catfish Charlie.” Either Yarberry or a family has brought in the winning catfish for 10 consecutive years. He said last week’s rain made their search for the winning fish tough.

“I was beginning to lose faith cause we fished the Mobile River, and you’ve got thousands and thousands of acres of water when it’s 10 feet above normal,” said Yarberry. “It’s tough. You’ve got to figure out where the big guy is and how you’re going to catch him.

“We found a little bitty slew running out of the woods into the river,” he added. “I said that’s it right there. I said that’s where we’re going to get him right there. We caught both of our fish on a little old line that wasn’t thirty foot long in the mouth of that slew that water wasn’t four feet deep.”

Other final day rodeo winners included Gary Mays of Vancleave who won in two categories with a 29-pound, 11-ounce Jack Crevalle and a 7-pound, 3-ounce speckled trout; Nicole Kuehn of Ocean Springs brought in an 11-pound, 11-ounce bonita; John McMahan of Biloxi brought in a 15-pound, 4-ounce dolphin; Dennis Adams of D’Iberville brought in a 91-pound, 13-ounce gar; Gulfport’s Jaron Hoda caught a 3-pound, 8-ounce pompano; Kelly Schupp of Ocean Springs caught a 6-pound sheepshead; and Waveland’s Philip Ladner’s rounded out the Salt Water division winners with a 149-pound, 9-ounce stingray.

Haley Smith of Saucier joined Yarberry in the final day rodeo winners in the Fresh Water division with a 1-pound, 11-ounce Bream.

In the Most Unusual Fish category, Sherman Roberts of Biloxi brought in a pending rodeo record with a 3-pound, 2-ounce Gulf toadfish, bringing the pending record count to two fish. The other is the 356-pound, 14-ounce bull shark brought in by Brett Rutledge of Mobile on Monday.

Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo


Salt Water

  • Barracuda, 24 pounds, 12 ounces: Mark Ros, Pascagoula
  • Black drum, 41 pounds, 12 ounces: David McGill, Pass Christian
  • Black fish, 15 pounds, 4 ounces: Robert Hall, Pass Christian
  • Blue fish, 2 pounds, 10 ounces: Jordan Mathews, Biloxi
  • Bonita, 11 pounds, 11 ounces: Nicole Kuehn, Ocean Springs
  • Dolphin, 15 pounds, 4 ounces: John McMahan, Biloxi
  • Flounder, 3 pounds, 13 ounces: Joshua Meeker, Gulfport
  • Gar, 11 pounds, 13 ounces: Dennis Adams, D'Iberville
  • Jack Crevalle, 29 pounds, 11 ounces: Gary Mays, Vancleave
  • King mackerel, 35 pounds, 12 ounces: Jordan Mathews, Biloxi
  • Lemon fish, 58 pounds, 11 ounces: Walter Watts, Satsuma, Ala.
  • Mangrove snapper, 17 pounds, 5 ounces: Brett Rutledge, Mobile
  • Pompano, 3 pounds, 8 ounces: Jaron Hoda, Gulfport
  • Red fish, 33 pounds, 9 ounces: David Saucier, Gufport
  • Red snapper, 23 pounds, 9 ounces: Jarrod Davis, Pascagoula
  • Sheepshead, 6 pounds: Kelly Schupp, Ocean Springs
  • Shark (bullshark), 354 pounds, 4 ounces (pending record): Brett Rutledge, Mobile
  • Spanish mackerel, 3 pounds, 7 ounces: Dustin McGill, Gulfport
  • Speckled trout, 7 pounds, 3 ounces: Gary Mays, Vancleave
  • Stingray, 149 pounds, 9 ounces: Philip Ladner, Waveland
  • Tuna, 84 pounds, 8 ounces: Logan Terwilliger, Gulfport

Fresh Water

  • Bream, 1 pound, 11 ounces: Haley Smith, Saucier
  • Catfish, 42 pounds, 10 ounces: Charlie Yarberry, Moss Point
  • Crappie, 2 pounds, 5 ounces: Mike Babuchna, Vancleave
  • Green trout, 8 pounds, 5 ounces: Lee Johnson, Saucier
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