Fellow Anglers and Rodeo Supporters,
It is with great honor and pleasure that I welcome you to the 84th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the world’s largest annual fishing tournament. On behalf of our Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Advisors, Committee Members, and our families, I would like to thank each of you for reading this message because you have played a part in making this tournament possible.
As I mark 12 years of participation in this wonderful organization, I reflect on how this tournament has changed in that time. I have seen many young men and women come through this organization and grow into outstanding community members, parents, and leaders. I have also witnessed change from within our tournament, as well as our fisheries, and yet the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo continues to grow and improve. I look back on all of the time the Past Presidents have dedicated to this organization and I am proud to continue in their footsteps.
One of the main goals of the 84th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is to continue our conservation efforts. Returning will be the Live Weigh-In for Speckled Trout and Redfish, Catch and Release Tarpon, Catch and Release Shark, and newly added Catch and Release Billfish. Special thanks to both the Mobile County Sheriff’s Flotilla for use of the 1400 gallon tank used in the live weigh-in, and to Guy Harvey and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation for support of the Shark Catch and Release category. Through this we hope to improve the fisheries in the northern Gulf of Mexico so future generations can enjoy them as we do today.
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo remains committed to the conservation of marine resources and giving back to the Mobile Community. We will continue to fund multiple graduate level scholarships for the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama. Over the years, the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has donated in excess of $250,000 to the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama.
Our anglers will also notice a significant change when weighing their catch. The 84th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has partnered with Fishing Chaos, and Southern Light, to modernize our weigh-in process. We feel these changes will not only help speed up the weigh-in process, but also allow for better communication with our anglers.
The Rodeo Executive Committee has worked for an entire year, attended more than 24 meetings, and spent countless hours away from their families and friends to produce this event. Our prize package is anchored by a 22' Contender boat, Yamaha motor, and trailer package; awarded through a random drawing of all anglers who weigh in a legal fish during the ADSFR. Special thanks to Contender Boats for their continued support, and for 19 years of ADSFR sponsorship.
The addition of our Cash Prize Division has been a huge success. Anglers will again be able to compete for cash in the Big Game, King Mackerel, and Speckled Trout divisions. We hope to continue to grow the cash prize division during the 84th tournament by encouraging all anglers to take the competition to a higher level.
This year we have continued our tradition of giving back to the community and supporting science education through donations to The University of South Alabama Marine Sciences Department, The American Cancer Society, The Billfish Foundation, and the Mobile Jaycees Christmas Shopping Tour. We look forward to funding the Mobile Jaycees Children's Shopping Tour, with the proceeds from the Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament. This project provides local children the opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts for their families.
I would like to thank all the anglers, sponsors, and volunteers for their steadfast support of the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo throughout the past 84 years. Special thanks to our major sponsors including, Contender Boats, Yamaha Motor Corp., McConnell Automotive, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Springhill Medical Center, Fishing Chaos, Southern Light, First Community Bank, Costa Del Mar, Raymarine, Bayou Ice Box, CocaCola, Exxon-Mobil, Jesco, The Grounds, and The Mobile Jaycees for their continued support. I would also like to thank our friends in the local media: Sean Sullivan of FM Talk 106.5, iHeart Radio, WNSP, WZEW, WKSJ, WALA, WPMI, and WKRG. We would also like to wish a happy retirement to Wayne Gardner. Wayne has been a longtime supporter of the ADSFR, and spent many years in the Mobile area media family. Finally, I would like to thank the Town of Dauphin Island, The Town Council, Police Department, Public Works Department, and Mayor Jeff Collier.
In our effort to continue to expand the greatest fishing tournament in the world, we are continuing the Rodeo Music Fest featuring local and regional artists. The First Community Bank stage will host such acts as The Mulligan Brothers and Rollin in the Hay, along with many other local artists.
I hope all anglers will continue to uphold the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo rules and regulations to the highest standard. Without a code of ethics, our tournament would not be what it is today. I wish all anglers safe passage, great fishing, and lasting memories for your trip during the 84th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.
Van W. Sims
President – 84th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo