Welcome to the 87th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the world’s largest annual fishing tournament, and a project of the Mobile Jaycees. On behalf of our Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Advisors and Committee Members, I would like to thank each of you for reading this message because you have played a part in making this tournament possible.
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo started in 1929 as a fishing tournament. Year after year, we look to grow the event and look for ways to improve. This year has been a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, our mindset changed from “How do we make this bigger and better?” to “How do we make sure this event goes on?”. There were a lot of unknown factors, questions that we didn’t have answers to, and planning that needed to be done. In May, the Board of Directors made possibly the toughest but wisest decision that they have ever had to make in regard to the tournament. The safety of our anglers, spectators, sponsors and members are of utmost importance to us. We are a fishing tournament first and foremost, and this year that is exactly what we will be. There will be no Liar’s Contest, no sponsor tent and no live music. The rodeo site will be open daily for spectators to purchase merchandise, watch fish being weighed in, see the boats and watch a gorgeous Dauphin Island sunset.
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has been committed to the conservation of marine resources, and this past year was no exception. Thanks to last year’s tournament proceeds, a donation of $25,000 was made to the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama to fund graduate-level scholarships. The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has been able to donate nearly $400,000 to the University of South Alabama Department of Marine Sciences over the past years, and we look forward to furthering our relationship with the University this year as well.
I cannot thank the members for their continued support and commitment during a very different year, including the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Past Presidents, Advisors and Committee Members. Everyone has worked tirelessly throughout the year to ensure a safe and successful event.
We have made a few changes this year in an effort to broaden our angler reach. Like last year, all Cash Prize and Jackpot tickets will be available for purchase online. There will be no Captain’s Meeting or Sign Outs for any of the Jackpots. These changes mean that anglers will only be required to make the trip to the Rodeo Site to weigh in their catch. With conservation in mind and new regulations surrounding Speckled Trout, there have been changes regarding this species within the tournament, and I encourage all anglers to read the rules for changes surrounding this fish. If you have any questions regarding these changes, feel free to reach out. We will be having a virtual Q&A session via Facebook Live on Thursday July 16th. Additionally, we will be adding a Blackfish aka “Tripletail” cash prize division.
Everyone wants to win the BIG prize every year and this year is no different. One lucky angler will win the largest boat that we have ever given away in ADSFR history, thanks to long-time sponsor Contender Boats. This year’s boat is a 2020 25’ Contender Bay Boat, powered by a 250hp Yamaha SHO motor and Sport Trail Trailer. To be entered into the random drawing for this prize, an angler must weigh in one fish in any of our 30 open competition categories. The winner of the Speckled Trout Jackpot random drawing will take home a 90hp Yamaha SHO motor. New for this year is the Seakeeper & Saunders Marine Random Jackpot Drawing. This drawing is for all participants that weigh in a fish in any of our jackpots, and the prize will include a brand new Seakeeper One and installation by Saunders Marine.
I would like to thank all the anglers, sponsors and volunteers for their continued support of the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo over the past 87 years. Special thanks to our President’s Sponsors, including Contender Boats, Yamaha Motors, Raymarine, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Coca-Cola, Fishing Chaos, CraneWorks, HBT Smokers, iHeartMedia, Seakeeper, and Saunders Marine. I would also like to thank our friends in the local media: Sean Sullivan of FM Talk 106.5, Alan White with WNSP 105.5, Shelby with 95KSJ, iHeartRadio, Southern View Media, WZEW, FOX10, NBC15, and WKRG. Thanks to our fellow Jaycee projects, The Grounds / The Greater Gulf State Fair and The Azalea Trail Maids, and the Mobile Jaycees for their ongoing support. I would especially like to thank the Town of Dauphin Island, including the Town Council, Chief Kym Claw and the Police Department, the Public Works Department and Mayor Jeff Collier.
Lastly, I would like to thank my amazing family. My wife, Kayla, has stood by me and been my biggest supporter during this year as president. She has listened, helped, and offered insight on anything that I have thrown her way. My daughter, Addie, has listened to numerous phone calls in the car, and honestly, I think she is more excited that her dad is president than I am. I would also like to thank my parents Jimmy and Terri; they have shaped me into the man that I am and instilled qualities that have helped me get here today. I love you all and thank you for all for your support.
Finally, I hope that all anglers will continue to uphold the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo’s rules and regulations to the highest standard. Without this code of ethics, our tournament would not be where it is today. I wish all anglers safe passage, calm seas, great fishing and lasting memories for your trip during the 87th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.