July 19-22 Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo on Dauphin Isle is largest in the world
Event includes music from Mulligans, Wes Loper, Rollin’ In The Hay, Winston Ramble
The 85th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo will be held July 19-22 on Dauphin Island. The ADSFR is a 3-day Captain’s Choice tournament and a Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) sanctioned event with a total awards package valued up to one million dollars in cash and prizes and anchored by a boat, motor, and trailer packages.
The 3-day event features 30 categories with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in all categories. One Master Angler is also awarded along with cash prizes for King Mackerel, Speckled Trout and Big Game Jackpots.
The ADSFR has donated over $275,000 to the University of South Alabama Department of Marine Sciences and annually funds academic scholarships.
Festivities kick-off at the Rodeo site with the annual Liar’s Contest on Thursday, July 19 at 6 p.m. Rodeo ticket holders can participate in the competition by telling their best, or worst, fish tale. A distinguished panel of invited judges will determine the winners. Live music by Rollin’ In Thbe Hay will follow.
The weigh station will be operating from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Fishing will begin with a ceremonial cannon blast on Friday, July 20 at 5 a.m. and will conclude with an additional ceremonial cannon blast on Sunday, July 22 at 5 p.m.
Bands will play all weekend on the stage at the rodeo’s home base at 531 Lemoyne Dr., located 2.5 miles from the Daulphin Island ferry landing. There is no admission, and refreshments, including beer, will be served.
The rodeo, a Project of the Mobile Jaycees, is the largest fishing tournament in the world. Founded in 1929, it now attracts over 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators. Tickets for the ADSFR 0pen competition are $50 per angler. Options are also available for a speckled trout and kick mackeral jackpots. For tourney or ticket info, call (251) 471-0025 or visit adsfr.com.
In the sultry summer of 1928, a party of Mobile businessmen were sliding through the tides of Mobile Bay, their fishing lines stretched for that elusive Big One. Surprisingly, the Big One struck. But the catch was no hard-fighting fish, it was a simple, but grand idea of organizing a competitive fishing tournament. The first rodeo in 1929 was such a success that Quinn suggested an association be formed to perpetuate the contest on an annual basis. The first competitive fishing event in America to be dubbed a rodeo had hosted (at the time) a staggering 260 widely enthusiastic sports fishermen.
The first rodeo ticket was $5 and covered sleeping quarters and special prizes. Meals were a la carte seafood delicacies. Also, because a fast news service was needed to transmit news of daily catches to town, carrier pigeons were pressed into service.
In earlier years Fort Gaines Pier headquartered the Rodeo. A boat ride was the only transportation to the island. Rodeo brochures boasted, “There’s a fish for everybody at the rodeo and they bite as a matter of civic pride.”
Nineteen years later, in 1948, the Mobile Junior Chamber of Commerce, and subsequently the Mobile Jaycees, assumed leadership of a rodeo which had grown too grand to be staged every year by interested individuals alone.
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo continues to be conservation minded in all its efforts with the input from Dr. Bob Shipp regarding the state of the fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fishing Rodeo Weekend Schedule
Thursday July 19
6pm: Captains Meeting
6pm: Mossy Oak Liar’s Contest
7:30pm: Rollin’ in the Hay
Friday July 20
4pm: Blues N Trouble
7:30pm: The Molly Ringwalds
Saturday July 21
3:30pm: Prime Country
5pm: The Red Clay Strays
Sunday July 22
12pm: Hunter Landry
3pm: Keith the Mailman Burns &
the Back Pew Riders