Now here’s something we all take for granted here in Alabama: Did you know that our coastline is home to the world’s largest fishing tournament?
Yes, you read that right—the world.
Ever since 1929, anglers from all over have gathered along Alabama’s Gulf Coast for the annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR). And ever since 2011, it’s been officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest fishing tournament.
Whether you’re a serious sportfisherman or just a committed spectator, you’re in for a fun weekend at the ADSFR on Dauphin Island.
“The rodeo is an incredible recreational fishing event,” said Chris Blankenship, acting commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and program administrator for the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. “It really shows what a great fishery we have here in coastal Alabama. The variety and size of both inshore and offshore species that come across the weigh station scales is truly amazing.”
July 21-23 will beckon more than 3,000 anglers and more than 75,000 spectators for one of the most fantastic fishing events you’ll ever witness.
Anglers will compete in 30 different categories, including fantastic fish like Marlin, Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, Speckled Trout, King Mackerel, Shark, and more, including the Big Game Jackpots.
“If you can only come one day, I suggest coming Sunday afternoon,” Blankenship said. “All the big boats that have stayed out for three days come in Sunday afternoon with some very impressive catches.”
What’s at stake? More than $1 million in cash and prizes.
Not all of those registration fees go to the winners, though—the ADSFR has donated more than $200,000 toward academic scholarships at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
Additionally, as in years past, conservation will be a key topic at this year’s event.
“I really like where the rodeo is headed on the conservation front,” Blankenship said. “I know many spectators liked seeing the big sharks hanging on a pole at the weigh in, but killing them like that is not the right thing to do. I agree with the switch to video catch and release for sharks and tarpon. The live weigh in for spotted sea trout and red drum, two of Alabama’s prized gamefish, also sends a clear conservation message. The fisheries research at the rodeo by the University of South Alabama really helps with our understanding of the resource.”
There’ll be plenty of activities throughout the weekend if you’ll be on dry land, including free live music from bands like Rolling In The Hay, The Mulligan Brothers, Winston Ramble, and more.
Whether you’re a regular or thinking of coming for the first time, join us next weekend for the 84th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo—and grab some Alabama Gulf Seafood along the way!