Annual Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo 2017

A Different Kind of Rodeo

Family Fishing

It’s that time of year again when anglers get ready for the largest saltwater fishing tournament in the nation. The 84th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR), set for July 21-23, attracts more than 3,000 anglers to coastal Alabama.

The weekend preceding the ADSFR, the kids get to enjoy a day of fishing at the Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament, which give about 2,000 youngsters the opportunity to catch a vast array of species that inhabit the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast.

For the big rodeo, Orange Beach will again be the site for captain’s meetings for the Raymarine Big Game Jackpot, the Jesco King Mackerel Jackpot and the ADSFR Catch & Release Shark category. The Catch & Release Shark meeting is set for Thursday, July 20 at 5 p.m. at J&M Tackle in Orange Beach and the ADSFR site on Dauphin Island for a mandatory sign-out. The King Mackerel Jackpot sign-out will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at J&M and Dauphin Island, while the Big Game Jackpot will hold its meeting also at 6 p.m. at the two above locations. If the participant or representative is unable to attend the captain’s meeting, a mandatory sign-out is required at the ADSFR site for the Big Game Jackpot, King Mackerel Jackpot, ADSFR Catch and Release Shark category and optional cash prize divisions and must be completed by a boat representative prior to the official rodeo starting time of 5 a.m. Friday, July 21.

For the Young Anglers

The Roy Martin event, named for the late longtime rodeo judge, will be held July 15 at Dauphin Island, and the young anglers will be able to weigh in several species that aren’t on the regular rodeo list. The young anglers can catch sea robins, croakers, hardhead catfish, spadefish, oysterfish, pinfish and whiting.

The rodeo officials want to give the kids every opportunity to weigh any species of fish that might be caught along the Gulf to be able to get a free hot dog, drink and ice cream. The rodeo also has a “most unusual” category to ensure that any fish the kids catch can be presented at the weigh-in station.

At the big rodeo the following weekend, anglers will compete in 30 categories, 15 inshore and 15 offshore.

There is also a Speckled Trout Jackpot, sponsored by Yamaha Outboards, War Eagle Boats and Gulf Shores Power Sports. The speckled trout anglers will fish in two divisions – motorized and non-motorized. With the increased participation in kayak fishing, the ADSFR added a way for those anglers to compete.

Springhill Medical Center will again sponsor the Live Weigh-In competition for speckled trout and redfish at the Dauphin Island site. The Live Weigh-In has been a popular addition to the rodeo and numerous trout and redfish have successfully been measured and released to the wild.

Tickets are available at the usual outlets as well as online.

The rodeo will continue the special prize category started last year for lionfish. Rodeo anglers are urged to bring as many of the invasive species to the weigh dock as possible. Lionfish, which threatens the Gulf Coast ecosystem because it has almost no natural predators, are rarely caught on hook and line, so the rodeo made lionfish a spear-fishing category, and the winner will be decided by the number of fish brought in instead of the largest lionfish caught.

Young Boy holding fish

Tickets are available at the usual outlets as well as online.

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David Rainer Blogger
David Rainer (1 Posts)
David Rainer has written about the great outdoors on the Alabama Gulf Coast for more than 20 years. For 14 of those years, he covered the many fishing opportunities on the Gulf Coast as outdoors…