Officials with the 83rd annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo aren’t satisfied with being known as the largest fishing tournament on the planet according to Guinness World Records. This project of the Mobile Jaycees has bigger plans for the July 14-17 event on Dauphin Island.
Rodeo organizers are looking for an increased turnout. They have expanded the catch-and-release shark and speckled trout divisions by including catch-and-release redfish.
“Last year’s live weigh-in was such a success, we decided we would open it up to everybody instead of just the jackpot participants,” Richard Rutland, the ADSFR president, told the media. “And the prize money is a lot better for the live weigh-in category thanks to Springhill Medical Center. First place gets $2,000, while second place gets $750 and $250 for third. The live weigh-in for redfish will be a mirror image of speckled trout with the same prize money.”
Activities start Thursday, July 14, with the always-entertaining Liar’s Contest at 6:30 p.m. Rodeo ticket holders can participate by telling their best — or worst — fish tale. A “distinguished” panel of invited judges will determine the winners.
Anglers can wet their hooks the next day starting at 5 a.m., and can continue through Sunday at 5 p.m. The weigh station will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, plus 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Red snapper is on the rodeo category list with the season open in Alabama state waters out to nine miles. Triggerfish is not on the list because that season is closed until July 31.
Rodeo officials claim the ADSFR normally attracts more than 3,100 anglers, who compete in 30 categories for nearly $400,000 in cash and prizes. The rodeo has donated more than $200,000 to marine research and scholarships to the University of South Alabama’s Department of Marine Sciences over the last decade.
• The 58th annual Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament, sponsored by Exxon-Mobil, will be this Saturday, July 9. The weigh station will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the tournament beginning at 5 a.m. This event is open to those 15 years old and younger.
Every angler who weighs in a fish will receive a pair of tickets to a Mobile BayBears game, a hot dog, a bag of potato chips, a soft drink and an ice cream. All of the proceeds go to the annual Children’s Christmas Shopping Tour sponsored by the Mobile Jaycees.
The awards ceremony for the ADSFR will be Monday, July 18, at The Grounds (1035 Cody Road N. in Mobile) starting at 6 p.m. All competitors in the Open Competition who weigh in a legal fish will be entered into a drawing for a 22-foot Contender boat outfitted with a trailer and a Yamaha outboard.
In addition to the Open Competition, anglers also may enter any of these jackpots:
• The Raymarine Big Game Jackpot pays cash for the largest tuna (yellowfin or blackfin), dolphin fish, wahoo and swordfish. A Cash Prize Division adds blue marlin to the big game species. In addition, there will be two random drawings among all anglers who enter a fish in the Big Game jackpot for a Raymarine electronics unit and Team Simco boat lift;
• The Pronto Pawn King Mackerel Jackpot pays cash for first through 10th place with a top prize of $8,000 based on 100 entries. Second through 10th place payouts are based on the number of entries. There will be a random drawing among all anglers who enter a fish in the King jackpot for a 2015 Kymco 300 ATV;
• The Yamaha Speckled Trout Jackpot pays cash for first through 10th place with a top prize of $6,000 based on 600 entries. There will be a random drawing for a Yamaha motor among all anglers who enter a legal fish.
There is a mandatory captain’s meeting and sign-out for all boats entered in the Raymarine Big Game Jackpot, Pronto Pawn King Mackerel Jackpot and Guy Harvey Catch-and-Release Shark. The meeting and sign-out will be at the ADSFR site on Dauphin Island or J&M Tackle in Orange Beach on Thursday, July 14, at 5 p.m.
Anglers wishing to purchase tickets may do so at the following locations: Academy Sports and Outdoors (Festival Center, West Mobile, Foley); Quint’s Hardware & Sporting Goods; Souther-n-Bama Bait & Tackle; Greer’s Food Store; Sportsman’s Marine; Blue Water Ships Store; J&M Tackle; Pronto Pawn; Tackle This, Shoot That; and the ADSFR rodeo site.
Ticket prices are as follows: Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament (15 and younger) is $3 per angler; ADSFR Open Competition ticket is $40 per angler; Raymarine Big Game Jackpot is $250 per boat; Pronto Pawn King Mackerel Jackpot — Open Division — is $200 per boat; Yamaha Speckled Trout Jackpot is $25 per angler; and Guy Harvey Catch-and-Release Shark is $150 per boat. Tickets will be available online at www.adsfr.com.
Rodeo officials have partnered with the Dauphin Island Music Festival to provide the main stage for the event. The music festival is free of charge and open to the public. One change to this year’s rodeo weekend is that spectators will not be allowed to bring alcohol or coolers onsite for the rodeo events.
For a listing of musical acts or for more information on the fishing tournament, please visit www.ADSFR.com.
Volleyball returns to the Gulf
Gulf Shores has become well known for its beach volleyball. The NCAA even selected the town to host its inaugural women’s collegiate tournament in May.
The Gulf Coast Region Volleyball Association is playing its Beach Series Grand Championships on Saturday, July 9, at the West Main Public Beach. The field is open to boys’ and girls’ teams from ages 12 to 25. The brackets could include up to 544 teams.
Action is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, please visit www.gulfshores.com/sports or www.gulfcoastvolleyball.org.
Summer tennis time
Registration has begun for U.S. Tennis Association leagues in Mobile. Players may sign up through July 19 for Mixed Doubles 18-and-over leagues and Mixed Doubles 40-and-over play.
USTA offers programs throughout the year that vary by gender, age and skill level. Formats also vary with singles, doubles and mixed doubles available.