By DAVID RAINER
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
The big show will be back for the 88th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR), scheduled July 15-18 at the rodeo site on Dauphin Island.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased, a long weekend of fun, fishing and entertainment awaits those who venture to Alabama’s barrier island for the event that attracts more than 3,800 anglers to the state’s fertile waters and Gulf of Mexico.
“We’re very much looking forward to it,” said Ryan Schumann, 2021 Rodeo president. “That’s not to say I’m not proud of everything we accomplished last year. Being in the middle of COVID, we were still able to put on a fishing tournament and have right at 3,800 anglers.
“But we’re looking forward to getting back to the full of it. What that means is a sponsorship tent with our vendors to allow our sponsors to interact with the spectators. I’m looking forward most to getting back to the entertainment, having spectators and having people at the event outside of just our anglers.”
Schumann said one aspect of the ADSFR he really appreciates is that it exemplifies what Dauphin Island is about – community fellowship, fun and entertainment.
“It’s an annual event that everybody looks forward to and comes together to participate,” he said. “People from out of town who have family at Dauphin Island always come to town for the rodeo. I’ve got friends who grew up on Dauphin Island and moved away. But the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is a signature event that they always come back for. The rodeo has always been a label for the community, a staple for the community.
“We are happy that people will be able to see the culture on Dauphin Island. I’m excited that we will see people out and about, having fun again.”
Rodeo festivities kick off on Thursday, July 15, with the Captain T-Bone’s Liars Contest at 6 p.m., followed by music from Yellowhammer, featuring former Major League Baseball Cy Young winner Jake Peavy. The music theme this year is “Reelin’ in the Years” with 70s music on Thursday, 80s music on Friday and 90s music on Saturday.
Fishing begins at 5 a.m. on Friday, July 16, with the traditional cannon blast. The weigh station will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The musical entertainment will start at 7:30 p.m. with The Molly Ringwalds.
Mustache, The Band will be Saturday’s entertainment at 5 p.m. The weigh station will again be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On Sunday, the final day of competition, the weigh station will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., any rodeo participant who weighed in a legal fish will be eligible for random drawings for a Contender 25 Bay boat and Yamaha 250hp SHO outboard package and a Seakeeper boat stabilizer. The awards ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Monday at The Grounds in Mobile.