DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) - The largest fishing rodeo in the world officially kicked off its three-day weekend early Friday morning…before the sunrise. The 80 th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo attracts thousands to Dauphin Island each year.
The opening to the weekend began with a "blast" of sorts as the symbolic cannon was fired to kick things off.
"The best we can tell, it's the way in 1929 without radios on boats or cell phones, that's how you could tell everybody it was time for the tournament to start and end. It's the old fashioned public broadcast system," said Gene Fox, media relations for ADSFR.
Thousands of anglers ventured into the deep waters of the Gulf for a chance at catching most anything with fins.
"I caught him right under the rainbow," said Jimmy O'Rourke.
Jimmy caught his speckled trout right off the coast.
When asked what he thought he might win for it, he smiled and said: "Oh, I think so! I done did, sir. I won the pride of being number 1, back to the weigh station. Oh I've enjoyed the heck out of it so far," said Jimmy.
As a first year angler in the rodeo, Jimmy was proud of his catch. For veteran angler Chip Lindly, catching two sharks made a statement right off the bat.
"We had a heavy chum line going and when it got time to put baits in the water, we had one on within five minutes, and while we were bringing that one in, the one surfaced beside it had a live bait, threw it to it and he ate it," said Lindly.
With the high temperatures outside, inside the vendor-filled, air conditioned tent, give-a-ways, drawings, and much more could be found, including Shelby Sullivan and her co-workers Lacey and Kayla at the Hittin' Bottom apparel booth.
"This is actually our first time at the fishing rodeo so we're really excited. It's definitely different. It's a lot of people. We've had a really good turn out and we're really excited to see how the rest of the weekend's going to go."
The rodeo concludes Sunday night at 5 with an awards ceremony Monday evening.
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