DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) - On the eve of the 2013 Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the shortened red snapper season was on many minds on Dauphin Island. This year's rodeo is the second straight without red snapper.
Many, like Darrell Lathen, feel the rodeo will pay the price.
"It's going to hurt the number of people fishing, because that's a primary targeted fish for this area of the gulf," Lathen said. "It's going to really hurt the rodeo; it's not going to help. It will hurt the anglers because that's a species that people can fish close and have a shot at winning. They don't have to run 50 miles off-shore to have a shot at winning. So I feel like it'll hurt."
Special considerations have been made around the absence of red snapper, like bulking up in-shore categories, specifically speckled trout. More prizes there, and for big-game off-shore catches.
No one likes having to make the changes, but some are optimistic.
"I don't think it'll hurt them one bit, because they're going to open snapper season back up October 1st for 21 days, so I don't think it'll effect the rodeo one bit," said angler Rickey White.
Music to the ears for the Mobile Jaycees, who have put on the rodeo since 1948.
"The guys are going to go fish, and we're happy about it," said Gene Fox. "We're really happy about [a fall snapper season]. I'll be off from the rodeo and I'm going to go snapper fishing myself."
The Liar's Contest was also the night of Thursday, July 18. Anglers shared their favorite fish tales to kick-off the rodeo.
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