Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo returning for 74th year

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Vendors and volunteers are gearing up for one of the south’s premier fishing tournaments.

It’s more than just rods and reels. This rodeo comes with live entertainment, rides, and food.

“It’s a four-day event,” said Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo president Richard Valdez. “We usually have around 25,000 people attend. It just depends. The Fourth of July is our biggest day.”

The Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is back for another year, taking place at Gulfport Harbor. Scales open at noon Friday, with the event running through Independence Day. To cap it off, the City of Gulfport is putting on a fireworks show.

“You couldn’t ask for a better backdrop than this beautiful harbor to have this event,” added Valdez. “It’s a great venue and a great place to have the event.”

There is a small admission fee for spectators, but it’s free for those wanting to competing.

“We know with gas prices they are spending a lot of money,” said Valdez. “This tournament is still one of the only free tournaments left around. We don’t charge our fisherman an entry fee. They bring them in. We register them when they get here.”

Last year, fisherman from 12 different states competed, fishing the whole gulf. Also, over 200 kids are set to battle for some of the several thousand dollars in money and prizes.

“We’re probably looking at about $25,000 in money and prizes this year,” said Valdez. “Every year the rodeo fluctuates. Sometime we do a big prize on a shark. This year we are doing a smaller prize on a shark and focusing more on our kids tournament. That’s our future and that’s where we want to put money at this year, on those kids.”

Admission is $5 from 12p-2p each day. The fee goes up to $10 after 2p. The rodeo ends at 10p every night.

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