Fellow Anglers and Rodeo Supporters,
It is with great honor and pleasure that I welcome you to the 83rd Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. As the World's oldest and largest fishing tournament, as recognized by Guinness World Records in 2011, I know that our founding members would be extremely proud of the leaders that our organization has produced.
The Rodeo Committee has worked for an entire year, attended more than 24 meetings, and spent countless hours away from their families to produce this event. I would like to thank the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Advisors, Committee Members, and their families. Without their dedication, our tournament would not be possible.
My first task as President was to challenge the Rodeo Executive Committee and Board to find new ways to continue our tradition of organizing a world class fishing tournament. With an unsurpassed prize package, and conservation in mind, they have made some great additions to this year's tournament.
As a fellow fisherman along the Gulf Coast, I am overjoyed with our continued advancements in conservation. As fisheries change, tournaments change; including tournament species, rules, prizes, and conservation efforts. All of these changes bring their own set of challenges, and our tournament has responded and evolved in order to continue to be the greatest tournament in the world. We are proud to bring back the Live Weigh-in to our tournament in the Speckled Trout and Redfish Categories. In addition to our catch and release Tarpon Category, we are increasing our conservation efforts by partnering with The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation for a second year of the Catch and Release Shark Division. The Rodeo is proud to continue to support conservation and look forward to many years of expanding our conservation efforts.
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo remains committed to the Conservation of Marine Resources and giving back to the community. We will continue to fund multiple marine science scholarships at the University of South Alabama. Over the years, the ADSFR has donated in excess of $250,000 to the Department of Marine Science at the University of South Alabama. This year we have continued our support of The Billfish Foundation, and are also excited to welcome back The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation to assist in our conservation efforts.
This year's Rodeo has the largest awards package in its 83-year history. Anglers will compete for up to one million dollars in cash and prizes. Our prize package is anchored by a 22' Contender boat, Yamaha motor, and trailer package; awarded through a random drawing of all anglers who weigh in a legal fish during the ADSFR. The Pronto Pawn King Mackerel Jackpot will include a random drawing of all participants weighing a legal fish for a 2015 Kymco 300 4 wheeler. In the Yamaha Motor Speckled Trout Jackpot, all entrants weighing a legal fish will be entered into a random drawing for a Yamaha Outboard Motor.
This year we have continued our tradition of giving back to the community and supporting science education through donations to The University of South Alabama Marine Science Department, The American Cancer Society, The Billfish Foundation, and the Mobile Jaycees Christmas Shopping Tour.
I would like to thank all the anglers, sponsors, and volunteers for their steadfast support of the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo throughout the past 83 years. Special thanks to our major sponsors: Contender Boats, Yamaha Motor Corp., McConnell Automotive, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Springhill Medical Center, First Community Bank, Costa Del Mar, Raymarine, Mojo Sportswear, Lit Coolers, Coca-Cola, Crown Royal, Exxon Mobil, Pronto Pawn, The Grounds and The Mobile Jaycees. I'd also like to thank our friends in the local media: FM Talk 106.5, WNSP, WZEW WKSJ, WALA, WPMI and WKRG. Finally, I would like to thank the Town of Dauphin Island, the Town Council, Police Department, Public Works Department and Mayor Jeff Collier.
I hope all anglers will continue to uphold the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo rules and regulations to the highest standard. Without a code of ethics our tournament would not be what it is today. I wish all anglers safe passage, great fishing, and lasting memories for your trip during the 83rd Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.
Capt. Richard Rutland
83rd Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo