The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is a 3-day fishing competition with 30 categories. Located on Dauphin Island, Alabama, this will be the rodeo’s 84th year running. Thousands of anglers participate each year, drawing tens of thousands of eager spectators, making this the largest fishing tournament in the country.
This year the rodeo is set to be July 21 – 23, 2017. The judge for the rodeo will be Dr. Bob Shipp. He began his experience with the ADSFR in 1982 when he was named assistant judge. In 1998, he became the official judge and has been judging this tournament every year since. The rodeo consults Dr. Bob Shipp yearly on the state of Gulf fisheries to maintain a focus on careful conservation.
Also involved with the fishing rodeo is the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, of which Dr. Bob was the associate director for ten years. The Sea Lab will be collecting data and samples of the variety of specimens collected at the ADSFR. The ADSFR donates every year to the Sea Lab’s partner, the University of South Alabama Department of Marine Sciences, where Dr. Bob is Professor Emeritus. Students furthering their education in marine science have a unique opportunity to learn through the ADSFR with 30 species to collect samples from. Through the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Dr. Bob and other scientists coordinate the tournament so that university students and international scientists take advantage of the learning opportunity.
On July 15, 2017, the weekend before the tournament, a partner event called the Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament allows for aspiring anglers younger than 15 to participate in sport fishing. The event encourages the youth to begin pursuing beloved Alabama sport fishing, while simultaneously promoting healthy and friendly competition.