|Division: 7||Dauphin Island, Alabama||79th ANNUAL ALABAMA DEEP SEA RODEO||July 19-23, 2012|
Reelentless Is Top Boat, Kingfish Jackpot, in the 79th Annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo!
Dauphin Island, Alabama—The largest fishing tournament in the world, as certified by Guinness World Records, kicked off July 20th amid stormy weather and rough seas.
"It's not that it's so rough, just uncomfortable plus when you need to move it takes time, and time is something you don't have a lot of," said Bennie Goldman, Jr. after arriving back at the Rodeo grounds Friday afternoon.
The Reelentless team of Bennie Goldman Sr. and Jr., Jeremy Goldman, Pam Goldman, Jeffrey Hamilton, and John Wallington were one of the early arrivals and they presented head tournament Judge, Bob Shipp, a great 46.26. That fish held up as the top kingfish for Friday so the Reelentless team was on top of the leaderboard, but they also picked up 1,000 points for the SKA Pro Tour. That was so important because they went to Fourchon for the Upper Gulf season opener and had boat problems and could not fish.
On day two the weather was worse but the Reelentless team went back to the spot they caught the 46 and bagged a 48.84 to lead the second days Pro entries. That gave them their second 1,000 points. They still went out on Sunday and bagged a 42, but it wasn't necessary. No one could knock them out of first place.
Bennie Jr. also won the barracuda category with a 30.12.
The Reelentless is a Yamaha powered Contender.
It was a great weekend for them! They picked up 2,000 points to get them back into the Team of the Year hunt, took top honors in the Kingfish category, plus won the overall King Mackerel Jackpot for over $8,000 plus prizes.
The Rodeo numbers were off this year, down to 2,742 anglers, which equates to a little over 900 boats. Rodeo officials attribute weather and the fact that this year was the first year the red snapper closure occurred just before the rodeo event. Amberjack was also off the Rodeo species list. They are the two most popular species in the Gulf. Kingfish Jackpot entries were down slightly to 104 teams.
If you look at the standings you'll see that second and third place fell to non-members with weights of 48.30 and 44.58. It should be noted that no fifties crossed the scale. I saw literally all the fish that crossed the scale, however none made that magic 50-pound mark. I swear, the fish were long enough, and had big heads, girth was strong, but the tails—oh, the tails were all small. I truly believe this was the first time in many years we didn't see any fifties.
Earning fourth place was the Papotanic team out of Texas. Jose Reyes, Bill Platt, and Florida's Gill Strelec, Jr., scaled four kings on day one with their biggest weighing 44.48. The Yamaha powered Invincible team weighed a 35.14 on day two which also got them some more Pro points.
Next on the leaderboard was Joe Shell's team, Backlash, with a 44.24. The Yamaha powered Cape Horn team, Joe Shell Sr., Chris Shell, and Darrell Schofield, weighed in on Sunday and had two kings, a 44.24 and the second one a 44.20. They also bagged a nice 52.56 Wahoo, which ended up third in that category and credited to Darrell.
Dwayne Hacker, Robert Palmer, Brad Spaulding, Ronnie Hacker, Diana Hudson, and Hunter Cofield, fished the Yamaha powered Cape Horn, That's Right !! into sixth place with a 43.68.
By now you've figured out, this was a really close leaderboard. In fact, the difference between third place and tenth was just 3.46 pounds.
Seventh place went to Neal Foster's Intense with a 43.46 and a non-member earned eighth. Ninth place fell to Donnie Connor's Crazy D team with a 41.60 and tenth place went to Marcus Kennedy's Kwazar team who scaled a 41.12. Marcus also finished second in the Red Grouper category where he scaled a 16.78.
Tripp Connor was our Top Junior Angler from the Crazy D.
This is a very unique event that raises a lot of money for the community. It should be on every fisherman's bucket list to fish the largest tournament in the world. There are 30 different species you can fish for—all saltwater—from inshore to offshore. Plus they have a Big Game Jackpot, Speckled Trout and King Mackerel Jackpot. If you don't want to drag your boat over you can charter a big boat out of Orange Beach. One way or another, you've got to get here!
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