DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) – Heavy thunderstorms rocked the Gulf Coast throughout the morning on Saturday, July 19, but by the afternoon, the sun finally came out, and crowds grew at the 81st Annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.
Officials told FOX10 the rain forced many fishermen to weigh in their catch earlier than they were expecting.
But, they said that early rush of bringing back the fish wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for the tournament.
“It’s always nice to have the fish come in bunches, it excites the crowd, it excites the weigh station, but as long as it’s steady all day, and the fishermen are having fun, they’re bringing fish to the docks, the researchers are getting plenty of data, then everybody’s happy,” explained Kevin Maurin, a spokesman for the tournament.
However, other fishermen said they decided to wait to leave these docks until a little later in the day, hoping the rain would finally let up.
It was worth the gamble for those anglers, as the sun finally did shine on day two of the rodeo.
By the afternoon, huge crowds were enjoying all the rodeo has to offer.
And, fishermen are hopeful that the third and final day tomorrow will be just as sunny as Saturday afternoon, so they’ll have one more chance at the big prizes.
“It’s the biggest rodeo in the world, I just want to win it one day and have my name up on the board,” said Alec Tillman, a fisherman participating in the tournament, who said he didn’t have much luck Saturday because of the bad weather.
So far, only one record-breaking fish has been caught at this year’s tournament. It was an 8.89 lb speckled trout, breaking a 35-year-old record.
The tournament ends Sunday, July 20, at 5 p.m.