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Division: 7 Dauphin Island, AL 81st ANNUAL ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO July 17-20, 2014

Reelentless Sets Records at 81st Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo!

By Christine Rodenbaugh

Dauphin Island, AL — The Alabama state record is still pending, but a new ADSFR tournament record was set by Capt. Bennie Goldman and his team of Jeremy and Pam Goldman and John Wallington on their Yamaha powered Contender aptly named Reelentless. The official weight was called out as 69.99 pounds! That’s a smoker even in the upper Gulf. This is the third kingfish Rodeo title for Reelentless in five years with a 64.50 in 2009 and a 48.84 in 2012.

The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is the largest saltwater fishing tournament in the world as certified by Guiness World Records in 2011. More than 3,000 anglers bought general Rodeo tickets this year and 100 king mackerel fishermen bought jackpot tickets. That means Reelentless is the top 1% of the field with a once-in-a-lifetime fish. The Mobile Jaycees host the Rodeo and seek to raise funds for research and to provide scholarships to the marine sciences department at the University of South Alabama. 

Reelentless headed out on Sunday to a spot 40 miles south of Dauphin Island where they had caught kings before. Sea conditions were pretty rough running 4- to 5-feet at their spot in about 125’ of water. “About 11:00am we pulled up to a rig and Jeremy threw out a bait,” said Bennie. “When the fish skied we knew he was big.” For a fish of that size, the fight was pretty routine. He made a couple of runs and Jeremy brought him close enough for Bennie gaff within about 15 minutes. “When we caught that one, we busted out the bag, iced him down, and took our time going home,” Bennie explained. He took Top Senior honors and Pam was Top Lady Angler.

The Reelentless team recognizes the extraordinary efforts of Yamaha for replacing a powerhead in time for the team to get out on the water to compete. “It’s always a team effort,” says Bennie. Matt went out the night before to make sure their baitwells were full. On a different note, Bennie sends out thanks to NBOA for carrying on the SKA. We’ll see you at Nationals!

Neal Foster’s Intense took second place in the kingfish jackpot and missed the Master Angler title by just a matter of time. Foster took second place in three species: kingfish, cobia, and white trout. He was tied in points for the Master Angler title, but the other guy weighed in first. “That’s okay,” said Neal, “I’ve got my share of titles and I think it was the other guy’s first one. I’m happy for him.” 

Josh and Mark Collier fished with Neal on the Contender powered by Yamaha and caught a 51.01 in the West Delta where they had found kings prefishing. “It was rough, rough, rough, stacked on top of rough,” according to Neal at mid morning on Friday. They were pulling hardtails in about 180 feet when the big girl hit on the top line. Josh Collier was on the rod. “It was a pretty usual fight except that the seas were terrible,” Neal explained. The experienced team pulled her in the boat and headed for the scales. 

Intense is looking forward to the 2015 Pro Tour and wishes to thank their sponsors: Contender, Yamaha, Ameratrail, Garmin, Ken’s Car Tunes, Bridgett Industries, Tackle This Shoot That, Ocean Tamer, and Trailer Tires and

Strike Two finished third and made the 2014 50-pound Club by a fraction of a pound in their 23-foot Mercury powered Onslow Bay. Rob Lupola, Bobby Schoenfeld, Jeff Hall, and Ray Martinez headed to a spot about 30 miles south of Louisiana. They had tried several areas and that was just one of the spots the team to get to because of the inclement weather and angry seas. “There were eight-foot seas and rain all weekend,” Rob explained. 

Strike Two was trolling in about 120’ on Saturday at about 1:00 in the afternoon when a king hit a blue runner wearing a pink Bluewater Candy skirt on the long line. Jeff grabbed the rod and made short work of getting her to the boat for Jeff to sink the gaff. The team pulls skirts in dirty water and the tactic attracted a cobia in the 40s and several kings pushing 40. “We were glad to get a fish that we thought was in the high 40s; it was even better when it hit 50.09. It’s a team effort,” said Rob. Strike Two will be in Biloxi for Nationals and thanks their sponsors: Raymarine, Mercury, Mojo Sportswear, AFW/Hi-Seas, Accurate, and Cannon. 

Marcus Kennedy pointed his Yamaha powered Yellowfin named Kwazar to a spot about 35 miles south of Dauphin Island with teammates Max Williams, Tyler Kennedy, Robert Young, Mike Ward, Scott Byrd, and Brett Rutledge. Marcus told me, “We had to stick close this year because my dad was intensive care with pneumonia. There were good king in that area. He’s recovering well.” It might not have been their first choice, but the area was producing several kings in the 40-pound class throughout the weekend. “Most of the time during the Rodeo we fish around the clock. We get bait Thursday night for lines in at 5:00am Friday, and fish until we get a big one or go to church on Sunday. Its one of those can until ya can’t deals. Most king mack tournaments are gentlemen’s events; you check out after breakfast and check in before dinner,” Marcus explained. Not the Rodeo; teams can fish around the clock until the final weigh-in deadline for the species they are targeting. 

Their 49.91 hit a hardtail on a flat line way back at about 1:00 in the afternoon on Saturday just as the storm was approaching. “It was dark and the wind was blowing but it looked worse on its approach than when it actually hit. We stayed to the end because sometimes that’s when the big ones bite,” Marcus explained. Their experience paid off putting the team in fourth place. the team usually bottom fishes during the Rodeo, but snapper was closed and the current was too strong to go for grouper. Kwazar concentrated on kings hooking up to ten on Friday and 15 on Saturday, finally enticing the near-50 to hit. “We were just glad to get the thing so we could get on in early,” Marcus concluded. Kwazar will be at Nationals this year and wishes to thank sponsors Yamaha, Yellowfin, and Simrad.

The Rodeo is always an amazing event because of its huge participation, multiple species, and the extraordinary efforts of the Mobile Jaycees to host the largest saltwater tournament in the world. The weather could have been better, but SKA boats found what they needed to take seven of the top ten Kingfish Jackpot places. And Reelentless put the cherry on top breaking the tournament record and a pending Alabama state record as well. If you haven’t fished this event, you just have to mark your calendar to make it happen next year.

81st Annual Alabama Deep Sea Rodeo

Open Class

Contender / Yamaha
Bennie Goldman
Jeremy Goldman
Pam Goldman
John Wallington
51.012. INTENSE
Contender / Yamaha
Neal Foster
Mark Collier
Josh Collier
50.093. STRIKE TWO
Onslow Bay / Mercury
Rob Lupola
Bobby Schoenfeld
Jeff Hall
Ray Martinez
49.914. KWAZAR
Yellowfin / Yamaha
Marcus Kennedy
Max Williams
Tyler Kennedy
Robert Young
Mike Ward
Scott Byrd
Brett Rutledge
49.695. BYRD DOG
Contender / Yamaha
Ritchie Byrd
Jimmy Langham
Melanie Byrd
Susan Langham
46.046. Joseph Langen
44.557. Mark Suddeth
44.248. J ROOSTER
Cape Horn / Suzuki
Joe Ankerson
Beau Orsak
Darren Orsak
Ryne Vincent
43.899. GET LAYED
Contender / Yamaha
Fred Watkins
Shernman (Butch) Smith
William (Todd) Gardner
Susan Smith
Stephen Smith
43.6710. Chris Shell

Top Lady Anglers
69.991. Pam Goldman

Top Senior Angler
69.99Bennie Goldman Sr

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