Records were broken, nay, SHATTERED along with a first-time entry at this year’s Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.
2015 saw the 67th incarnation of the annual Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (MDSFR) and, by all accounts, it was one of the most noteworthy in the long history of the event.
In spite of a couple of nasty thunderstorms that thinned the crowd on Sunday, anglers still enthusiastically hit the water and brought in fish.
A 53.13-pound cobia was caught and entered, along with the first ever entry of a dolphinfish when Elmer Pique and his son Chase brought in two nice specimens (see image).
Saturday was the Fourth of July and saw good weather and good crowds. It also saw two new records for the MDSFR. The first was a 9.2-pound sheephead. The second and most impressive, in terms of record-breaking weight, was a 26.9-pound striped bass caught by Terry Dill.
The previous rodeo record had been a 12.9-pound fish that held the top spot for 24 years. Dill’s fish clobbered the old record by 12 pounds.
Said Dill, “When he first came to the surface, I said, ‘Oh my God, I cannot believe what I’m seeing.’ I’ve been fishing them for 27 years. My heart about leapt out of my chest. I couldn’t believe how big he was.”
Mark Wright, rodeo weighmaster concurred, “My jaw dropped when I saw that fish. I mean, the crowds were ‘ooh’s and aah’s.'”
Wright indicated that, “We had about 400 registered participants this year that turned in fish. We have both freshwater and seawater categories. I would say we probably had more than 3,000 pounds of fish entered in this year’s rodeo.”
“It was another successful year for us,” said Wright.