Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

Explore the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo during the 1960s.

black and white photo of the adsfr in the 1960s in Dauphin Island, Alabama.
Photo courtesy Bob Carlen, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama

Between july 22-24, 1960, when the below picture was taken, anglers, spectators and committee members (such as those pictured below) flocked to Dauphin Island for the Mobile Junior Chamber of Commerce’s 28th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR). Nan Smith, a Merchants National Bank savings teller, was queen that year, taking over from 1959 Rodeo Queen Betsey Moody. 1960 also marked the ninth year that Roy H. Martin, world-famous fisherman and mayor of Panama City Beach, judged the competition. A 1960 trifold ADSFR pamphlet stated, “Everyone should get to know Roy on the Rodeo. He is a great sportsman, a fishing expert and a fine fellow. You’ll like him.” The official photographer for the 1960 rodeo was Larry Cantrell.

“The Rodeo … has grown through the years to such size and scope that last year 1954 registered fishermen and 495 boats participated. Each year fishermen from fifteen to twenty states compete for prizes during this three day event and though most are from the five or six surrounding states, fishermen have come from as far away as
California to participate in the Rodeo. [sic]”

– Rodeo information printed in a 1960 ADSFR trifold pamphlet

By the Numbers

The price of a pair of women’s shorts in the late 50s, according to a vintage Penney’s ad (a rendition of JCPenney).

93.4° F
The record high in Alabama in July 1960. It remained the record Alabama high in July until July 1980, which hit a recorded 94.8° F.

The AM frequency for WALA Radio, which produced a live rodeo broadcast from Dauphin Island sponsored by Jax Beer.

- Sponsors -

409 Pounds
The approximate weight of the biggest shark caught at the ADSFR as of 1960, caught in 1959 by Max Lawrenz Jr. of Foley.

Do you know any further details about this photo? Let us know! Email [email protected].

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