Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo Returns For 2021
The COVID pandemic in 2020 caused a lot of misery and some great events had to be cancelled because of the virus outbreak. But perhaps one of the things that was missed most by Gulf Coast Anglers last year was the world-famous Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo. When the Flora-Bama Rodeo for 2020 was lost, it was a shame. Still, the 2021 Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo just might make up for the loss.
On June 11 and 12 of 2021, Gulf Coast anglers can compete for a wide range of different species and combinations of species from offshore to nearshore to onshore fishing. Let’s be honest- in this fishing rodeo, there’s something for all anglers regardless of age, equipment, and location. No matter what kind of fishing a person prefers, and no matter what the angler’s age, there’s a category in the rodeo for him or her. And the contest entry fees are quite reasonable.
Although the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo doesn’t have the age and long experience of some Gulf Coast fishing rodeos, by all reports, people who take part in the Flora-Bama event, either as active participants or spectators, love the weekend spent fishing or looking at fish on the coast.
The Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo 2021 Edition
“The tournament caters to all walks of life, just like the Flora-Bama does. We have over 30 categories you can fish for, and there are events for all ages, and we have low entry fees to compete. The style of tournament allows people to fish off the beach, a pier, or a boat, and it gives people of all income backgrounds a chance to win really amazing prizes,” says Jenifer Parnell, marketing and public relations director for the Flora-Bama. “Just like the Flora-Bama, we want all different people to come together and be able to make memories together,”
A good thing about the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo is that it takes place during red snapper season, so anglers can bring in the plentiful and large red snapper for prizes and fame and then have a great red snapper supper afterward.
Another very good thing about the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo 2021 is that spear anglers who go down in the water after the fish can compete in a special lionfish tournament. Spear anglers can help eliminate these invasive fish from our reefs and also win prizes for their efforts.
There are championships for speckled trout, red snapper, and the Flora-Bama rodeo is a Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) sanctioned tournament for king mackerel anglers. One of the most interesting categories for anglers to compete in is the “Trash Can Slam” which allows those anglers, like this writer, who tend to catch “less-desirable” kinds of fish like ladyfish, catfish, and bluefish to gain recognition for our special skills.
Of course, there is a wide range of prizes for winning catches in the Flora-Bama Rodeo, and since there are awards for first, second and third place winners in each of the thirty-plus categories of fish, all anglers stand a good chance of bringing something very nice home from the contest.
The captain’s meeting will be virtual this year on Facebook, so interested anglers can watch for the live stream on Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo Facebook page on Thursday, June 10.
How Many Folks Take Part?
With fishing tournaments like many other events, the more who take part, the merrier. And it appears the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo ought to be a pretty merry time to be on the Gulf Coast.
“Every year we have between 500 and 900 anglers, and the number is usually weather dependent for the variation,” Parnell said. “There are thousands of people who come through Flora-Bama Yacht Club and Flora-Bama Ole River Grill throughout the weekend to experience our restaurants, waterways, live music, and the sponsor area and weigh station.”
“There is a sponsor area that will have a fish viewing station so kids can see different kinds of fish and be able to touch them,” Parnell said. “Face painting, games for the kids and adults like corn hole, vendors selling clothes and a variety of products for non-anglers to peruse as well as live music all weekend will be at the rodeo this year,” Parnell said.
And It’s Not Just a Fishing Party
Although catching some big fish and hopefully gaining bragging rights for a year is an important element of the tournament, the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo 2021 is not simply about a lot of folks catching some big fish to show off and brag about. There are real positive results of the weekend’s activities.
“We give a portion of our proceeds to ‘Operation Reconnect’ which brings military members back immediately returning from deployment to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach to reconnect with their families for a week-long uninterrupted free vacation. The tournament is all about fun, and it’s a low entry fee, but we have some of the best prizes on the Gulf Coast. This is a family-friendly weekend,” Parnell said.
Operation Reconnect allows veterans and their families to enjoy some downtime in a gorgeous place without having to blow the family’s savings to do it. Bringing our military service people back into the civilian world is important, and Operation Reconnect does a great job of welcoming our service people and their families and thanking them for their service.
The Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo 2021 will be held on June 11 and 12, and the fun awards presentation will happen on June 13 at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. For specific dates and information about the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo, go to www.florabamafishingrodeo.com.