John's Journal...


We All Won

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: During 30 days of fishing in the spring of 2004, more than 8,000 anglers on 95 boats participated in the Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championship and caught big snapper with more than 28 of them weighing over 25-pounds each. This year’s Championship will take place April 21 – May 20, 2005 with headquarters at Zeke’s Marina. Total tournament monies will be $500,000 with a $200,000 bonus if a new world ‘s record red snapper is caught, but anglers only will pay $5 per fisherman per day to enter the tournament. All proceeds from the tournament will go to support the building of public reefs and conducting red snapper research. You can buy tickets to participate at Blue Water Ships Stores in Foley, Ala., Outcast Bait and Tackle in Pensacola, Fla., and in Orange Beach, Ala. at J&M Tackle, Orange Beach Marina, Outcast Marina, Sam’s Stop & Shop, San Roc Cay Click to enlargeMarina, Sportsman Marina, the Rod Room, Top Gun Tackle, Trent Marina and Zeke’s Landing Marina. To learn more about the Championship, visit where you also can see a list of captains and their contact information; or call: (251) 981-8565; the Orange Beach Fishing Association at (251) 981-2300; or the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau ( at (800) 745-SAND.

Everyone who fishes the Gulf of Mexico won at the 2004 Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championship. As a result of this tournament, Alabama’s Marine Resources Division (AMRD) received $50,000, which the Division matched with a 3-to-1 federal grant that producedClick to enlarge another $150,000 for a total of $200,000. This money bought 210 pyramid-style concrete artificial reefs, which AMRD deployed offshore. For more information on their locations visit,

The tournament also gave the Orange Beach Fishermen’s Association’s Political Action Committee $50,000 from the tournament to use to lobby for recreational fishing legislation. Too, the National Marine Fisheries Service learned more scientific information on big red snapper from this 30-day tournament than had been gathered in the previous more than 50 years. “Our goal for the tournament is to raise enough money to Click to enlargepurchase and deploy 1,000 new artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico off of Orange Beach in the next three years,” says Chase Tatham, tournament organizer. “We believe that the more habitat we can build for the red snapper, the more red snapper the waters out of Orange Beach can produce, not only for our fishermen, but for anglers throughout the Gulf.”
You can contact Tatham at or



Check back each day this week for more about MONSTER HAUL OF RED SNAPPER

Day 1: What Scientists Learned in the 2004 Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championship
Day 2: The “Intimidator”
Day 3: The “Hog Wild”
Day 4: The “Therapy”
Day 5: We All Won



Entry 296, Day 5