GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The 69th Annual Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has entered uncharted waters. The event, set for July 1 through July 4 at Jones Park in Gulfport, has added a new feature to attract anglers to a rodeo that has no entry fee.
A $20,000 insurance policy has been purchased by rodeo officials if the current Mississippi saltwater state record for tiger shark is broken.
The current tiger shark state record is 173.10 pounds, caught by Dwayne Armes in 2010.
"We just bought the insurance policy," rodeo president Ritchie Valdez said. "We did it to help bring new anglers to the rodeo. We wanted to purchase the insurance policy for a state record that we think can be broken. The tiger shark is one of those species."
Valdez said the insurance policy will awarded to the final tiger shark state record entered if a record comes in during the first day and a second one is established on the second, third or final day.
"It will be paid to the last record, if that were to happen," Valdez said. "After the fish is certified as a state record, the insurance company will pay the angler the $20,000. Next year, we hope to buy one or even two more insurance policies and use them for species we think can be broken."