The Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo wrapped up it's 54th annual tournament on Sunday July 7, 2002. Officials are saying this is the best year ever.
This year the 5-day event included the Southern Kingfish Association's Fourth of July Kingfish Classic. The pairing was a tremendous success.
When the scales at Rice Pavillion closed on Sunday the leaders in the various catagories were:
Tarpon: Taylor Butterworth, Pass Christian, 109 pounds
Grouper: Jeff Williams, Slidell, 89 pounds, 12 ounces
Amberjack: Steve Braun, Ocean Springs, 51 pounds, 14 ounces.
Tuna: Chad Irby, Biloxi, 53 pounds, 14 ounces
Green trout: Robert Gordon, Woolmarket, 9 pounds, 8 ounces
Catfish: Matt Hollis, Poplarvile, 34 pounds, 4 ounces
Shellcracker perch: Brentley Strickland, Woolmarket, 1 pound
1. Richard Ladner, Kiln, 5 pounds, 4 ounces ($825)
2. Don Haley, Gulfport, 5 pounds ($495)
3. Brent Ladner, McHenry, 4 pounds, 11 ounces ($330)
Note: 26 fishermen participated in the one-day Bass Shootout
Most unusual fish: Jeff Williams, Slidell, horse eye jack
Sport Fisherman: Charles Hilbun of Lucedale,
Billy Meadows: R.J. Garrett of Ocean Springs
King Fisherman: Jeff Williams of Slidell
Queen Fisherette: Sherry Deschamp of Gulfport
Freshwater King Fisherman: Brentley Strickland of Perkinston
Freshwater Queen Fisherette: Tracy Gates of Perkinston
Total number of anglers weighing fish: 448
Total fish weighed: 937