Team Airborne takes over 1st Place in the
Red Snapper World Championship Saltwater Series
Click on any of the pictures below to view larger images.
June 8, 2009 - Orange Beach, AL (OBA) - Sunday morning, each of the five
members of the Airborne Fishing Team purchased a two-day angler ticket in the
Red Snapper World Championship Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament. The
boat, Airborne, also has tickets for the Large Boat and Small Boat
categories. The team
headed south for an overnight trip in the Gulf of Mexico. They
were about 60 miles south of Orange Beach when they hit their first, and
only, stop on their trip. The Team had been out only a few hours and had caught three fish,
one a very large Red Snapper, when they decided to cut their overnight trip short and head to the Tournament scales. Just before 8pm Sunday evening, the Airborne Fishing Team pulled into the
docks at Zeke's Marina. A phone call from Airborne to the
tournament photographer had alerted the people at the docks that a prize
fish was on its way. By the time
Team Airborne rolled the dock cart up to the scales with their heavy
fish bag, a crowd had formed.
Angler Tom Aldridge with Team
The first fish the Team weighed in was a 30.8 lb Yellowedge Grouper, which
went on the leader board in 9th place in the Grouper category. Ooohs, aaahs and wows were heard from the crowd as the fishing team pulled their Red Snapper out of the fish bag and placed it on the scale.
As the scale settled in at 35.9 lbs, cheers erupted and high fives were
flying. If the 35.9 lb Red Snapper holds first place, Tom
Aldridge will take home a brand new Toyota Tundra pick-up truck
from Eastern Shore Toyota and the Airborne Team will take home
first place in the Large Boat and Small Boat categories. The Alabama State Record for Red Snapper is currently held by Melvin Dunn, Jr.
from Theodore, AL. Dunn landed his 44 lb 12 oz state record
on June 1, 2002. The World Record Red Snapper weighed in at 50 lbs
4 oz, and was caught on June 23, 1996 by Doc Kennedy fishing out of Port
Fourchon's Belle Pass Marina in Louisiana with Charlie Hardison & Sons Charters.
This could be the year to see both records fall. The larger Red Snapper we are seeing hit the docks this year were not
totally unexpected. This is due to the shorter season and two-fish limit
imposed by the Federal Government, and the great success of the
world-renowned Alabama Artificial Reef Program. Red Snapper are usually caught in the Gulf of Mexico waters ranging
form 30 to 200 feet deep. With the stricter limits imposed on Red Snapper
anglers, they are now being caught in the rivers feeding into
Mobile Bay and as far north as the Causeway, which travels
across Mobile Bay on the north end. Pictured below are pictures of Team Airborne
with their Mac Daddy Snapper & Yellowedge Grouper.
Pictured below- L to R: Evan
Turner, Mike Hart, Steve McMullen, Tom Aldridge & Sean McMullen of Team
Airborne with their 35.9 lb 1st Place Red Snapper and 30.8 lb Yellowedge