The 69th annual Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo will be held Friday through Monday, July 1-4, at Jones Park at the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor to celebrate the nation’s birth and the great fishing available on the state’s Gulf Coast.

There is no entry fee to compete in the Rodeo, but contestants are required to register before fish can be weighed at the scales.

Competition will be held in 23 saltwater species: barracuda, black drum, blackfish (tripletail), bluefish, bonito, dolphin, flounder, gar, gray snapper (mangrove snapper), grouper, jack crevalle, king mackerel, lemonfish (cobia), pompano, redfish, red snapper, sheepshead, shark (minimum 54 inches), Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, stringray, tuna, and wahoo.

There are also five freshwater divisions: bream (includes bluegill and shellcracker), catfish, crappie, green trout (largemouth bass) and striped bass.

Prizes are awarded on a daily and overall basis.

Fishermen are allowed to fish any waters of the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. Freshwater fishermen can fish any rivers, lakes, bays, bayous, creeks or ponds in Mississippi. Contestants may harbor or dock their boats at any pier and bring their catch to the scales by any method.

The scales will open daily at noon, and will close at 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday and then at 4 p.m. on Monday.