At 7 p.m., Sunday, immediately following the Destin Fishing Rodeo's final weigh-ins behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, there will be a brief memorial to commemorate the life and times of departed friend and fellow fisherman Carey Ricks and the release of the location of the AJ's/Carey Ricks Memorial Reef.
On Sept. 22, 2011, to mark AJ's 10-year milestone hosting the Destin Fishing Rodeo, Alan Laird took the former water vessel and restaurant Baby J's, stripped it down and with the help of the Emerald Coast Reef Association created a reef that is now the home to a large variety of fish 100 feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico. This reef was dedicated to Carey Ricks, a former deckhand and friend who passed away 10 years ago on Oct. 22, 2002.
As a 10-year memorial of Carey’s death, Alan and AJ's will release the coordinates at this service to honor the memory of a friend who enjoyed life and the simple and basic pleasures of fishing.
“Fishing is a resource and pleasure that I have enjoyed most of my life and in many ways I have profited from this experience,” Laird said. “This wonderful source for fishing life is the greatest gift that I can give back to a community that I am so proud to call my home."
The rodeo and memorial service is free to the public and all are welcomed to attend.