AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar is gearing up for the 69th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

The seafood restaurant has started preparations and construction for the annual month-long fishing tournament.

“We have started to build the leader board, bleachers, bringing in the T-shirt trailer and reconstructing the weigh-in barge,” said Rachael Green, spokesperson for AJ’s. “Little by little everything is coming together.”

The T-shirt and merchandise trailer will have a deck built this year to make it easier for customers to walk up to. A new Rodeo office is also being built in the mid-level of the restaurant.

“The weigh-in barge will probably take a little longer to be ready because we are giving it a makeover and reconstructing it with a whole new design,” Green said. “Everything will be ready for October and will be ready to host the Rodeo.

“It’s a great community event and it’s always fun starting the process,” she added.

Destin Fishing Rodeo Executive Director Helen Donaldson said it’s mind boggling how quickly AJ’s is able to get things done each year for the Rodeo.

“Everybody is hammering and running around. They bend over backwards, it’s crazy good,” she said. “I have been packing all of the things we need because we start working as soon as we get there.”

So far, 87 charter and 25 private boats have registered for the rodeo, but Donaldson said most of the private boats register during the kick-off.

Donaldson said AJ’s has been an amazing partner for the Rodeo.

“They are huge community supporters and we really appreciate and are glad to have them as our host,” she said.