Big Al’s “Gone Fishin” Tournament: A Community Celebration to Remember

Oxford, MD – October 10, 2023 – On Sunday, October 8th, over $6,500 in proceeds from the third Big Al’s “Gone Fishin’” Tournament (a.k.a. B. A. G.) and Auction were presented to the Oxford Volunteer Fire Company (Oxford Fire Co.).

The Tournament, held on Saturday, June 3, at Doc’s Sunset Grille in Oxford, was a fundraiser and tribute to the memory of the beloved “Oxford Gentleman, Alvin L.” Big Al” Ledford. Big Al was known for his love of fishing, dedication to service, and his welcoming spirit. He was a lifetime member of Oxford Fire Co. and served the department as a fireman and an EMT from 1976 until his death in January 2020.

As it has for the past two years, the 2023 version of Big Al’s “Gone Fishin” Tournament was a day to remember. It symbolized the essence of Oxford’s tight-knit community and the love and respect they held for Big Al. Participants gathered at Doc’s Sunset Grille, a venue that held a special place in Big Al’s heart, and shared stories of their encounters with him.

Mark Ledford, son of Big Al and event organizer, thanked donors: “These generous contributions made this tournament successful and possible,” he said. “In particular, I’d like to acknowledge Doc’s Sunset Grille, Campbell’s Boat Yard, and Roto-Rooter of Delmarva.”

Tim Kearns, president of Oxford Fire Co., said that monies raised from this event will be used to buy new radios, lights, and graphics for the fire boat. It will also be used to update worn equipment.

Chooch Oristian, owner of Doc’s, reflected on the event, “It was busy and a great crowd this year, and we look forward to being part of the Tournament next time.”

Although this year’s Tournament has come to an end, the spirit of Big Al and his love for fishing and community service will continue to inspire future gatherings. Susan Campbell from Campbell’s Boat Yard reminded everyone, “it’s always fun when you’re on the water.”

As we reflect on this year’s successful event, we invite the Oxford community to think about joining us next year to honor Big Al’s memory and celebrate the values he held dear. Stay tuned for updates and announcements about next year’s tournament, where we will once again cast our lines, share stories, and remember the legacy of the “Oxford Gentleman.”

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This year’s 2023 B.A.G. Winners were awarded the following cash prizes.:

Biggest Fish per Specie-
-Striped Bass-‘Rock’

  1. Josh Gamble-7.18 lbs….$240
  2. Justin Firth-6.4 lbs…….$160
  3. Ian Holmes-6.26 lbs…..$80
  4. Justin Firth-.68 lbs…..$135
  5. Justin Firth-.53 lbs…..$90
  6. Wyatt Gosnell-.49 lbs…$45


  1. Sawyer Rada-2.59 lbs….$103

-Striped Bass-‘Rock’
Top 2-Josh Gamble-13.12 lbs…$150
Top 3-Josh Gamble-17.99 lbs…$125
Top 4-Ian Holmes-6.26 lbs……..$75

Top 2-Wyatt Gosnell-1.00 lbs…$125
Top 3-Wyatt Gosnell-1.46 lbs…$75
Top 4-Wyatt Gosnell-1.91 lbs…$50

Top 2-Sawyer Rada-2.59 lbs….$75
Top 3-Sawyer Rada-2.59 lbs….$50