Back in 1984, when the conservation efforts
around the country were in their formative states, the tarpon
tournament was one of the first to become an all-release event.
In the beginning, the length of the fish was used to determine
the winner. However, due to the danger of handling such large
fish (to both the fish and angler) ,the fish with the largest
girth measurement now decides the winner. This allows the
fish to remain in the water while the measurement is made.
The 2005 tarpon tournament will begin Saturday, May 14, at
6 a.m. and run through Sunday June 26, ending at midnight.
Fish caught must be officially reported within 12 hours of
the catch and release with a fish entry form completed at
one of the designated weigh stations.
Fish catch reporting stations include CBs Saltwater
Outfitters, Harts Landing and Cannons Marina.
Following a reported fish, the angler must then mail a copy
of the entry form to the Sarasota Sportfishing Anglers Club,
with the postmark within 48 hours of completing the release
form. Prizes will be given in various categories including
weekly, overall, ladies, fly and junior categories. Entry
forms for participants are available at Economy Tackle, Cannons
Marina, Harts Landing, and Mr. CBs Saltwater Outfitters.
A tournament kick-off meeting will be held on Tuesday, May
10, 2005 at the Disabled American Veterans building, 2445
Fruitville Road, beginning at 7:30 pm. Speakers include Captains
Rick Grassett and Jeffri Durrance and the program will include
a slide show. Entry forms will be available at the meeting.
The entry fee is $85.00 per person ($40.00 for Juniors 15
and under) and includes a tournament T-Shirt and the awards
dinner. The awards dinner will be held Saturday, July 16,
2005, at 6:30 pm at Marina Jacks.
To quote Bob Newhall, sports commentator for Cincinnati Radio
WLW in 1928 while reporting the tarpon action off Longboat
Key to his radio audience. "From the sea the tarpon shot
as from a fourteen-inch naval gun; a bomb of quicksilver that
went a full ten feet in the air. "
Now if you can picture that fish on the end of your line and
the thought quickens your pulse, then plan now to enter the
2005 All Release Tarpon Tournament. For more information call
Tournament Chairman Doug Forde at 941-342-0284 or 346-8910.