On May 19, UT will re-introduce
the old Tampa Tarpon Tournament, an annual event for many years on the Tampa Bay
waterfront until the late 1980s.
The one-day tournament, set to debut before the full moon in May, is a
strictly catch-and-release event with all proceeds going to benefit the
University's Marine Science program. Faculty and students conduct research on
many of the organisms that live in Tampa Bay area aquatic habitats.
"This is an excellent way to showcase the success story of Tampa Bay, and at
the same time help in the continuing effort for the bay's recovery as a vibrant
ecosystem," said Bill Miller, chairman of the event. "The demise of the old
tournament was caused by the practice of killing the fish for weigh-in, and as
anglers became more environmentally aware of the impact of the practice, they
began dropping out," added Miller.
"Now that the population of tarpon has recovered, along with other aspects of
Tampa Bay, we think this is a very good tournament to start up again with some
very positive benefits."
Thousands of dollars worth of prizes and merchandise will be up for grabs for
the field of anglers.
Anglers are encouraged to use a guide if they choose, but they will have to
compete in the expert/guide division. Entry fees are $200 per angler, $50 for
juniors 14 and under. Divisions include expert/guide, amateur, fly, women and
juniors. Categories include Most Fish and Hard-Luck divisions. Anglers may
enter the tournament on line at Web
address www.tampatarpontournament.org. Checks may be made out to "The
University of Tampa." A portion of the entry fee may be tax deductible.
All tarpon entered in the Tampa Tarpon Tournament must be caught within Tampa
or Hillsborough bays and their tributaries, or in the waters of the Gulf of
Mexico between John's Pass, Pinellas County (latitude 27 degrees, 47 minutes
north), and New Pass, Sarasota County (latitude 27 degrees, 19.2 minutes
Most fish caught and released in each division will determine
winners. Marine science student-observers will be on board each boat to certify
the catch and to ensure compliance with IGFA rules.
"We are pleased to be able to participate in an event that will have such
obvious benefits for our program and its students. The marine science major is
one of the largest and most popular programs at the University, and our students
have gone on to do important research throughout the country for many years,"
said UT President Ronald L. Vaughn.
The event is hosted and organized by South Tampa's Bayside Marina, from which
anglers will depart. Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to be followed by
the awards ceremony. The night before the tournament, May 18, the Captain's
Party and Tournament meeting will commence at 6:30 p.m. at Bayside Marina, 5200
W. Tyson Ave., off Westshore Boulevard, about a mile south of Gandy
The old tournament enjoyed widespread support by Bay Area businesses and
anglers and that is expected to be the case for this redesigned event.
Early sponsors include TECO Energy, Ferman Motor Car Company, Pepin
Distributing, the Colonnade Restaurant, Johnny Leverock's Seafood House, Caspers
Company McDonald's Restaurants, The Flyer publication, the Florida Aquarium,
Davis Baldwin Insurance and Risk Management, Rodbender's, Cherry Design, Hall
Printworks and Corporate Image Apparel.
For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at firstname.lastname@example.org.