The third annual Colonial Bank Tampa Tarpon Tournament will be held May 31
from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More than 150 anglers are expected to participate in the event, which is
dedicated to marine science and raising public awareness about the health of the
Tampa Bay estuary.
In the last three years, almost $90,000 has been pledged in sponsorships,
prizes and gifts for the one-day charity event to benefit The University of
Tampa marine science program. After expenses last year, the tournament netted
about $29,000 for the program.
A silent auction will feature thousands of dollars worth of marine
merchandise sold to the high bidder. Each division shall have trophies for
first, second and third places. Division winners each receive a $1,000 cash
prize. The overall winner has the choice of a $1,000 cash prize or a one-year
lease on a Chevy pickup truck provided by Buddy Foster Chevrolet of
“This event is not just another fishing tournament, it’s a celebration of the
recovery of Tampa Bay as the second most successful environmental recovery of an
estuary in the nation,” said Mike Emmanuel, a tournament director.
“The Marine Science facility is another way to perpetuate that recovery, and
it provides a way for the people of the Bay Area to participate directly in that
process,” said Emmanuel.
The strictly catch-and-release tournament will be held out of Tampa’s Bayside
Marina on Saturday, May 31, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Anglers are encouraged to use a licensed guide if they choose, and they will
have to compete in the expert/guide division. Entry fees are $200 per angler,
$100 for juniors 14 and under. Divisions include expert/guide, amateur and
fly. Categories include Most Fish, Hard-Luck, Women and Juniors.
Most fish caught and released in each division will determine winners. Ties
will be determined by time of hookup. Marine science student-observers will be
on board each boat to certify the catch, and to ensure compliance with IGFA
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
Anglers may enter the tournament online at www.UTarpon.org. Checks may be
made out to "The University of Tampa." A portion of the entry fee may be tax
For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at