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Tampa Tarpon Tournament Set for May 22

Published: February 23, 2004
The fourth annual Colonial Bank Tampa Tarpon Tournament will be held Saturday, May 22 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tampa Bayside Marina.

More than 150 anglers are expected to participate in the strictly catch-and-release tournament, which is dedicated to marine science and raising public awareness about the recovery of the Tampa Bay estuary.


In the last three years, almost $100,000 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 following the Captain’s meeting on May 21 will feature thousands of dollars worth of marine merchandise and vacation packages sold to the highest bidder. Each division will have prizes for first, second and third places. Each division winner receives a $1,000 cash prize.


“The purpose of this event is to bring environmental awareness about Tampa Bay waters to the public and private sectors, and also to thank them for helping in the successful recovery,” said Mike Emmanuel, tournament director.


“UT’s Marine Science program is educating future generations of marine scientists to continue the research that has made Tampa Bay the nation’s second most successful environmental recovery,” said Emmanuel.


Anglers may hire licensed guides or use their own boats. Entry fees are $200 per angler. Sponsorship packages are available. Divisions include expert/guide, amateur and fly, with special categories for women and juniors.


The most fish caught and released in each division will determine winners.  IGFA rules will govern the tournament.

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 north).


Anglers may download entry forms or find additional information at Checks should be made out to "The University of Tampa." A portion of the entry fee may be tax deductible.


For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at