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Tampa Tarpon Tournament Expands to Two Days

Published: April 18, 2006

The sixth annual Tampa Tarpon Tournament has been expanded to two days and will serve as a qualifying event for the world-class Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship Tournament co-sponsored by the IGFA (International Game Fish Association).


The tournament, hosted by The University of Tampa and Tampa Bayside Marina, is a 100 percent catch-and-release format, and will be held on May 20-21.


“We anticipate the expansion of the tournament to a two-day event, as well as the addition of the IGFA, will draw even more anglers, not only from Tampa Bay, but from across the state,” said Tournament Director Mike Emmanuel.


The extended fishing hours also will enable anglers to fish several major tides, as well as night fishing. Fishing can begin as early as midnight on May 19 and continue until 3 p.m. on May 21. Previously, the tournament was limited to nine hours, from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday.  


Other changes include the reduction of the fly-fishing division to a category, but fly fishermen will still be able to compete for the overall prize as well as the fly category.


Cash prizes of $1,000 will be awarded to the top anglers in the Guided and Amateur divisions, and the grand champion will be invited to participate in the Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship Tournament to be held in the summer of 2007. The Inshore Championship Tournament invites the winners of more than 55 qualifying events held on four continents and sanctioned by the IGFA. Second-and third-place finishers in the two Divisions will receive awards of $250 and $100, respectively. Winners of the Women's, Fly and Children's categories will receive trophies.


In addition to the extended fishing hours, the popular dinner and Captain's Meeting has been moved to Thursday, May 18, 5:30 p.m., at the Tampa Bayside Marina (Captain's Meeting at 7 p.m.).


All of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Marine Science Center at the University, which serves both students and faculty in marine science, environmental science and biology programs.


A major research field station is housed at the marina that provides an on-water research facility for the University's many marine science majors. 


The registration fee for the tournament is $200 per angler or $500 for a team of four and includes admission to all festivities. For more information, contact Grant Donaldson, UT public relations director, at (813) 253-6232.