STAFF REPORT – After 2020 take off due to COVID-19, the Gasparilla Island Classic Kids Tarpon Tournament will return on Saturday, June 5 and be held at Boca Grande Pass from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
According to Captain Sandy Melvin, founder and coordinator of the tournament, this is the world’s largest children’s fishing tournament for children 15 and under (cannot be 16 on tournament day).
Teams will consist of a captain and a maximum of four anglers, and the registration fee is $ 1,000 per team.
Children cannot receive help fighting a tarpon other than from their fishing teammates. Captains / companions may not assist in advancing a tarpon on the boat. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification from the capture. Teams cannot replace fishermen without official approval.
All competitors and captains agree that any decision / decision of the tournament judge is final.
One hundred percent of all registration fees for this event are donated to tournament charitable partners and benefit children’s health and education programs throughout Southwest Florida.
“Thanks to the great support of our sponsors and contributors, in just eight years we have raised over $ 282,000 for institutions and programs such as Moffitt Cancer Center, The Island School, the Charlotte County School System’s STEM Camp program, Easter Seals of Southwest Florida and Dee Wheeler Scholarship Fund, ”said Melvin. “We also made a donation to the Boca Grande Historical Society, the Maritime Museum of Gasparilla Island, the Boca Grande Fishing Guide Association, the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.
The schedule of events on Fishing Day is as follows:
From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., boat screening will begin at Pink Elephant Docks and Whidden Marina. All teams must register and receive the official tournament flag to participate.
At 2:40 p.m., a conservation message will be given by Dr Aaron Adams, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. At 2:42 pm, the “Blessing of the Event” will take place.
At 2:45 p.m. we will pay homage to soldiers and veterans, followed by the singing of the national anthem.
At 3 p.m., the tournament begins and ends at 6 p.m.
At 6:30 p.m., the awards ceremony will take place at the Boca Grande Community Center and will include food, drink and entertainment.
If you would like to form a team, go to bocagrandecharities.org or call (941) 964-0907. The deadline for submitting teams is May 15th.