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Tarpon Tournament

04/22/2014 at 5:28pm

Tarpon Tournament‘Ding’ Darling & Doc Ford’s
Tarpon Tournament Educates, Conserves


The "Ding” Darling Wildlife Society–Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille have teamed up for a third year to host a tarpon competition termed a "catch, release, and care” tournament on May 3,2014.


"We are working together with Doc Ford’s and other partners to promote the sport of tarpon fishing in Southwest Florida and the importance of understanding and appreciating the amazing tarpon,” said DDWS President John McCabe, "so that future generations will have the opportunity to ‘bow’ to the Silver King decades from now.”


Again this year, New York Times’ bestselling Doc Ford murder-mystery series novelist Randy Wayne White will be participating in the "Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament.


"The tournament brings a day of great action and getting together with a lot of local fishermen I haven’t seen in a while,” said White, a former area fishing guide. "I admire the way the tournament is run for the benefit of the species.”


The "Ding” Darling tournament demonstrates mindful fishing in many ways. First of all, it forgoes harmful dock weigh-in practices in favor of an honor system that declares winners from photos taken on-board. Furthermore, jig fishing is not allowed and anglers who perform a DNA scrub on their catches earn extra points.


The final component in the catch, release, and care equation: Proceeds from the tournament directly benefit wildlife conservation efforts at "Ding” Darling Refuge, a protected wetland and marine habitat on Sanibel Island. Last year the tournament contributed $40,000 to the aid of wildlife.


Tournament entry fee is $500 per boat; the tournament is limited to a field of 50 boats. One hundred percent of the entry fees are awarded in prize monies to the teams that catch the most tarpon, with event sponsorships and donations going to support the refuge.


Doc Ford’s, with locations on both Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach, believes strongly in supporting the refuge and sport fishing, said co-owner Marty Harrity.


"Anglers from all over the country participate in this tournament, which sells out every year,” he added. "It’s a real testament to good, honest fishing with a twist of science and conservation.”


For tournament registration, contact Birgie Vertesch at 239-292-0566.


Photo and information provided by "Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.





Photo Caption: Tarpon tournament participants take utmost care to preserve and further the understanding of the species.