TIERRA VERDE – Tampa Bay Watch will host the 12th annual Ed Alber Tarpon Rodeo, a catch and release fishing tournament, on Thursday and Friday, June 8 and 9, with cash prizes totaling $4,000.
Anglers will fish their favorite spots throughout Tampa Bay from 1-mile offshore running north to Redington Fishing Pier and south to Longboat Pass. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Tampa Bay Watch, a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect and restore the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs.
The tournament festivities will kick off at the TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach on Thursday, June 8, 6 p.m., with exciting live and silent auctions, food and drinks, and the Captain’s Meeting. Anglers will hunt for the Silver King on Tampa Bay during the all-release tarpon tournament on Friday, June 9, 2 to 8 p.m. Vessels will launch from the Fort De Soto Park boat ramp. The awards ceremony will be held at the Tampa Bay Watch Marine Center from 8 to 10 p.m., for anglers to enjoy a well-deserved meal by Bonefish Grill.
The tournament is open to the public but it is sure to fill up fast with anglers who love to fish, catch and release. To register, call Tampa Bay Watch at 727-867-8166, ext. 234, or visit tampabaywatch.org/edalbertarponrodeo. Several sponsorship packages are available at various levels from $800 to $5,000.
Individual tickets to the Captain’s Banquet are $75 each if purchased prior to April 30. The Sport Division is open to Bronze Sponsors ($1,500) and individual boat entries. Gold ($5,000) and Silver ($3,000) sponsors will be eligible to compete in the Great Bay Guardians Division.
As in previous events, tarpon and shark (minimum 24”) are eligible. The winning boat will be determined by total number of tarpon or shark legally released per boat.
Tampa Bay Watch is a nonprofit 501(c)3 stewardship program dedicated exclusively to the charitable and scientific purpose of protecting and restoring the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary encompassing over 400 square miles of open water and 2,300 square miles of highly-developed watershed. Tampa Bay Watch involves more than 10,000 youth and adult volunteers each year in hands-on habitat restoration projects.