Boca Grande, located on the Barrier Island of Gasparilla, is a step back into "Old World" Florida, a carefully preserved part of Florida's history and beauty. Located on the Southwest coast of Florida, midway between Fort Myers and Sarasota, Boca Grande is a retreat for tourists and fishermen. Featuring seven miles of unspoiled white sand beaches. Accommodations are available for rent, long term and short term. The quaint village of Boca Grande offers unique dining and shopping experiences.
Chambers & Visitors Bureaus,
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HISTORY & MISSION
After its history-making return in 2012, on its 30 anniversary, the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and public festival came back in a big way with a renewed mission of conservation, education and sportsmanship. By combining the high-stakes allure of competitive, big-game sport fishing with practical conservation principles and informative entertainment, this trend-setting event is pioneering its way as a model for tarpon tournaments around the World.
CAPITALIZING ON ESTABLISHED LOCAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA RECOGNITION
As the result of unprecedented support and involvement from the sport, science, conservation
nd business communities, the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and Festival has received local, regional and international mainstream media attention. Strategic alliances with local and regional media partners have resulted in numerous segments airing on TV news and featured articles by respected journalists in Harbor Style, North Port, Onshore-Offshore and Guy Harvey Magazines. Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lew Hastings also regularly promotes the event as an invited guest at public and private meetings and radio talk shows including his own weekly radio show which has an estimated audience reach of 400,000. Including the event’s own unique world class conservation print publication, these efforts exemplify how this event and its sponsors have effectively reached millions of consumers in our back yard and around the world. Surrounding the diversified media exposure and attention is a growing list of noted
public officials, internationally respected research scientists, conservation and wildlife management organizations, and respected eco-minded corporations who proudly express their support and endorsement for this innovative and sustainable sport and entertainment format.
Anglers in 2015 will enter a two-day tournament with up to 4 anglers per team and will be competing for thousands in cash and prizes. Competitors will follow procedures designed for quick releases and the best post- release welfare of all tarpon. Winners will be determined by the highest total number of tarpon successfully released, each of which are officially recorded when the Captain or mate touches the leader and immediately releases the tarpon. An Observer, professionally trained and certified by Official Tournament Staff will accompany teams throughout the competition. Accepted Observer applicants must successfully complete a mandatory course in: tarpon identification, proper release procedures and tournament rules.
Event Overview & Sponsor Opportunties
While competition heats up in Boca Grande Pass and the Gulf of Mexico, there will be plenty of family-friendly fun and excitement back on shore at the tournament and festival host location in beautiful Downtown Boca Grande all day June 5th and 6th. Event sponsors will be on hand to exhibit their products and conduct demonstrations and promotions, along with a wide variety of spectacular art vendors, live music performances, unique attractions like the Mote Mobile Aquarium, entertaining and educational marine- centric lectures by some of today’s leading fishery experts and scientists, and of course, lots of delicious food and cold beverages.
Event organizers are especially pleased to announce that world-renowned marine artist, angler and tournament sponsor, Guy Harvey and his Ocean Foundation will again be providing valuable support for the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament’s anglers and the event’s tarpon research and educational outreach mission. Harvey, a marine biologist, longtime conservationist, and founder of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, said “This tournament and festival will increase global awareness of the important role that tarpon play in the world’s oceans and our ecosystem.” In 2012, Creators and Directors of the Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge developed a continuing alliance with the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Lew Hastings, to promote and strengthen their commonality of mission for the conservation of our coastal marine environment. “We applaud both tournament’s founders and directors for their increased commitment to promote the proper catch and release of sharks and tarpon. Our goal with them is to help minimize the mortality rates of these species and maximize educational outreach about the important and growing need for their conservation”, said Dr. Harvey.
HOST VENUE AND EVENT LOCATION
We’re excited to be hosting this event on the magnificent island of Gasparilla in the town of Boca Grande. Historic and beautiful, this island attracts people from all over the world who come to experience this lush barrier island surrounded by cerulean waters and seven miles of sugary white beaches stretching the entire Gulf side; the kind one usually finds only in the Caribbean. This tropical backdrop with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico provides an exciting and entertaining festival experience for the entire family all day Friday June 5th and Saturday June 6th.
Home to some of the world’s most robust and diverse saltwater sport fishing, the southwest region of Florida is also a top vacation destination known for its beautiful beaches, resorts and magnetic eco-tourism opportunities. The region in and surrounding Charlotte Harbor and the legendary Boca Grande Pass prides itself in a history rich with sport fishing lore as the catch point of numerous saltwater world records and the favorite fishing hole of such notable figures as: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Ernest Hemmingway and Zane Grey.