In 1983 the “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament was originally called the Boca Grande Club Invitational, sponsored and run by the private Boca Grande Club located on the north end of Gasparilla Island, and traditionally run during the summer.
In 1991, the Boca Grande Club decided to discontinue their sponsorship of the tournament and the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce took it over renaming it the “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament and opening entries to the general public.
At its height, the total purse of the “World’s Richest” exceeded $175,000 and anglers from all over the world traveled to Boca Grande to enter for a chance to win it.
The impressive “World’s Richest” perpetual trophy is on display at the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce office and features the names of the winning team leaders for each year the tournament has been in existence.
In 2005, the Chamber of Commerce decided to take a hiatus from sponsoring the tournament to focus more on economic development for its growing membership base.
The Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association took over the tournament and renamed it the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association Tarpon Tournament which ran until 2011.
In 2013, on the 31st Anniversary of it’s inception, the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce once again began to sponsor and direct the storied “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament in its triumphant return.
This year, as with every year in the future, education and conservation of the fishery combined with sport fishing will be the primary focus. Safe boating, sportsmanship and responsible angling will be promoted in order to encourage a safe, successful family friendly event that will ensure the protection and proper stewardship of our natural resources so that they may be enjoyed for generations to come.
The urgency towards conservation has become increasingly apparent over the last few years and the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to taking the lead in creating opportunities to help rehabilitate a habitat that has flourished in South West Florida for thousands of years.
Our all-release, no-weigh, no-kill tournaments are an alternative whose time has come. Bringing families together in sport and education enriches not only our estuaries and fisheries, but our community as a whole.
Our 2016 “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament scheduled for May 19 and 20 is combined with the Boca Grande Invitational Art Show and Street Festival. Come out and enjoy our island!
Contact the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce by phone, email, or visit our website for more information.
Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 704
Boca Grande, FL 33921