2017 World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament dates, times, rules and payouts set

As sure as the current in Boca Grande Pass, the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament tradition continues on May 25 and 26, 2017. This year the prize money is $80,000, based on a field of 20 boats. The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce holds the tournament every year.

Fishing will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. both days, and the awards will be given in downtown Boca Grande after the tournament.

The Captain’s party will be held on Wednesday, May 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Gasparilla Inn Beach Club (intersection of Gilchrist Avenue and 5th Street). There will be a raffle, as well as drinks and appetizers. All captains, please read the rules on line prior to the meeting so we can answer any questions you might have. Team leaders, please check in when you arrive at the party and pick up your team bag from the registrar.

Over time the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament has become synonymous with “no-weigh, no-kill,” signifying the guides’ understanding that the Boca Grande Pass may not continue to yield the same numbers of magnificent tarpon if those methods aren’t employed. This tournament is all about quick-release and ethical angling, in the traditional Pass “drift” style. Generations of Boca Grande families have fished these waters, and they are in our hearts when we plan this tournament every year.

We are also all about new anglers as well, as there is no bigger thrill than to find an already-avid fisherman and introducing them to our kind of fishing. Even if you’ve fished for tarpon many times before, if you’ve never fished Boca Grande Pass you are truly missing out.

You can find the rules for the 2017 World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament HERE.

The first place team will win $30,000, and the second place team will receive $20,000. Each day a team will take home $7,500 for the first fish released and for the last fish hooked and released. The entry fee per team is $5,000 with a 40-boat maximum. First and second wins are based on the number of fish released. These numbers are based on a 20-boat field.

We are also excited to bring you the Boca Grande Invitation Art Show and Tarpon Festival. In 2012 the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce decided to name the weekend after the World’s Richest tournament “Tarpon Festival Weekend,” and the downtown streets are packed with an art show, food and live music … all in celebration of the silver king.For more information on this event which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, click HERE.

The World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament, a catch-and-release-only event, has become a symbol for conservation, education and sportsmanship. Working with local projects such as the Wildflower Conservancy STEM Program, which follows the progress of juvenile tarpon in Coral Creek, and the Gasparilla Island Kids Classic, everything about the World’s Richest highlights teaching future generations to protect and love nature, and making sure the tarpon that are released in the tournament are done so swiftly and with minimal stress and injury to the fish.

“Participating in the World’s Richest is something every angler should experience,” said Candy Brooks, president of the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce and 2016 tournament director. “We set our dates and times through the Boca Grande Fishing Guides’ Association to optimize angler chances of hooking up a big silver king. Traditional drift fishing among a big field of boats is crazy, exciting and really gets your adrenaline going. It’s big fish, big money and big excitement.”

Call the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce at (941) 964-0568 for more information. You can also find out more on our Facebook page, facebook.com/Worlds-Richest-Tarpon-Tournament-283240548395467/