Week Two of the 88th Annual Sarasota Tarpon Tournament did not come without its challenges as the rain continued through much of week two. While fish continue to be seen in numbers, anglers report that if you’re striking out, changing up your bait may change your luck.
Congratulations to Chris Speary who hit the top of the leaderboard in Week Two recording a 39-inch girth on the Tarpon he caught and released on Saturday the 26th. Tom Goshorn ran a close second in week two with a 38-inch Tarpon caught and released on Sunday the 20th off of Longboat Key.
Wyatt Rogers finished third with a 37-inch Tarpon he reeled in on Sunday the 20th, again off of Longboat Key. Just two inches separated the three top finishers on the leaderboard in week two.
Currently David Sugar is leading Most Releases with 5 and Yuly Torres is leading the Women’s Division with a 35” fish.
Wednesday nights Kick-Off event at the White Buffalo ushered in a new era as the Annual Kick-Off Event took on decidedly country and western look and feel.
A big supportive crowd packed the White Buffalo Saloon, with many in attendance first-time attendees.
This year marked the tournament’s 88th consecutive year of competition. kicked into gear around 7 p.m.
Tournament organizers were overwhelmed by the show of support from the community. The committee expressed its sincere gratitude to the White Buffalo Saloon who acted as this year’s Tournament Hosting Sponsor along with Bud Light.
Bryan Kelly, acting as master of ceremonies, reviewed the tournament rules and gave a shout out to all the 2018 Tournament’s many sponsors. Bryan also voiced special thanks to the 2018 Presenting Sponsors, Tom Kane Construction Inc., Sugar Orthopaedics, Conley Buick, GOTTA LIVE, and Columbia Sportswear.
Lori Colado (shown above) was introduced as the 2018 Tarpon Queen. Lori fishes the tournament and is an avid Tarpon angler. Her passion for the fish and this tournament, as well as the overwhelming number of nominations she received made her the perfect Tarpon Queen.
The 2017 Tarpon Queen Aledia Tush, surounded by friends, was there to hand off the crown to Lori Colado.
As usual, there was an incredible selection of fishing related items, too many to mention here, donated for this year’s charity raffle which was conducted throughout the evening by Bryan Kelly to a boisterous crowd.
Monies raised from the evening’s raffles and the Tournament overall will, as usual, be donated to Charity. Included again this year to the list of charities, the Coastal Conservation Association.
Based on feedback from our anglers we are changing the venue for this year’s event and creating more of a celebration of the start of Tarpon Season for our kick-off party/captain’s meeting.
The party will be held on Wed., May 9th at White Buffalo Saloon in Sarasota with registration starting at 6:00 p.m. and the party itself starting at 7:00 p.m. Your $125 entry into the tournament gets you food and fun and a cash bar will also be available.
LIVE MUSIC, GOOD TIMES, a LIVE AUCTION with some incredible outdoor EXPERIENCES from CCA as well as AMAZING RAFFLES for gear, tackle, paddle boards, coolers, artwork and much more.
Also, this year’s Awards Banquet will be a scaled down and focus on awarding the prizing, honoring our winners and handing out our prize ladder for those who registered fish.
Tournament SPONSORSHIPS are available. It’s the generosity of our amazing sponsors that have kept this legendary tournament running for 88 years. As you know, we have a fantastic group of anglers and much more watching online and in the community. Please contact us if you would like to talk to a representative about sponsorship.
We couldn’t be more excited about this year’s tournament and can’t wait to see you all at the White Buffalo.