Tarpon Tournaments

The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce hosts world-famous Tarpon Tournaments every year.

Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament

Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament 

At the beginning of the tarpon season, a group of island women decided to go tarpon fishing before their captains would be too busy. Thanks to Janet “Italiano” Gillespie, the idea to share a day of fun, fishing and releasing with their friends became an annual event.

By 1991 this no harm fishing sport became such a large event that Janet decided to turn the responsibility over to the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce. Janet’s only requirement was that Ladies Day remained a release tournament. To this day Ladies Day has been a successful event with an average field of 40 boats, full of participants who treat Ladies Day as an annual tradition. Seasoned & new participants all come together to kick off the fishing season with the original spirit of Ladies Day- to have fun and release. Let the Tarpon Season Begin!

For more information: Contact the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce at 941-964-0568, email us at info@bocagrandechamber.com or visit our website at http://www.bocagrandechamber.com/ for more information.

2020 Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament 

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 situation, we have taken the measure of cancelling the Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament scheduled for May 9th, 2020. We will be issuing full refunds for those who have paid their entry fee.

2019 Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament Winners!

1st Place: 5 Releases
Winnings: $11,480, Champion Pendants by Barbara Anne’s Jewelry & Repair, 1st Place Trophies by Tim Lauer, and Captains For Clean Water Hats
Little Spook: Capt. Nelson Italiano
Anglers: Alison Henderson, Julie Camp, Renee Lindsey, Cannon Wenzel

2nd Place: 3 Releases
Winnings: $6,888, 2nd Place Trophies by Tim Lauer, 4 Gift Baskets donated by James Griffith Salon, a $75 Gift Certificate to Barnichol Hardware for the Captain, and 5 Captains For Clean Water Hats
Hammerhead: Capt. Roger Gibson
Anglers: Dani Hunter, Wendy Thompson, Claire Brophy, Dawn Dawick

3rd Place: Last Fish Hooked and Released at 7:29:20 pm
Winnings: $4,592, 3rd Place Trophies by Tim Lauer, 5 Engraved LDTT Yeti Cups, a $25 Gift Certificate to the Pink Pony for the Captain, and 5 Captains For Clean Water Hats
Tracy Lynn: Capt. Willie Mills
Anglers: Terry Joiner, Sally Joiner, Janet Italiano Gillespie, Falon Mills Rice


The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank our Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament Committee, Volunteers, Sponsors, Judges, Artist, Anglers, Captains, Mates, and the Boca Grande Community for all of your hard work, support, and participation in the 29th Annual Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament. We could not do it without you! We would also like to thank the Joiner family for allowing us to dedicate this year’s tournament to Isabelle Joiner.

2019 Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament Sponsors
Thank you for all of your support!


5 Star Plumbing of SW FL


Island TV Boca Grande, Columbia Sportswear, Boca Beacon, Marine Max, Quality Boats, Barnichol Hardware, Peace River Distributing


Barbara Anne’s Jewelry & Repair, Safety Harbor Builders, Italiano Insurance, James Griffith Salon, Innovative Marine Structures, Bayfront Health


Englewood Bank & Trust, Grande Aire Services, Miller’s Dockside | Eagle Grille | Boca Grande Marina, Custom Mortgage Nicole Stiver, Sisters Restaurant, Banyan Tree Pilates & Yoga, Caddy Carts


Apex Roofmasters, Smith and Wagoner CPA, Hollinswood Ranch, Shoreline Cable, Pink Pony/Dolphin Cove, Boca Grande Vacations, Key West Express, Barefoot Trader, Key Agency, Hudson’s Grocery, Paradise Exclusive Real Estate, Ocean Roads Transport, Captains for Clean Water, Costa Del Mar, The Temptation, Scarpa’s Coastal, Cheyenne Alford Photography, Glass Bottom Kayak Tours, Newlin’s, Palm on Park

World's Richest Tarpon Tournament

World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament

In the early 1980s, the Boca Grande Club started the Boca Grande Club Invitational Tarpon Tournament to bring World Class Anglers to Boca Grande, The Tarpon Capitol of the World. In early 90s the Boca Grande Chamber took over the tournament rebranding it as the “World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament” with first place winning over $100,000!

Although it started as a weigh tournament with 1st place going to the heaviest fish, 2nd to the 2nd heaviest and 3rd to the team with the most releases, the tournament shifted to an all release event in the 2000s to focus on Conservation, Sportsmanship, and Education.

This Traditional live-bait only Tarpon Tournament honors the history of Tarpon fishing in Boca Grande pass as well stressing the importance of conservation to ensure a healthy fishery for generations to come. We hope you join us in future years by participating in the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament, a Grande Tradition!

For more information: Contact the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce at 941-964-0568, email us at info@bocagrandechamber.com or visit our website at http://www.bocagrandechamber.com/

2020 World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament

NOTE: We will continue to monitor the situation at hand to make a decision for the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament scheduled for June 3rd & 4th. The Chamber Board will make a decision by April 15th.

Welcome to the 39th Annual World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament!
Date: Wednesday – Thursday, June 3-4, 2020
Time: 3:30-7:30 pm (Both Days)

Registration: 2020 WRTT Registration Packet

Sponsorship: 2020 WRTT Sponsorship Packet

Rules: 2020 WRTT Rules

2019 World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament Winners!

1st Place: 5 total releases in two days
Winnings: $30,000, Champion Rings by Barbara Anne’s Jewelry & Repair, 1st Place Trophies by JW Trophies, Captain’s Prize donated by Ramlin Trailers, 75 & 65 Yeti Coolers
1st Tarpon Released on Day 1:
Winnings: $12,500, Moultrie Hunting Package

Boca Blue: Capt. Sandy Melvin
Anglers: Bob Melvin, Doni Cayo, Ron Walker
TOTAL Winnings: $42,500

2nd Place: 4 releases in two days
Winnings: $20,000, 2nd place trophies by JW Trophies, 75 & 65 Yeti Coolers
1st & Last Tarpon Released Day 2:
Winnings: $25,000, Moultrie Hunting Package

Searene: Capt. Lamar Joiner, Jr.
Anglers: Clay Watkins, Taylor Watkins, Kenzie Dixon
TOTAL Winnings: $45,000

Last Tarpon Released Day 1: 
Winnings: $12,500, Moultrie Hunting Package

Hey, Moma!: Capt. Wayne Joiner
Anglers: Alex Shouppe, Chris Sanders, Trey Starling, Michael Moorefield

There were 20 tarpon released in the two-day tournament, 25 boats in the field.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, Chamber board members, captains and anglers, and congratulations to the winners!

2019 World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament Sponsors
Thank you for all of your support!

Tarpon Festival Director: Carroll Swayze 

Tournament Artist: Kelly Reark 

Conservation Partners: Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Captains For Clean Water 


Boca Grande Marina | Miller’s Dockside | Eagle Grille 


The Gasparilla Inn & Club 


Grande Aire Services

Barnichol Hardware 

Island TV Boca Grande

Boca Beacon 


Columbia Sportswear, Innovative Marine Structures, Caddy Carts , Ram-Lin, Barbara Anne’s Jewelry & Repair, Marinemax, Quality Boats, Italiano Insurance, Conditioned Air, Moultrie, The Temptation Restaurant, Blu Site Solutions, Peace River Distribution 


Hudson’s Grocery, Paradise Exclusive Real Estate, Tommy Locke Outdoors, Bowen Construction, Michael Saunders & Company, Fair Cost Health Plan, Boca Grande Vacations, Kelly Reark Artist, Hollinswood Ranch, Sotheby’s Gulf to Bay International Real Estate, Gary World Wild, Pink Pony/Dolphin Cove, Abel’s Marine, Englewood Bank & Trust, Boca Grande Real Estate, Appliance Service Co., Southern Cross Storm Protection, S & P Hauling, Soul of the Sea, Scarpa’s Coastal, Phelan Family Brands , Pirates Dream, Richard’s Foodporium , Myakka Pines Golf Club, TJ Carney’s Pub & Grille Venice, Daiquiri Deck, Bonefish Grill, Sadie Green’s Jewelry, Beach Road Boutique, Whirly Board, Reef + Ledge, Mustad Hooks


COVID-19 Updates

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