‘Ding’ Darling Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament 2021

The 2021 ‘Ding’ Darling Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament was a great success!  For those that don’t know, each year in the month of May Doc Ford’s is the host venue for the best tarpon tournament in the state of Florida.  The tarpon, also known as the “Silver King” is the top sportfish in the area.  In fact, the first documented tarpon to be caught on rod and reel was caught in Tarpon Bay on Sanibel Island in 1885.  Since then, everyone from amateurs to presidents have traveled to Southwest Florida in their attempt to catch the Silver King.  

Capt. John Landry with Team Doc Ford’s

We’re coming up on the 10 year anniversary, and to date there’s been over $730,000 raised for ‘Ding’ Darling and their conservation efforts in our community. Not only that, but this tournament is the only Tarpon tournament where 100% of the entry fees go right back to the winning captains.  That’s right, there’s some serious money to be made for winning the tournament.  In the 2021 tournament just a couple months ago, the winning team won roughly $45k!  

On top of that, each year the winning captains receives a custom PINK tarpon jacket to wear each year after, to forever designate them as a ‘Ding’ Darling Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament winner! See official results page here.

What’s also important to note, is that this is strictly a catch and release tournament, and the fish stays in the water 100% of the time.  Before the tournament, each angler is given 2 wrist bands that are required to be visible in the leader-touch pictures that are sent to tournament officials to show a caught fish.  A leader-touch is the 6’ line from the hook to the angler’s main line that needs to be touched and photographed to prove a caught fish. Also provided, are DNA kits where anglers can swab the fish to gather DNA to be sent back to a lab for research purposes.  

We’re excited to be part of this tournament, and with the conservation issues and water quality issues being in the forefront of today’s policies, we believe it’s incredibly important to not only provide a fun tournament day of fishing, but to help raise money for those conservation efforts.  Clean water and a healthy ecosystem are vital to all industries here in Florida, and is a direct contributor to the economy.  The more we can do to protect our natural environment, the better off we’ll all be. 

A special thanks to ‘Ding’ Darling and their staff! For more information on the tournament, please visit the Ding Darling tournament website. Also, if you would like to be a sponsor for next year, please contact us and we would love to provide you more information!  For all tournament photos click here!

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