19th Annual Rotary Tarpon Tournament

On Saturday, August 1st, the Rotary Club of Mobile and Mobile Sunrise Rotary held their 19th Annual Rotary Tarpon Tournament which benefits various Rotary Community Projects and Rotary Foundation.

The tournament begins each year with famous Captain’s Reception. This year, the reception was held at Oysterella’s, an upscale seafood restaurant located on the Mobile Bay Causeway. Rotary members, wives and tournament team members come together to enjoy a night with great food, beverage and fun. This event was held on Thursday, July 31st.

The tournament begins at daylight on Saturday each year. As customary, teams have the option to fish for the infamous tarpon—a catch-and-release fish—whereby teams must prove their catch by inserting a designatedboat number and the fish within a live video or photo. To make that happen is no easy task, which is why the first place pot for Tarpon pays $1,000. Unfortunately for the fisherman (and fortunately the Tarpon), there were no tarpon to be had this year, but not without a fight. In spite of some early and mid-morning thunderstorms, nearly eleven tarpon were hooked up, but no one was able to hang on long enough to photograph the catch before losing the tarpon.

Other categories include “Jack” Crevalle and Blackfish. Unusual for thistournament, there was only one “Jack”caught this year. John Toomey took home $200.00 for his 24.25 lb. winning Jack.. The Blackfish weren’t so lucky. The three Blackfish winners included: Daniel Hudgens won 1st Place and $400.00 for his 14.20 lbs Blackfish. Scott Heggeman won second place and $200.00 for his 13.20 lbs Blackfish, and Paige Myers won 3rd Place and $150 for her 11.80 lbs fish. Congrats to all.

While the Tarpon Committee was worried a down economy could effect the outcome, members of all area Rotary clubs including the Rotaract Club of Mobile, Mobile Sunrise Rotary, Rotary Club of Mobile, Mobile West, Fairhope, and Point Clear, along with the South Alabama boating community, stepped up to support the annual fishing tournament. The tournament brought in over 65 sponsors and 40 fishing teams, easily accounting for over 200 individual fishermen. Proceeds from the Tarpon Tournament grossed over $23,000.

Thanks again for everyone’s support!

Jeff Adams, Co-Captain

Mobile Sunrise Rotary

Ernest Ladd, Co-Captain

Rotary Club of Mobile

(Include photos)