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Gasparilla Island Kids Classic
Tarpon Tournament

 I was asked if I would take some photographs of the Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament and help to promote it on my website.

Since tarpon fishing is not an "exact sport"... and by that I mean you never know "exactly" when or where someone will catch one... I told them I would do it if they could set up a boat to move me around during the tournament to follow the action... and they said they could.

So my day started at noon at the Boca Grande Community Center 
where I photographed some of the kids...
And all the pretty the girls at the registration table 
in their new Kids Classic long sleeved shirts.

A quick motivational talk from Capt. Sandy Melvin of 
Gasparilla Outfitters 431 Park Avenue Boca Grande, FL 33921

 Boca Grande Fire Department brought their shiny red
"Silver King" to the event

And supplied the soap and water for the giant 
slip-n-slide set up on the lawn



 A few casual portraits along the way :)


Lunch was served and everyone had a choice of hot dogs or pull pork sandwiches... and I must say they were delicious :)


Some cold, sweet watermelon for dessert

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 More fun games to keep the kids happy
All around the Community Center

This dunk tank became very popular
As there was an endless line of participants
A replacement was needed about an hour into the event
Due to the constant drowning 

 About 2 pm the Bar-B-Q event was over and everyone wondered off in different directions to wait for the 3 pm start time for the fishing event
I stopped into the Pink Elephant for a quick drink before heading out on the water and got this casual portrait of a fellow photographer

The docks were crowded as everyone met at 3 pm to get 
picked up by the boats that would take them all fishing


 I saw this guy loading up a bag of golf clubs into this vintage wooden boat and asked what kind of fish he was going after :) 
But he just looked at me and totally ignored the comment.
Oh that's right... Boca Grande has a very beautiful and unique 
golf course right next to the water :)


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I photographed the boats as we all made it towards the southern tip of Boca Grande for the ceremony that would be happening on land.
The water was beautiful and there was a slight breeze 
from the west to keep things cool


The ceremony was held right in front of the Boca Grande lighthouse but didn't last very long. 
I shot with my long lens to try to capture the event from a distance

Then it was time to move the boats out into the pass
and wait for the official start of the tournament at 4 pm

In the meanwhile there were tarpon jumping 
out of the water in every direction. 
I did my best to capture a few of them 
as they leaped and splashed in all directions at once


Capt. Cappy Joiner has been tarpon fishing in this pass his whole life and is trusted to move his small boat in close to the action.  
With a few minutes to kill before the tournament started...
I got some casual portraits of some of the people on my boat



Everyone else just waited comfortably 
for the event to begin



Let's Go Fishing !


Savannah was first to hook up with a tarpon... 
and we moved in close for some good pictures.




CASURINA hooked up next
and again we moved in for a closeup




Sitarah was first to make a tarpon jump completely out of the water...
and I was lucky to be aiming my camera in the right direction 




From then on it was just another day of Tarpon Fishing in Boca Grande Pass.  This was the PRESS boat that was also photographing this event



Not a tarpon... but a very respectable Grouper 
for this little girl on Phil-Jack

Blaze hooked up with a nice fish but got caught up with another non-tournament boat who had hooked his own fish at the same time.
They tried to work it out but Blaze wound up loosing his fish in the process.  It's one of those things that happens fishing this close together



This little guy in the red shirt was catchin a fish 
that probably weighed more than he did
And I'm sure it really made his day. :)
Cuz it really made mine to see him get that big fish back to the boat.




Savannah got a second strike 
And this guy was really a jumper



Faithful II had the first girl to hook a tarpon
And it was fun to watch her battle it back to the boat also



Phil-Jack got another great jumper... 
One of the things that makes tarpon fishing so good...
 Because you almost always get to see the fish you hooked...
whether you get him back to the boat or not

Here he lies quietly exhausted waiting for them to remove the line



That said... and in total contrast... 
this tarpon refused to jump at all




Sun was setting and the tournament was over at 7 pm.  Anyone that already had a tarpon hooked was allowed to play it but no further fishing was allowed to be entered in the tournament.

My captain and crew.  Special thanks for taking me out there
and helping me get some good shot.

There was a very short awards party at Miller's Marina afterwards

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Just visit any of  the photo galleries to see thousands of high quality photo's and videos. I pride myself on being available on short notice for any kind of occasion to shoot digital photography or digital video of just about anything. The more different the event more I enjoy it.  Packages are very affordable and I offer everything from canvas prints to all the hi-resolution photo's on one disc along with permission to copy, 
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Robert Shainline
P.O. Box 906
Cape Haze, FL  33946

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Pictures of Englewood Florida
pictures of Boca Grande Florida
pictures by Robert Shainline
pictures of a tarpon tournament
pictures of tarpon
pictures of Boca Grande Pass

Picture of Boca Grande Community Center
Pictures of Little Gasparilla Island Florida
Pictures of SW Florida

All photographs copyrighted by Robert Shainline 2011

Member of the
Englewood Chamber of Commerce

Member of the
Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce

President of the
Englewood Executive Network

photographer in Englewood Florida

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