A 100-percent purse and Randy Wayne White's participation promise to make the second annual "Ding" Darling & Doc Ford's Tarpon Tournament on May 4, 2013, the hottest competition on the water.
Award-winning Doc Ford murder-mystery series novelist White has already signed on for fishing the tournament, in which 100 percent of the entry fee ($400 per boat of up to four) will be distributed as tournament awards.
"I'm really looking forward to the tournament," said White, a former area fishing guide. "It's for such a great cause, and a good excuse to get out and meet people and find out if I can still tie a Bimini."
The catch-and-release tournament will feature The Captain's Dinner the previous evening, May 3, at Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach.
Doc Ford's, with locations on both Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach, has again committed to being the title sponsor for the 2013 tournament, along with the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge. Proceeds will benefit wildlife and conservation education at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.
"There's not another tarpon tournament like it in the area," said Marty Harrity, Doc Ford's co-owner. "Last year we had fishermen from all over the country."
"Doc Ford's has been a faithful supporter of our efforts at "Ding" Darling, helping greatly to bolster refuge programs and research to balance federal budget shortfalls," said Birgie Vertesch, DDWS executive director. "We're so grateful to them for this huge effort in our behalf."
For more information on the tournament, please visit www.dingdarlingtourney.com. Anyone interested in becoming a tournament sponsor should contact Vertesch at 292-0566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge's mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.
--submitted by Chelle Koster Walton