The rules of the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup, Inc. have been established in the interest of friendly competition, fairness, sportsmanship, and conservation. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be condoned and will be grounds for disqualification of any entrant by final decision of the Board of Directors. Each angler, upon signing the registration form, agrees to abide by the tournament rules and those imposed by the State of Florida, and absolves the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup, Inc. for any injuries or accidents while participating in the tournament. In case of disputes, the decision of the STR Board of Directors will be final. The Board of Directors of the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup, Inc. strongly urge all participants to release any tarpon as quickly as possible so as not to endanger them. All FWC Regulations apply while participating in the STR.
Tarpon entered in the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup (STR) must be caught in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waters adjacent to Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
Northern Boundary: Marker number 4, located approximately 2 miles north of Anclote Key.
Southern Boundaries: Markers C3 and C5 on the North side of New Pass at the south end of Longboat Key.
The Suncoast Tarpon Roundup tournament is a team tournament judged by photo releases submitted through iAngler. Prizes will be awarded based on the number of Tarpon released.
The Tune-up Tournament is May 14th and free for every team. The Mac Parkman Foundation will be hosting the event at Harbor Master Tike Grill. The mandatory Captain’s Meeting will be May 12th at 6:00pm. You are encouraged to register ahead of time, but if you have difficulty registering to iAngler, feel free to register at the event with our help. Great prize packages will be awarded to the top three teams.
The tournament series is three days; May 28, June 11 and July 30. Registration will be capped after the first 50 teams. The tournament will be point based and only 20 teams will qualify for Finale Day, July 30th. The Captain’s meetings are mandatory and will be held on 2 days prior to each series date at the Harbor Master Tiki Grill at 6pm. The mandatory Captain’s Meetings are May 26, June 9 and July 28.
Participants must register and submit their $900 registration fees through iAngler one week before the Captain’s meeting. Tournament will be capped at 50 teams. Register here.
Teams are limited to 4 anglers and may only fish up to 8 tarpon rods. All team members must fish from the same boat. Land based fishing is not permitted. Teams may not split up or swap out anglers.
- The Catch:
Tarpon must be caught on manually operated tackle and may be passed between all team members at any moment during fight.
Up to 4 anglers can register releases for the team. Team members may fight multiple fish at the same time if more than one fish is on at the same time. Anyone other than the registered team members of record touching any part of the rod, reel, or line, either bodily or with any device during the playing of the tarpon or in giving aid, other than taking the leader for release purposes, will disqualify the fish.
Modification or replacement of tackle (rod, reel, splicing of line) during the playing of the tarpon will automatically disqualify the fish.
If a rod holder is used and a fish strikes, the angler must remove the rod from the holder as quickly as possible.
A harness may be attached to the reel or rod and the harness may be replaced or adjusted by a person other than the angler. Use of a rod belt or waist gimbal is permitted.
- The Release
A fish shall be considered “released” when the fish is under control boat side and the angler or his/her designee has the leader in hand. Leaders will be no longer than ten feet long. Fish under 48 inches estimated length are not considered eligible. All tarpon must swim away, no dead tarpon will be entered in the tournament. Tarpon must remain completely in water at all times and lifting the head or any other body part out of the water will disqualify the fish. The time released is the time at which the photo is submitted to iAngler.
- Submitting to iAngler
All releases must be submitted through the iAngler app, within 1 hour of release. To submit your release, open the iAngler app and submit a photo of the tarpon.
Photographs must include:
- Leader in hand
In the event that either object (tarpon or leader in hand) is missing from the photo, it will be rejected. The angler may have the opportunity to provide video evidence of the release to the board of directors for further evaluation.
In the event of a tie, the last fish released first will be adjudged the winner. The time released is the time at which the photo is submitted to iAngler. Time of release will be reported via iAngler app based on their photo submission. All releases must be submitted within 1 hour of release.
Five places will be awarded per tournament serious day (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th) to the teams reporting the most releases per day. Placing during Day 1 does not disqualify a team from placing during Day 2. Day 3 is Finale Day and only the top 20 teams will qualify to fish.
The team with the most photo releases on Finale Day of the tournament will win the overall champion prize. All prizes and awards will be made available and presented at the end of the tournament (TBD).
- Tune-up Winner “Rick Wotring Award”
- First Tarpon Released “Mark Travis Award”
- Lady Angler With Most Releases “ML Baylees”
- Team With Most Releases “Jimmy Groves”
- Veteran With Most Releases “Scott Sterling”
- Finale Day Winner “Capt. Sonny Ayelsworth”
All trophy recipients may be subject to a polygraph. Should a registered angler refuse or fail a polygraph he/she will be disqualified and forfeit his/her rights to all winnings and or awards from the tournament. Scheduled dates and place(s) for polygraph are TBD.
Any angler wishing to report an infraction of the rules or any act of dishonesty or discourtesy, must do so in writing (email or snail mail) to the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup, Inc. within seven (7) days of the act. Additionally, a $300 deposit must also be submitted with the protest for it to be acted upon. In the event the protest is upheld, the deposit will be returned. If not upheld the deposit will be forfeited. Decision(s) of the Board of Directors as to the interpretation of the rules is final.