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Howl at the Moon
Invitational Tarpon Tournament 2008


Official Artwork by Kelly Davis

This event took place on Saturday June 28, 2008.  I was invited to be what they call an "Observer" on one of the tarpon fishing boats in this tournament.   The Captains Meeting / Party was held at the 
Boca Grande Marina 
220  Harbor Dr. Boca Grande, FL 33921
(941) 964-2100?   -   (941) 964-0517?

Standard transportation here in Boca Grande Florida

Boca Grande Marina was once known as Miller's Marina
It's now Waterfront Dining on the Bay in Boca Grande Florida

Howl at the Moon T-shirts were available in a variety of colors

Randy Marsh & Mark Waelti of the band RPM were playing a 
variety of very good island music tunes  -

Special ordervs were served to the participants and their guests

Carole L. Neidig is a staff scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory and she was there to ask the fishermen in the tournament to take a DNA sample from the fish that they catch to be used in Mote Marine's studies of this very large and unique sport fish. More info available at

A few of the people I met at the Captain's Meeting / Party


After a short Captains meeting, the Observers were brought together to go over the rules of this Howl at the Moon Tarpon Tournament
Here' is the Official Score Sheet for this event.  My name was chosen to go with Capt. Nelson Haliano on his 31' Morgan named  "SPOOK".  My job is to notify the judges by radio immediately when a tarpon is hooked and mark the exact time from my cell phone on this sheet the second the fish is brought to the boat and the leader touches the tip of the rod.



 After orientation... a few friends and myself went down the street to another Boca Grande Landmark known as Whiddens Marina

 Talk about a unique place.  I visit here every time I go to Boca Grande.
I mean where else can you go to play with a couple of big pigs ?
Not to mention enjoy the Old Time Feel of Southwest Florida


 A real shrimp boat was at the dock selling some very large fresh shrimp

 As the 8 pm start time drew near... the boats started leaving
to find own special fishing spot in Boca Grande Pass.

 Here comes my boat "SPOOK" with Captain Nelson
to pick me up at Whiddens dock

 And here's the whole group together drifting out in the 
middle of Boca Grande Pass...  Tarpon Capital of the World. 
Left to right   Scott Pinkham, Harry Pinkham, Dave Bresh, 
Eric Pinkham and Captain Nelson Haliano



Sunset was moments away at 7:49pm... so everyone relaxed for awhile and waited for the official start time of 8pm

Scott grabs a special little brown crab from the bait well 
as his first bait choice

And the boats huddle fairly close together overtop a small 
school of tarpon that lay quiet in the pass

The fishing starts at exactly 8pm... and everyone is excited about catching that first one.  But there's a storm brewing and looks like it's coming straight towards Boca Grande Pass.










This was my last photo of the night.  As the darkness took over the pass... the radio kept everyone informed of who was catching fish.
I never heard the final results.   And I didn't even get any tarpon pictures....  but I had a great time and made some new friends and enjoyed the entire evening.

Harry Pinkham is the only one that hooked a tarpon... 
but it shot straight up into the air from 60' deep 
and threw the hook in an instant.
I know he had a good time.

So perhaps I'll be invited to go tarpon fishing again next year
and get some good tarpon pictures to share

One final note... before going fishing with these guys, I did a little research on Tarpon Fishing and came across a few very cool video clips on YouTube.  My favorite is here for anyone who likes large 
Hammerhead sharks !

Hope you all enjoyed your visit to Boca Grande Florida

Have a Great Day



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All photographs copyrighted by Robert Shainline 2008

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