Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sports

Party marks beginning of Suncoast Tarpon Roundup

Back in May 1934, people didn't have much to celebrate. Unemployment peaked at 21 percent. The Midwest had turned into a dust bowl. On the international stage, Adolf Hitler was stirring up all kinds of trouble in Europe.

But in St. Petersburg, fishermen had one thing to keep them happy: tarpon. The silver king of gamefish loved to run along local beaches. The little fishing village down the coast called Boca Grande might get all the city slickers, but local anglers knew Tampa Bay had just as many fish, without the crowds.

Newspapers of the day were full of stories about schools of these chrome-bodied brutes so large off the downtown pier that the fish could be herded just like cattle. That was when somebody decided to get the whole town in on the fun and have a tarpon roundup.

On Saturday, the 80th Suncoast Tarpon Roundup, the world's oldest and largest tarpon tournament, will hold a kickoff party from 3-6 p.m. at the Bay Pines Marina in St. Petersburg. This all-release event attracts the best tarpon anglers in the Tampa Bay area.

The roundup is a not-for-profit organization that promotes sportsmanship, research and education. The tournament has divisions for both adults and juniors. It is not uncommon to find two, three and even four generations of anglers in the same family who have fished in the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup.

In its heyday, fishermen from across the United States came to St. Petersburg to fish for tarpon. An advertisement in the June 1936 issue of National Sportsman magazine urged anglers to head south: "For the thrill of a lifetime, come to Florida's Gulf Coast … and fish for the gamest fish that swims … fast as greased lighting."

Before Tampa Bay had professional baseball, football and hockey, the two biggest sports in town were fishing and sailing. The Suncoast Tarpon Roundup was the social event of the season. They even crowned a "Tarpon Queen," who rode a parade float down Central Avenue.

This year, the roundup will let junior anglers (14 and under) fish for free. But they must register before fishing.

Regular angler registration is $150. The tournament begins May 17 and ends July 25. Check suncoasttarponroundup.org for more information.

Comments
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

BALTIMORE — Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette needed only 19 seconds to put the Lightning on the scoreboard Saturday night, coming up with the second-fastest playoff goal in franchise history.The only goal faster? Tampa Bay's Adam Hall needed only 13 seconds to scor...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Rowdies tie in debut of new coach Neill Collins

St. PETERSBURG — Neill Collins, the former Rowdies defender who this week abruptly replaced Stuart Campbell as coach of the team, was a bit ambivalent about his debut, but he sure liked the way his club played in the second half of Saturda...
Updated: 8 hours ago
USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

The USF softball team's season ended late Saturday in the Gainesville Regional with a 3-2 loss to Ohio State, its second NCAA Tournament loss to the Buckeyes in as many days.OSU (36-15) must defeat No. 2 overall national seed Florida (52-8) twice Sun...
Updated: 8 hours ago