■ BY SUE ERWIN
Twenty teams participated in the Red Gill Invitational Tarpon Tournament held on Sunday, May 28.
This was the second year the event was held and 18 fish were released.
First place winner was Little Spook captained by Nelson Italiano with team leader Seth McKeel.
Second place went to the team on Faithfull II with Capt. Matt Coleman and team leader Matt Young.
Deja Vu caught the first fish with Capt. Dumplin Wheeler.
SweetWater caught the last fish with Capt. Randy Rhines with team leader Jason Murray.
Prizes were awarded at a ceremony immediately following the tournament.
Local fishing captain William Woodroffe organized the event last year with the goal of creating a fun, family-friendly tarpon tournament that would also give back to the island community. Funds raised last year were used for improvements at Whidden’s Marina.
“The family has been very good to me and Liz throughout the many years that we’ve fished here and I wanted to be able to give back,” Woodroffe said.
He named the tournament “Red Gill” as a tribute toSam Whidden’s Red Gill Fish House.
This year Woodroffe used $1,700 from tournament money to purchase Red Gill T-shirts to be sold at Whidden’s Marina store.
A couple years ago, Woodroffe worked to restore Faithful II with Matt Coleman and Matt Young. Coleman and Young fished the Faithful II.
Participants celebrated with a dinner and live music after the tournament at the parking area at Whidden’s.
“It was definitely a good time and everyone followed Rule #17,” Woodroffe said.
Organizers are already planning for the 3rd annual Red Gill Invitational Tarpon Tournament which will take place in May or June of 2018.