The Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association has announced that the winner of the Jay Joiner Memorial Belt Buckle will be awarded this year to the winner with the most releases in El Torneo Mas Rico – The Quarantine Classic – which will be held on the same days the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament was supposed to be held, June 4 and 5. That tournament was canceled by the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce due to the virus.
Fishing times are 3 to 7 p.m. each day for the Quarantine Classic, and the entry fee is $2,000. Teams can register with Melissa Steyer (941) 979-2676 or with Woodroffe at (813) 310-1609.
Capt. Jay Joiner was one of the most prolific captains in Boca Grande Pass prior to his death when he was just 25 years old. He died in October of 1992 after becoming the first captain to win the World’s Richest two years in a row.
In 2018 the format to award the belt buckle changed. The late Cappy Joiner, Jay Joiner’s uncle, who was the president of the BGFGA until his death in 2019, changed the winner of the belt buckle to the captain with the most tarpon released during four tournaments in a regular season – the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament, the Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament, the Red Gill Tournament and Howl at the Moon Ladies’ Night Out.
This year, of course, the COVID virus changed everyone’s plans. That is why the captain awarded the belt buckle this year will be the one who releases the most tarpon in the Quarantine Classic, coordinated by island captain William Woodroffe.
The field is not yet full for the Quarantine Classic, so if you’re interested find yourself a captain and call either Melissa or William. So far there 23 boats in the field for the tournament.