PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (April 13, 2018) – April is one of the most wonderful times of year for the Charlotte Harbor area. It’s the beginning of tarpon season. To celebrate, West Wall Outfitters invites the public to attend the Third Annual Tarpon Festival on Sunday, April 29 at 1 p.m. at their shop located at 3846 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte.

The free festival will include seminars presented by local fishing captains; kids fishing; fly casting and fly tying demonstrations; and giveaways and raffles. Food and beverages will be available for sale from food trucks. 

Recreational tarpon fishing in Charlotte Harbor dates to at least the late 1800s, Punta Gorda once called itself “The Sportsman’s Paradise” and used a tarpon with its signage, and Charlotte County’s official seal includes a tarpon. Boca Grande is recognized as the Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World and Sport Fishing magazine listed Charlotte Harbor as the number one spot in the world to tarpon fish.  

“Tarpon fishing is important to Charlotte County’s heritage and economy and the Tarpon Festival is a way to celebrate our unique attraction of tarpon fishing,” said Capt. Josh Greer, owner of West Wall Outfitters, “This festival is a way to bring people together, get them excited about the upcoming season, and introduce new anglers to tarpon fishing.” 

Known for its fighting ability, stamina, and strength, the tarpon is a bucket list gamefish. Nicknamed the “silver king,” tarpon migrate through the area to spawn in Florida waters through July. Tarpon season means thousands of anglers will travel to the area and either hire local fishing guides or launch their own boats into Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande Pass with their eyes set on landing this fish which can weigh up to 280 lbs. 

Research prepared for The Everglades Foundation and published in a January 2011 report estimated tarpon fishing has a $108.6 million economic impact in Southwest Florida (Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties) and the industry supports the equivalent of 1,094 full-time jobs for the region. (Source: “The Economic Impact of Recreational Tarpon Fishing in the Caloosahatchee River and Charlotte Harbor Region of Florida,” prepared for The Everglades Foundation and prepared by Tony Fedler, Ph.D., January 2011. The research was made possible through the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust)

Updates about the event will be posted on the Tarpon Festival’s Facebook event page which can be found through Facebook.com/WestWallOutfitters

What: Third Annual Tarpon Festival
When: Sunday, April 29, 2018, 1 p.m.
Where: West Wall Outfitters, 3846 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte 
How: This family-friendly event is free to attend. Learn more: Facebook.com/WestWallOutfitters

Call: (941) 875-9630 for additional information. 

Learn more about tarpon fishing including regulations and gear requirements on FWC’s website, MyFWC.com.

Images Credit: www.westwalloutfitters.com 

Capt. Josh Greer, owner of West Wall Outfitters, with a tarpon caught in Charlotte Harbor’s waters.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/s4inxpuepuqf0tw/CaptJoshGreerwithTarpon.jpg?dl=0 

The Third Annual Tarpon Festival will celebrate the beginning of tarpon season in Southwest Florida. 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u1x3xg8w9uem4za/Tarpon-CaptJoshGreer.jpg?dl=0 

 

ABOUT PUNTA GORDA / ENGLEWOOD BEACH
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda /Englewood Beach is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014, Port Charlotte was named the top “U.S. Best Value Destination” by Trivago (the world’s largest online hotel search site), and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). For more information on visiting Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach visit http://PureFlorida.com or call1-800-652-6090.

 

CONTACTS:
Jennifer Huber
Tourism Public Relations Manager
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau     
(941) 743-1900                                                   
Jennifer.Huber@CharlotteCountyFL.gov 

Capt. Josh Greer
West Wall Outfitters
(941) 875-9630 or (863) 781-1373