Save the date for inaugural “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament

A 100 percent purse, cable network coverage, and Randy Wayne White promise to make the inaugural “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament the hottest competition on the water. Award-winning Doc Ford murder-mystery series novelist White has already signed on for fishing the tournament, in which 100 percent of the $100 entry fee will be distributed as tournament awards.

“I’m really looking forward to the tournament,” said White, a former area fishing guide. “It’s for such a great cause, and a good excuse to get out and meet people and find out if I can still tie a Bimini.”

Mark your calendars for tournament day May 5, 2012. The Captain’s Dinner will take place the previous evening, May 4, at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach.

Doc Ford’s, with locations on both Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach, sponsors the tournament to support the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge through the “Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).

“This is so exciting!” said Marty Harrity, Doc Ford’s co-owner. “There’s not another tarpon tournament like it in the area. We’re expecting fishermen from all over Florida.”

“Doc Ford’s has been a faithful supporter of our efforts at “Ding” Darling, helping greatly to bolster refuge programs and research to balance federal budget shortfalls,” said Birgie Vertesch, DDWS executive director. “We’re so grateful to them for this huge effort in our behalf.”

For more information on the tournament call 239-292-0566. Anyone interested in becoming a tournament sponsor should contact Vertesch at 239-292-0566 or

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