Professional Tarpon Tournament Series Announces Title Sponsor & 2005 Tournament Schedule

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ — The Tarpon Anglers Club recently announced during the Miami International Boat Show the addition of Nextel as its title sponsor for the organization’s 2005 Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (PTTS) Presented by Century Boats. The televised series is the largest live-release tarpon tournament in the state of Florida, featuring five regular season events and one championship event all held in Boca Grande Pass, Fla.

“We are excited about our partnership with Nextel, as this will continue to generate awareness and build interest of our tournament series among recreational saltwater anglers, as well as novices,” says Joe Mercurio, vice president of the Tarpon Anglers Club and on-air host of the televised tournaments.

The 2005 Nextel PTTS will be held May 21, May 29, June 5, and June 12. The Jim Beam Tarpon Cup Championship, featuring the series top 25 teams based on points, will be held June 19.

“Last year’s tournaments proved to be a tremendous success, as both our sponsors and anglers enjoyed the NASCAR-like atmosphere which included extreme weather, aggressive sharks, and more than 50 boats competing in Boca Grande Pass during each event.”

Camera crews are on hand during the Nextel PTTS to capture the action for a 13-week television series on Sun Sports Network. This year, production crews will rig several tournament boats with “lipstick” cameras, giving viewers up-close and personal coverage of the fishing as it happens.

According to Mercurio, 2005 will be even more rewarding to participants, as Yamaha Motor Corporation sponsors the “Team of the Year” Race. This incentive program awards an additional $1,000 each week to the first place team if the vessel used during the tournament is outfitted with a Yamaha engine. The Yamaha “Team of the Year” will receive the Yamaha F225 V6 4- Stroke engine.

During each of the four qualifying tournaments, teams will be competing for a first prize that includes a Century 1902 Bay Boat with a Yamaha F115 EFI 4-Stroke engine and a Continental aluminum trailer.

Each event is limited to three hours of fishing, and the field is limited to 50 four-person teams including the captain. Entry fees are $600 for each qualifying event, and $1,000 for the final Jim Beam Tarpon Cup Championship.

For more information, an application form, exciting tournament photos, and tournament regulations, visit .

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