Host of the popular Bass2Billfish TV fishing program, Peter Miller, has signed up for the third annual “Ding” Darling and Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, which takes place on Saturday, May 3, 2014, from Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myer Beach.
Florida-based Miller will be fishing with the team of longtime Sanibel fishing guide Ozzie Fischer. The former Team Yamaha will now be Team Bass2Billfish, named for the show that airs on NBC Sports Outdoors and the World Fishing Network weekly. Consistently rated the top fishing/travel reality show in the nation, Bass2Billfish reaches more than 8 million viewers.
“Peter and I fished together last summer for a show he did in Pine Island Sound,” said Fischer, who was instrumental in setting up the “Ding” Darling tarpon tournament format three years ago. “He has a love for fishing like I do, and I thought it would be good publicity to promote the tournament and show him how good fishing is here.”
Fisher’s family began chartering local waters in the early 1970s. “I’d go with my dad out of South Seas,” he remembers. “I got my own boat at age 12 and started chartering at age 24. My 17-year-old son, Christian Fischer, will be joining Team Bass2Billfish for the tournament.
The tourney’s catch-and-release format that Fisher helped design is similar to sailfish tournament formats, added Fisher, 42. “Miller is known for his competitive sailfishing, so I thought it would be a good fit.”
The entry fee into the catch-release-care tournament is $500 per boat; only 20 slots remain in a field of 50 boats. One hundred percent of the entry fees is awarded in prize monies to the teams that catch the most tarpon, with event sponsorships and silent auction donations going to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. Last year the tournament contributed $40,000 to the aid of wildlife at the refuge.
Tournament sponsors include:
Title Sponsor: Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille; Presenting Sponsor: Diversified Yacht Services of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Bean; Platinum Sponsor: Florida Weekly, Lamar Advertising, Suncoast Beverage; Gold Sponsors: Anisa Jewelry, Bella Signs & Designs, Fort Myers Marine, Happy Foods of SW FLA, Island Sun/River Weekly; Dave Raisbeck; Sanibel Captiva Community Bank; Silver Sponsors: Dan Hahn Custom Builders; Janet Strickland Law Office; John Grey Painting; Must Do Visitor Guides; Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA; Sanibel Island Fishing Club; Semmer Electric/Bonita Bill’s; The Shutter Guy; Vasanta Senerat, CPA, P.A.
Image courtesy “Ding” Darling Wildlife Service