With at least 30 teams vying for at least $50,000 in prize money, the attention has turned to which captain will pilot the winning crew in the return of the World's Richest Tarpon Tournament in Boca Grande Pass May 17-18.
The field is studded with world-class Boca Grande-area guides, including Capts. Cappy Joiner, Frank Davis, Waylon and Willie Mills, Sandy Melvin, Wayne Joiner, Mark and Steve Futch, Wayne Joiner, Lamar Joiner Sr. and Lamar Joiner Jr., and Charlie Coleman, Dickie Coleman and Matt Coleman.
Picking a winner from such a gifted group of guides is tough but Davis, when told he could not choose his own team, said Waylon Mills has been hard to beat.
"Probably who's been on fire in those afternoon tourneys is Waylon Mills," Davis said. "He's got it figured out and has a great boat."
Davis, vice president of the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association, is another top contender as is Cappy Joiner, BGFGA president, who came out of semi-retirement to fish in the return of this classic tournament.
Twenty spots remain, said Lew Hastings, Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, who resurrected the WRTT. The complete listing of teams as of Tuesday:
What: World's Richest Tarpon Tournament
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. team registration and 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Captain's Party at Boca Bay Pass Club for captains and team leaders, Wednesday.
Competition: 3-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the Boca Grande Pass.
Awards Party: 8:30 p.m. Friday in downtown Boca Grande
Anejo: Capt. Tater Spinks, team leader Dan Doerr, angler, James Sendecke.
Blaze: Capt. Waylon Mills, team leader Roger Otto, anglers Don Bell, David Lafevers and Jeff Fry.
Boca Boats: Capt. Ralph Young, team leader R. Scott Fails, anglers Greco McPherson, James MacDonald and Brent Pinkham.
Cannon's Marina: Capt. Mike Adams.
Casuarina: Capt. Charlie Coleman, team leader Howard Wise.
Cat Country: Team leader Todd Nixon and angler Jim Metzger.
Cavana Classic Charters: Capt. Steve Futch, team leader Caroline Clark and anglers Jeanette Clark and Lila Sessums.
Chorizo: Capt. Marcus Poffenberger, team leader Marcus Poffenberger, anglers Carrie Poffenberger, Treavor Barnett and Henry Clarke.
Chris RIP: Capt. Lamar Joiner Jr., team leader Dixie Hollins, anglers Robyn Hollins, Harold Ross and Terra Ross.
Delfino: Shannnon Hoeckel, team leader James Corcoran, anglers Richard Fizer and Richard Robinson.
Gasparilla Outfitters: Capt. Sandy Melvin, team leader Bob Melvin, anglers Ron Walker and Michael Vaughn.
Graphic Solutions: Capt. Matt Coleman, team leader Don Cayo, anglers Chuck LeClercq and Bobby Cayo.
GoCo: Capt. Chris Hunter, team leader Pat Gilligan, anglers Matt Howland, Jon Howland and Dave Hayden.
Hey Momma: Capt. Wayne Joiner, team leader Alex M. Shouppe, anglers Preston Hearn, Chris Sanders and Trey Starling.
Jill Marie: Capt. David Chatham, team leader Dan Erb, anglers Greg McBrayer, Ron Strich and Palmer Lona.
Lil Spook: Capt. Nelson Italiano, team leader Jeff Pflugner, anglers Richard Baron, Dan Hansen and Jason Lessinger.
Magic: Capt. Cappy Joiner, team leader Paul Eckel, anglers Raymond Rosser and Robert Hehenberger.
Miss Sarah: Capt. Lamar Joiner Sr., team leader Richy Edwards, anglers Keith Farlow and Albert Joerger.
Mona Leslie: Capt. Dickie Coleman, team leader-Ray Pilon, anglers Ken Edwards, Tom Bechard and Carl Thibodeau.
Muskie: Capt. Tim Smith, team leader-Mark Berry and angler John Zern.
Native: Capt. Frank Davis, team leader Dean Petitpren, anglers Billy Jordan, Marlin Parks and Greg Krueger.
Phil Jack: Capt. Mark Liberman, team leader James M. Christensen, anglers Jim B. Christensen and John P. Christensen.
Reel Reel Reel: Team leader Lawrence Leszczynski and anglers Dave Robinson, Jeremiah Acevedo and Shawn Durrant.
Sea Hawk: Capt. Babe Darna, team leader Susanne Darna-Dudley, anglers Chris Dudley, Stanley Darna and Lois Darna.
Sitarah: Capt. Mark Futch and team leader Jeff McMillin.
Spellbound: Capt. Jackie Bylaska, team leader Rob Kunisch and angler John Kunisch.
Spook: Capt. Nat Italiano, team leader Philip Carroll, anglers Howard Franklin and Darryl Minardi.
Tracy Lynn: Capt. Willie Mills, team leader Bruce Aikens and angler Scott Adams.
Twilight Affair: Capt. Ken Marsch, team leader Andy Marsch, anglers Kenny Marsch, Scott Marsch and Billy Marsch.
Wonderful: Capt. Steve Ahlers, team leader Kevin Fink, anglers Tucker Boyer, Rory Fink and Breton Boyers.