By Michelle Colesanti

Are you a fisherman or boating enthusiast? With the first annual Tampa Bay Fishing Tournament right around the corner, not only can you enjoy the waters, but help to reel in money for the Brandon Foundation charities as well as the Boys & Girls Club of Riverview.

The tournament will take place on Thursday and Friday, May 12 and 13. It will begin with a Captain’s Party on May 12 from 6:30-9 p.m. hosted by Bass Pro Shops at 10501 Palm River Rd. in Tampa. Enjoy an entertaining evening where you will enjoy food and drinks in a festive atmosphere. There will be opportunities to bid on great items in a silent auction. With chances to win exciting prizes, and Captains pairings, you won’t want to miss this event.

Rick Rios and Anne Nymark are co-chairing this event. According to Rios, “We chose to do a fishing tournament as we’ve always been successful with golf and we wanted to reach people outside of the Tampa area by using our best resource, which is Tampa Bay.”

The Fishing Tournament takes place on Friday, May 13 at The Resort and Club at Little Harbor, located at 536 Bahia Beach Blvd. in Ruskin. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and launches at 8 a.m. When the fishing is completed, enjoy an Awards Party at 12 Noon.

Anglers can purchase a fishing boat and captain for the four hours of fishing. There will be four anglers to a boat with a cost of $1,200 for each boat. The price includes the captain, who is licensed and insured, and also entry into the Captain’s Party. Individual anglers are not accepted; you need to sign up as a team. This eliminates unnecessary work matching individuals together in various boats.

The objective is for each boat to catch as many different species of fish as possible. This will be tracked by the boat captain. Trophies will be awarded for first, second, and third place.

For every 10 boats that are bought by teams, one boat will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project for use in the Tournament.

Sponsorships are still available. For more information, call 689-6889, email info@brandonfoundation.com or visit TBFishing.com.