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Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament
What Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament means ...
For more than a decade, my mom and I fished the Ladies Day Tarpon Tournamenttogether in Boca Grande Pass aboard my dad's boat - the SALTY CRACKER. Mom and I love fishing, and it is something many mother-daughter teams share in this particular tournament. Ladies Day has traditionally been fished on Mother's Day weekend because it is the one weekend during tarpon season when captains would reserve a tide and take their spouses and daughters out on the water to have a family day instead of taking a charter. In the beginning we were all just out there together, taunting and fishing and waiving to the other women in the Pass. Through the hard work of some very special ladies, the first official tournament was fished in 1990. Forward, 27 years later, there is as much camaraderie and competition as ever. There are great prizes and shenanigans too. It's the one big tournament where female anglers flood Boca Grande Pass to raise the mighty Silver King. Most teams are comprised of mothers, daughters, sisters and kin that have been fishing here since the beginning. It is wonderful to be among them and as a tournament artist in 2012, 2013 and 2014..
Throwback to 2013 when I presented JoEllen Morris with the winning angler prize ... A framed print of the tournament artwork. JoEllen is celebrated her first Mother's Day in 2017 as a mom of a beautiful little girl! I love seeing this cycle continue and look forward to the day we are fishing with her daughter in the Pass.
In 2014, the theme was "Anchored in Tradition" and I created this art piece of the same name with a mermaid, tarpon and lighthouse along with a coral and rose bouquet for the tournament. The winning angler was Tricia on Team Mama Leslie. Here's to all the moms and future moms out there! Through our teaching the cycle of conservation and enjoyment will continue! 2017 tournament: Saturday, May 13.
Local Artist Kelly Reark on Conservation and Remembering That One Great Catch
Click through Kelly Reark’s online gallery and you will find yourself in a South Florida ocean scene: canvas, silk, and fish mounts show bright renditions of turtles, flats fishermen, sea horses, and—of course—bonefish, tarpon, and permit.
Kelly’s Florida roots go back several generations. As a child, she developed an interest in the local wildlife while hunting and fishing with her family. She attended the University of Miami and upon graduating in 2002, moved to Boca Grande where her father ran a tarpon fishing charter. Eight years later, Kelly started her career as a professional artist. She began experimenting with different media and color combinations, even adding her “trademark” style to three-dimensional fish mounts. Someone asked Kelly to paint a mount and, saying, “I’ll paint on anything!” she watched a rush of similar orders come in. The mounts have “this nostalgic quality to them, but they’re sti…
Days of sketching later, I settle on my idea and got to work with the paint. My process is to sketch multiple views of each creature or landmark. Then I use transparent paper to make an outline and work out the best placement on the fish mount. Many of my sketches and images are saved for another project because my ideas are usually too many for one fish mount.
The next step is to antique the areas that I want to give that "old paper" look and to paint the sepia features. I st…