May 19, 2023
Dr. Addiel Perez (far left), Steve Trippe (third from left) and the 2023 tournament participants.
The 2023 edition of the 3T Tarpon Tournament, founded by Steve Trippe, was held in Holbox, Mexico, and raised more $10,000 for BTT’s Mexico-Belize Initiative! Anglers fished out of Alejandro Vega’s Holbox Tarpon Club, enjoying great weather and spectacular fishing in the pristine habitat surrounding Isla Holbox.
Also known as “Mr. Sandflea,” Vega is a leader in the flats fishery in the Yucatán Peninsula. Vega has trained many of the guides now working throughout the region, but there is still work to be done. Much of the area where the Tarpon Club guides fish is protected, with expansive wetlands and seagrass beds that support abundant juvenile and baby tarpon. The catch rate of these fish is high, so proper handling is critical for a healthy and sustainable juvenile fishery in the Holbox Lagoon. The 3T Tarpon Tournament continued its tradition of conservation and proper fish handling in Mexico with the focus of finding, feeding and releasing fish with a minimum of hands on the fish, and “keeping ‘em wet.”
“Engagement from the flats community, such as anglers, guides and business owners, is important for conservation of flats habitats and to ensure fish survive after release, “ said BTT Belize-Mexico Program Manager Dr. Addiel Perez added. This tournament is an exemplary model that reduces fish handling and ensures caught fish remain in the water.” Dr. Perez will continue to work with Mr. Vega and other guides so the fishery can become a model with proper fish handling techniques on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.
The tournament was won by Gannon Dudlar with Steve Trippe and Gary Garland following behind in second and third places. We thank to the tournament’s corporate sponsors: Sage, Rio, Orvis, Twelve Weight, and YETI.
If you plan to visit Isla Holbox to experience this unique fishery, please utilize proper fish handling techniques and “keep ‘em wet” at all times.
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