Anglers will meet next month for the 49th annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, one of the Keys most enduring tournaments. The all-release boat tournament runs from Thursday, Nov. 29 to Sunday, Dec. 2. Pre-registration begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Whale Harbor Inn (mile marker 83.5 oceanside in Islamorada). A kick-off banquet with seafood buffet follows, as does the rules meeting.
The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament rules place a strong emphasis on conservation and sportsmanship. The tournament is the only Gold Cup series event with a junior division for youth anglers, plus it raises funds for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association. Fishing is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1) and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Weigh-in for fun fish closes Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Come out and watch the weigh-in all three days even if not participating in the tournament.
Entry fees received before Nov. 12 are $600 for the first angler fishing aboard a vessel and $500 for each additional angler. Entries received after Nov. 12 are $700 and $550, respectively. The junior angler entry fee is $200 regardless of entry date. An unlimited number of anglers is allowed per vessel.
After the Fishing
A standings party with cocktails and free hors d'oeuvres is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Wahoo's Bar and Grill at Whale Harbor. Awards ceremony, raffle and all-you-can-eat feast are scheduled at 7 p.m. Sunday night at Braza Leña Brazilian Steakhouse.
About the Gold Cup
Paying out $20,000 in prize money, the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship series is limited to 25 paid boat teams. The deadline to register is Nov. 1, 2012, and the entry fee is $2,000 for four anglers. Additional anglers can be added for $200 each. At least one angler must be entered and paid for all three series events. Click here for complete details.