20th Annual Original Big Pine & Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament
More than $35,000 in cash and prizes awaits anglers targeting dolphin in the 20th annual Original Big Pine & Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament. The contest is scheduled May 17-19 at Sugarloaf Marina, Mile Marker 20. While dolphin is the only species eligible for cash awards, prizes will also be given for the heaviest wahoo and tuna. Presented by the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, the tournament kicks off with a final registration party and subsequent captains’ meeting. Weigh-ins take place 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. A banquet and awards ceremony concludes this exciting event. For more information, call the Chamber at 800-872-3722 or download an application at lowerkeyschamber.com.
Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic
The ninth annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic is scheduled for May 28 through June 2 at Cypress Cove Marina & Lodge in Venice, Louisiana. This event offers great fishing and a fun tournament atmosphere. With a modified-release format, trophies and prizes are offered for blue marlin, tag/release, dolphin, tuna and wahoo, along with the Bob Potter Memorial Trophy for top boat, the Jim Peachey Memorial Trophy for top youth angler and a top female angler award. In 2012, more than $600,000 in cash and prizes was paid out. This year will mark the inclusion in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown series, along with the Offshore World Championship as a qualifying event. For more information, visit comefishla.com or call 985-732-7280.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic continues to push its way as the premier blue-water tournament in the Gulf of Mexico — and there’s no slowing down in 2013. The Classic will be held June 2-9 at the new Golden Nugget Casino in the Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi. Based on big boats chasing big fish for big money, the Classic is a true one-stop experience for fishing teams from across the world. The overall payout from the 2012 event was $1.1 million, with 28 blue marlin caught, and 40 billfish tagged and released. The biggest blue marlin weighed 721.7 pounds. For more information, visit mgcbc.com or call 228-239-2575.
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic
Located at the South’s No. 1 resort destination, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic will be held June 19-23, with anglers competing for the largest blue marlin, dolphin, tuna and wahoo. Since its inauguration in 2003, the ECBMC has grown to be the most prestigious fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast. It is also the richest tournament on the Gulf, ranked No. 5 in the world by Marlin magazine and having reached cash purses as high as $1.5 million. Tournament week offers a spectacular weigh-in at Baytowne Marina Saturday night, and spectators can enjoy the excitement and party at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. For more information, visit fishecbc.com or call 850-267-6168.
Key West Marlin Tournament
The 2013 Key West Marlin Tournament features $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes and will be held July 17-20, coinciding with the annual Hemingway Days celebration. The event features the popular Drambuie tastings, a dockside fish fry, an island pig roast and a spectacular awards banquet. The $50,000 guaranteed cash prizes will be distributed among marlin and fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo) divisions, with the top three marlin division winners winning $40,000 (top prize is $25,000). The marlin division is strictly tag-and-release, and the tournament is limited to the first 75 boats, so get your registration in early. For more information, visit keywestmarlin.com or call 305-292-2710.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Charter Boat Captains’ Deep Sea Fishing Challenge
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Charter Boat Captain’s Deep Sea Challenge highlights one of the best times to fish in the area’s bountiful waters off the Gulf Coast. This tournament is being held to highlight a fantastic time of year for targeting abundant species, such as redfish, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cobia and shark. The four-week competition runs from July 19 through Aug. 18, and entry is free to everyone fishing aboard a participating charter boat. For more information, visit deepseachallenge.ms.
Vintage Big-Game Classic
** **The Vintage Big-Game Classic will be held Aug. 2-4 in Grand Isle, Louisiana, in support of the Louisiana Gulf Coast and nonprofit organizations, such as The Billfish Foundation, International Game Fish Association and the Coastal Conservation Association. Although only vintage rods and reels (pre-1979) can be used to accrue points, contemporary tackle may be used to place in any of the five divisions for cash or prizes. With a release division for all billfish, the VBGC is conservation intensive and a 2013 Offshore World Championship qualifying event. For more information, visit vintagetournaments.org or call 401-437-3079.