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April 5, 2020

Upcoming Keys Fishing Tournaments


No matter what the season, there’s always something to fish for in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys and Key West. The calendar lists select tournament highlights. A comprehensive schedule of Keys angling challenges can be found at www.fla-keys. com/fishing. Through Nov. 30: Key West Fishing Tournament. More than 40 species of fish are targeted during these months, with divisions for men, women, junior anglers (ages 10 to 14) and Pee Wees (under 10 years old). The Key West Fishing Tournament strongly encourages the release of game fish. All participating anglers receive certificates noting their catches and qualify for a variety of prizes. For information call Rob Harris at 305-587-6718 or send at email to director@keywestfishingtournament.com. Nov. 12-14: Sugarloaf Showdown C&R Florida Keys Fishing Tournament. The annual Sugarloaf Showdown, an inshore, catch and release Florida Keys tournament launching from the Sugarloaf Marina. Organized by the Lower Keys Guides Association, the Sugarloaf Showdown targets bonefish, permit and barracuda with points scored using both spin and fly. The tournament’s aim is to educate on successful C&R techniques, while raising funds for the continuing work of the association and for the Guides Trust Foundation, which assists fisherman recovering from illness or injury. The three-day tournament is open to all anglers. The event includes a silent auction at the Sugarloaf Lodge Tiki Bar with quality fishing gear and other donated items that is also open to the public. The $250 team tournament fee includes the kick-off dinner following the captain’s meeting on Thursday, and a catered awards party on Saturday. Teams of up to three, including two anglers and a guide, are allowed. Prizes of fish art by native Floridian Travis Luther will be awarded to the top three teams. For information on rules and the schedule of events, go to sugarloafshowdown.com or contact info@lkga.org Nov. 13-15: Ladies Let’s Go Fishing!” Annual Keys Fishing University for Women in Islamorada. Female fishing fans can learn or polish angling skills during the award-winning weekend seminar. For nearly 20 years, approximately 7,000 female graduates have immersed themselves in a lighthearted yet skill-heavy curriculum to learn and hone skills in offshore, bottom, inshore and fly fishing, no matter what their experience level. For information call Betty Bauman at 954-475-9068 or send an email to fish@ladiesletsgofishing.com. Dec. 3-6: Islamorada Sailfish Tournament. The first leg of the triple-crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship Series is characterized by high-flying sail action, conservation and sportsmanship. It’s also the only tournament in the Gold Cup series to offer a junior division for anglers aged 16 and younger. Unlimited anglers are allowed per vessel. For information call Dianne Harbaugh 305-522-4868 or send an email to ditournaments@aol.com. Jan. 8-10: Key Largo Sailfish Challenge. Held at the height of the sailfish season, this event follows a boat-tournament format. Prizes and trophies await first-, second- and third-place teams, and proceeds benefit the Coral Shores High School Band program. For information call Tammie Gurgiolo at 305-240-9337 or send and email to fishnbully@ msn.com. Jan. 8-10: Key West Wahoo Shootout. Join a bluewater spearfishing tournament, to be headquartered at The Waterfront Brewery. Species include Wahoo, King Mackerel, and Amberjack with up to $20,000 in prizes. Adult and Junior divisions as well as Captain’s prize. For informationa call John Paul Castro at 305-896-4244 or send an email to wahooshootout@gmail.com. Jan. 14-16: Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament in Islamorada. The Presidential is one of the most prestigious offshore tournaments in the Florida Keys, and is the second leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship. Anglers compete for beautiful trophies and prizes with sumptuous banquets held at beautiful Cheeca Lodge & Spa. For information send an email to jolsen@cheeca.com Jan. 20-21: IFC Sailfish Tournament in Islamorada. Presented by the Islamorada Fishing Club, this is the final leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Series, with a typical field of up to 30 boat teams of elite sport fishermen. A total cash payout for a full field at the IFC Sailfish Tournament could reach $30,000. For information call 305- 664-4735. All Aboard: If you have an outstanding catch or fishing news to report: • Fax: 305-295-8016 • Write: Daily Fishing Report, P.O. Box 1800, Key West, FL 33041 • Drop it off at The Key West Citizen building (3420 Northside Dr.) • Email: jwcooke@keysnews.com U

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