FLORIDA KEYS — In the Florida Keys the most difficult fishing challenge is choosing what kind of fishing to do. During summer months the deep water yields popular dolphin, or mahi mahi, a tasty staple on many Keys menus.
This “fun fish” attracts novice competitors and world-class anglers who want to enjoy the fun and camaraderie that go along with an open fishing tournament. Summertime is full of fishing challenges with prizes that range from fine art pieces to trophies and cash awards. Highlights include:
June 5-6: Islamorada Fishing Club Captains Cup Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. Just three fish are all that is needed to capture the winner-take-all $25,000 cash prize, but the aggregate weight of the three dorado must be the highest in the tournament. Call the Islamorada Fishing Club at 305-664-4735, visit www.theislamoradafishingclub.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 7-8: Inaugural Ladies Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. The newly remodeled Florida Keys Elk Lodge is to present this event in which teams compete for the highest aggregate weight of three dorado to determine the winning team. Call Dianne Harbaugh at 305-522-4868 or email email@example.com.
June 8: VFW Fishing Tournament. Key West. A family-oriented event, this angling challenge offers cash prizes for dolphin as well as wahoo, snapper and grouper. The heaviest dolphin is worth $2,500. Call Pete Thomas at 305-509-7244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 21-22: Poor Girls Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. This inaugural regional charity competition is intended to draw anglers looking for a fun, affordable and philanthropic fishing event. Funds raised benefit Upper Keys charities. Call Sharon at 305-393-6174, visit www.castingforcats.org or email email@example.com.
June 21-23: Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby. Key West. A grand prize of $5,000 awaits the boat team with the largest aggregate weight of dolphin during the derby’s two fishing days. Teams are allowed to enter one qualifying fish per day. The event is a scholarship fundraiser for area high school graduates attending the University of Florida. For information, visit keywest.gatorclub.com/Event.htm .
June 28-29: University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. Hosted by Ray Lewis, the third annual event offers participants the chance to fish with some of their favorite former ‘Cane All-Stars. Cash prizes are awarded for the heaviest dolphin and more. Headquartered at the Postcard Inn Resort & Marina, the event benefits Upper Keys Habitat for Humanity as well as UMSHOF, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Call KC Jones at 305-925-3660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 29: Mercury Marine Ladies Dolphin Tournament. Key West. Female anglers have seven ways to win in this challenge that offers $10,000 in cash and prizes. Awards include a $3,000 prize for the heaviest single dolphin and a $2,500 boat prize for the heaviest aggregate weight of two dolphin.
Proceeds benefit the Jose Wejebe “Spanish Fly” Memorial Foundation.
Call Lee Murray at 305-296-0364 or email Lee@murraymarine.com.
June 29-30: Dolphin & Blackfin Tuna Fun Fishing Tournament. Marathon. In its 13th year, this family-friendly competition awards $700, $500 and $200 to the top three adult anglers with the heaviest dolphin. Other cash awards and prizes are slated for junior anglers.
Call Brenda Duff at 305-743-5317 or email email@example.com.
July 7: Islamorada Fishing Club Junior Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. Just like the “big boys,” junior anglers up to age 18 can compete in this team event. The heaviest combined weight of three fish wins. Call the IFC at 305-664-4735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 12-14: Islamorada Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. Hosted by the Islamorada Charterboat Association for five years, this event offers $10,000 in prize money. Competition is open to all anglers and there is no limit on the number of participants. Call Dianne Harbaugh at 305-522-4868 or email email@example.com.
Florida Keys information: www.fla-keys.com or 800-FLA-KEYS (800-352-5397)
2013 Keys Fishing Tournaments: www.fla-keys.com/tdcfishingcalendar.cfm
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