For over 50 years the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament has opened the renowned triple-crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship series. Anglers can compete in this year’s event Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 5-8.
An unlimited number of anglers per vessel can participate in the all-release tournament, a primary fundraiser for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association.
Social events are to be headquartered at the Whale Harbor Inn and Marina complex at mile marker (MM) 83 in Islamorada, and open with pre-registration, cocktails and a kick-off gala Thursday, Dec. 5. Fishing is scheduled 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, followed by an awards banquet and raffle.
Entry fees received before Nov. 15 are $650 for the first angler fishing aboard a vessel and $550 for each additional angler. Fees after Nov. 15 are $750 and $650, respectively.
The junior angler (under age 16) entry fee is $250 regardless of entry date. Additional optional categories offer boat teams more opportunities to win prize monies, including Day by Day, Overall Entry, Grand Puba, Go Big and a Fun Fish entry. Additional entry fees are elective and are not required to enter the tournament, according to organizers.
For available accommodations in the area, inquire with a tournament charter boat captain or contact the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce at 305-664-4503. The other two fishing events in the Gold Cup Series are the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, Jan. 24-26, 2020, and the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament, Jan. 29-30, 2020, when the series culminates and an overall Gold Cup Series champion is crowned.
Information and registration: islamoradasailfishtournament.com/ or Dianne Harbaugh at 305-522-4868 Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS