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 http://www.fla-keys.com/fishing.
Sept. 17-19: Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Championship in Islamorada. Named after the man known affectionately as “Mr. Everglades,” the event is headquartered at the Islander Resort. Anglers target fish in multiple species only in the boundaries of Everglades National Park, fishing areas that Lucerne favored. Anglers are challenged to catch at least one tarpon, redfish, snook, seatrout, snapper, bonefish and black drum. Awards are given in 22 individual categories at a ceremony hosted at the Islander Resort. For information, visit https://www.hermanlucernememorial.com/tournament-info/#tournament_info.
Sept. 24-26: Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge in Key Largo. This annual tournament offers anglers the opportunity to win trophies for trout, snook and redfish. A popular weekend auction showcase and Sunday evening dinner are open to the public. Proceeds support local vocational scholarships for all ages and Take Stock in Children scholarships for financially challenged Upper Keys students. For information, visit https://keylargorotary.org/page/take-stock-in-children-backcountry-challenge.
Sept. 24-26: Marathon International Bonefish Tournament. Staged for more than 60 years, this Middle Keys tournament is one of the Keys’ oldest. Registration and captain’s meeting kick off the event. Anglers traditionally fish from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Fish check-in, socially-distanced cocktail parties and awards ceremony to be held at a location to be determined. For information, call Barb Hewlett at 305-304-8682, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/Marathon-Intl-Bonefish-Marathon-Tarpon-Tournaments-213715748686389.
Sept. 28-Oct. 1: IGFA Permit Invitational out of the Stock Island Yacht Club. The second annual event will be hosted by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), which is an 82-year old non-profit focused on game fish conservation and the promotion of sport fishing. For information, call Jack Vitek at 954-924-4246, email email@example.com or visit http://www.igfa.org.
Oct. 11-13: Islamorada All-Tackle Bonefish and Permit Championship. Dubbed the “Fall All-Tackle,” the three-day challenge attracts energized newcomers to face seasoned veterans in a competition that has taken place since 1970. One angler per boat pairs with a licensed captain to vie for division winners’ trophies for the three longest bonefish and three longest permits. The field is limited to 25 participants. For information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.fallalltackle.com.
Oct. 15-17: “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” Florida Keys Saltwater Seminar in Islamorada. Female fishing fans can learn or polish angling skills during the award-winning weekend seminar. More than 8,000 female graduates have immersed themselves in the lighthearted yet skill-heavy curriculum to learn and hone abilities in offshore, bottom, inshore and fly fishing. Participants can network on Friday, learn on Saturday and go fishing on Sunday. Sign up for Friday fishing to be entered into the Fishing Fever’s non-intimidating competition for those fishing both days. For information, visit https://www.ladiesletsgofishing.com/fishing-seminars/florida-keys.
Oct. 29-30: Fall Backcountry Fly Championship Series in Islamorada. Tournament anglers are to compete to catch the most inches of snook and redfish on fly in a challenge where 1 inch equals 1 point. Awards are to be given to the grand champion, the anglers who catch the largest snook and redfish and the “King of the Backcountry” series grand champion, among others. For information, visit https://www.bfctournament.com.
Nov. 5-7: Robert James Sales Redbone Celebrity Tournament in Islamorada. Celebrities join other anglers to catch bonefish and redfish to raise money for cystic fibrosis research in the final event of the annual Redbone Trilogy tournament series. For information, visit https://www.redbone.org/tourn_sched.html.
Nov. 12-14: Cheeca Lodge & Spa All-American Backcountry Tournament in Islamorada. Anglers compete for prizes and trophies in this annual event targeting snook, redfish, bonefish, tarpon and permit. The tournament was inspired by former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and honors war heroes in the esteemed competition held over Veterans Day weekend. Proceeds benefit the Guides Trust Foundation. For information, visit https://www.cheeca.com/experience/fishing/all-american-fishing-tournament.
Dec. 2-5: Islamorada Sailfish Tournament. The first leg of the triple crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship series is the only tournament in the series to offer a Junior Division for anglers age 16 and younger. Unlimited anglers are allowed per vessel. For information, email email@example.com or visit https://www.islamoradasailfishtournament.com.
Dec. 10-12: Islamorada Junior Sailfish Tournament. The Florida Keys’ oldest sailfish tournament for kids age 16 and younger, this event has been held since 1964. For information, call Tammy Gurgiolo at 305-240-9337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.