Lopez Fish Pic

It was an action-filled morning for Paul and Julie Lopez, from Clear Lake, Iowa, as Paul fought and released a reef shark and a two large nurse sharks; they limited out on yellowtail snapper and Julie also landed a cero mackerel while fishing with Capt. Kevin and Barbie Wilson aboard Knee Deep Charters. 

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.

Through July 31: Key West Fishing Tournament. More than 40 species of fish are targeted during the multimonth tournament, with divisions for men, women, junior anglers (ages 10 to 15) and Pee Wees (younger than 10). 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, visit https://www.keywestfishing tournament.com.

Through Friday, June 24: 59th annual Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament, Islamorada. This annual challenge appeals to “tarpon addicts,” and both experienced and novice anglers apply to compete in what is referred to locally as the “Wimbledon of tarpon fishing.” Headquartered at the Lorelei Restaurant and Marina, the all-release event is limited to 25 anglers by invitation only. Partial proceeds benefit the Guides Trust Foundation of the Florida Keys. For information, visit http://goldcuptt.com/.

Friday through Sunday, June 24-26: Second annual Florida Keys PBA Dolphin Tournament, Lower Keys. This fishing tournament is being hosted by volunteers on behalf of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association Florida Keys Membership, and headquartered at Oceans Edge Resort and Marina, Stock Island. Cash prizes for first- through fourth-place anglers are based on the number of entries, and increase as participation increases. Prizes also awarded to top junior, female and PBA member. Register online. Proceeds primarily benefit the Autism Society of the Keys and also the Love Fund, Inc., both federally recognized 501©(3) charitable organizations. For information, visit https://keysdolphintournament.com/schedule/.

Friday through Sunday, June 24-26: Ladies Let’s Go Fishing Screamin’ Reels Tournament, Islamorada. Intended for novice anglers, this weekend is about learning and a non-intimidating, fun competition with the Ladies Let’s Go Fishing university organizers. Species include legal inshore and offshore fish. Charter a professional boat or fish on your own boat. This is a casual tournament with prizes for heaviest offshore fish, longest inshore fish and drawings for prizes of those who caught fish, plus bonus drawings. Dates and schedule subject to change. For information, email info@ladiesletsgofishing.com or visit https://www.ladiesletsgofishing.com/fishing-seminars/florida-keys/.

June 29: IFC Captains Cup Dolphin Tournament, Islamorada. Teams of up to four anglers compete for top prizes, and the total combined weight of three fish determines the winning team. If up to 25 boats register, first-prize cash winnings can reach $25,000. For information, visit http://theislamoradafishingclub.com/.

July 8-9: Caloosa Cove Dolphin Tournament in Islamorada. Anglers can join a new fun fishing tournament to help raise funds for the Save Alligator Reef Lighthouse Restoration Project. For information, call 305-522-0280 or visit https://caloosacovemarina.com/tournaments/.

July 20-23: Stock Island Marina Village Key West Marlin Tournament. Anglers ply the waters once fished by novelist Ernest Hemingway, vying for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes. Held in conjunction with Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival, the event awards $25,000 to the first-place team. Teams can enter one fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per day to add to their point total. For information, visit http://www.keywestmarlin.com/.