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.
May 16-19: 35th annual Faro Blanco Invitational Tarpon Tournament, Marathon. This unique team tournament in the heart of tarpon season, with two to four anglers per team/boat, allows anglers to fish three of the four nights with three different captains at three different bridges: Bahia Honda, Long Key and the world-famous Seven-Mile Bridge. Proceeds from the charity tournament benefit Ronald McDonald House. For information, call Donna Vankirk at 305-393-0699 or email email@example.com.
June 3-5: Eighth annual Skippers Dolphin Tournament, Key Largo. This tournament is headquartered at Skipper’s Dockside Restaurant behind Key Largo’s Holiday Inn. Cash prizes of more than $60,000 include a first-place prize of $20,000 as well as prizes for the top six teams and top lady and junior anglers. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.skipperstournaments.com.
June 3-5: 29th annual Original Big Pine & Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament. The Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce presents this annual event where anglers contend for more than $35,000 in cash prizes and awards. A special cash prize of $20,000 is awarded for the largest dolphin more than 50 pounds. Additional prizes await winners in open, ladies and youth divisions. For information, visit https://www.lowerkeyschamber.com/
June 7-11: 47th annual Don Hawley Tarpon Fly Tournament in Islamorada. Up to 25 of the world’s top fly-rod anglers endure a five-day test of patience and finesse, fishing Keys waters using fly tackle and 12-pound tippet. Named for the late fly fisherman and conservationist Don Hawley, the tournament benefits the Guides Trust Foundation, assisting professional fishing guides and supporting backcountry fishery conservation programs. For information, email or visit http://guidestrustfoundation.org/
June 10-11: Ladies Dolphin Tournament, Islamorada. Hosted by the Florida Keys Elks Lodge, this annual event welcomes female angler teams to compete for the highest aggregate weight of three dolphin fish, as well as junior anglers younger than 16. Cash and prizes are awarded to first- through third-place finishers, and for the largest dolphin caught. Registration form online. For information, call Dianne Harbaugh at 305-522-4868, email email@example.com or visit http://www.floridakeyselks1872.com/.
June 17-19: 10th annual VFW Fishing Tournament, Key West. A family-fun tournament, this event awards more than $50,000 in total cash and prizes, including $5,000 for the heaviest dolphin among other awards for individual anglers and other species. A super prize of either a new Toyota Corolla or $20,000 in cash (winner’s choice) has also been added this year. Captains and anglers can choose to fish either day of the two-day tournament. The 10th annual event will celebrate the history of the tournament. All proceeds benefit disabled and needy veterans of Monroe County. For information, call 610-304-2392, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.vfwpost3911.org/tournament/.
June 20-24: 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/.
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/.
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 email@example.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/.