ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Second in the three-pronged Gold Cup Sailfish Championship series currently underway in the Florida Keys is the Islamorada Fishing Club’s Captains Cup Sailfish Tournament. Spaces remain available to join the exclusive field of elite anglers who compete in the all-release challenge set for Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 23-24, 2019.
Participants vie for an attractive cash payout and the chance to tally points to earn the coveted Gold Cup Series Champion status.
According to organizers, the IFC tournament’s cash payout equates to $1,000 per boat, so if the maximum field of 25 boats is met, the winner-take-all payout is to reach $25,000.
Up to three anglers are allowed per boat, and the boat team that accumulates the most release points first is judged the winner. Each released sailfish is worth 100 points.
Activities Wednesday evening include an open-to-the-public buffet dinner. Entry to the social event is included for the anglers, captain and mate on participating boat teams. Additional social tickets can be purchased for $85.
Thursday’s angling action starts with lines-in at 8 a.m. and continues until lines-out at 4 p.m.
Entry forms are available online at theislamoradafishingclub.com. Until Dec. 22, 2018, the early registration entry fee is $2,500 per team of two and $300 for a third angler. After Dec. 22, fees increase to $2,800 and $350, respectively.
Established in 1950, the Islamorada Fishing Club embraces core values of conservation, recreational fishing and strong family and community bonds among avid fishermen.
The 2018-19 Gold Cup series, whose foundation also is rooted in conservation and sportsmanship, began with December’s Islamorada Sailfish Tournament. Last in the series is the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 26-28, 2019.
Upon its conclusion, the overall Gold Cup Series individual and team champions are to be crowned. The individual high-point angler is to receive a championship ring.
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Florida Keys Fishing: fla-keys.com/fishing