BIG PINE, Florida Keys — Angling teams targeting dolphin fish can vie to “catch” cash and prizes totaling more than $35,000 in the 26th annual Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce Dolphin Tournament.
The long-running tournament is set for Friday through Sunday, June 7-9. Events are to be headquartered at Kiki’s Sandbar, located at 183 Barry Ave. on Little Torch Key.
A first prize of $7,500 cash and a trophy await the team in the open division that catches the tournament’s largest dolphin fish. If the fish weighs more than 50 pounds, a cool $20,000 will be awarded to the angler who catches it.
The first 50 teams to register are eligible for the $20,000 prize.
Second- through fourth-place teams in the open division receive cash awards and trophies as well. Prize money is based on a registered field of 30 or more boats.
Awards in the tournament’s youth division, created for anglers age 15 and under, include prizes and trophies through third place.
The family-oriented tournament kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, with a registration party featuring appetizers and a cash bar at Kiki’s Sandbar. A mandatory captains meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m.
Teams can begin their pursuit of dolphin at 7 a.m. the next two days. Scheduled weigh-in times are 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, and 3-5 p.m. Sunday, June 9.
A social gathering follows the close of Sunday’s fishing, with the tournament dinner and awards ceremony set for 6 p.m. at Kiki’s.
The tournament entry fee, which includes four tickets to Sunday’s awards dinner, is $450 per boat if received no later than May 30 and $500 per boat after that date. Additional social passes for the awards dinner are available for $25 per person.
Proceeds benefit the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce.
Event information and registration: lowerkeyschamber.com/tournaments.php
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lower-keys/ or 305-872-2411
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing