ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The second leg of the three-event Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship series, the 30th annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, is scheduled Friday through Sunday, Jan. 24-26, in Islamorada.
Kickoff for “The Presidential” is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at Cheeca Lodge, mile marker 82 oceanside, with a cocktail party, angler registration and dinner to follow.
Saturday and Sunday, anglers can combine their 20-pound or less line with light-tackle skills to wrestle the high-flying sailfish, known for their acrobatics and tail-walking the waves. Only circle hooks can be used. Fishing is from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
A courtyard-to-ballroom gala banquet is set for Sunday evening when trophies are to be awarded to the tournament’s top anglers including grand champion, second- and third-place anglers, top lady angler and junior champion angler.
Up to 25 boats can register. Entry fee is $675 for the first angler per boat. Additional anglers’ entry fee is $600, up to four per boat, until Jan. 10, 2020. After Jan. 10, the entry fee for the first angler increases to $775 and each additional angler is $700.
Cheeca Lodge offers a special room rate for tournament anglers. For reservations, call 305-517-4512 and ask for the Presidential Tournament rate.
The Gold Cup Series traditionally concludes with the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament, set for Jan. 29-30, 2020, when an overall Gold Cup Series champion is crowned.
Tournament information: cheeca.com/presidential-tournament
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 800-FAB-KEYS
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing