ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Continuing a 50-plus-year tradition, the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship triple-crown series is to open with the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 3-6, a primary fundraiser for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association.
Social events, to be headquartered at the Whale Harbor Inn and Marina complex at mile marker 83 in Islamorada, are to kick off with pre-registration and cocktails Thursday, Dec. 3.
All-release fishing is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. Awards and raffle prize drawings follow.
Optional categories offer boat teams more opportunities to win prize monies. Categories include Day by Day, Overall Entry, Grand Puba, Go Big and a Fun Fish entry. Additional entry fees are elective and are not required to enter the tournament, according to organizers.
Entry fees received on or before Nov. 14 are $650 for the first angler fishing aboard a vessel and $550 for each additional angler. Fees received after Nov. 14 are $750 and $650, respectively. The junior angler (under age 16) entry fee is $300 regardless of entry date.
According to tournament organizers, participants are to follow Monroe County COVID-19 health safety protocols throughout, including social distancing and wearing facial coverings when appropriate.
Two subsequent fishing events in the Gold Cup Series include the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 19-20, 2021, and the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 22-24, 2021, when the series culminates and an overall Gold Cup Series champion is crowned.
Registration: islamoradasailfishtournament.com/or Dianne Harbaugh at 305-522-4868