ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The third leg of the three-event Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship Series, the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, is scheduled Friday through Sunday, Jan. 22-24, in Islamorada.
Kickoff for “The Presidential” is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at Cheeca Lodge, mile marker 82 oceanside, and include a welcome cocktail party, angler registration, rules meeting and dinner.
Saturday and Sunday, anglers can test their light-tackle skills with 20-pound or less line to wrestle the high-flying sailfish, known for characteristic acrobatics and tail-walking the waves. Only circle hooks can be used. Fishing is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Sunday evening, trophies are to be awarded to the tournament’s top anglers including grand champion, second- and third-place angler, top lady angler and junior champion angler.
An overall Gold Cup Series champion also is to be crowned after the series’ final leg, which follows the Islamorada Sailfish and Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish tournaments.
Up to 25 boats can register for “The Presidential.” Entry fee is $675 for the first angler per boat. Additional anglers’ entry fee is $600, up to four per boat, until Jan. 10, 2021. After Jan. 10, the entry fee for the first angler increases to $775 and each additional angler is $700.
Cheeca Lodge offers a special value on regular room rates for tournament anglers. For reservations, call 305-517-4512 and ask for the Presidential Tournament Rate.
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.
Tournament information: cheeca.com/experience/fishing