ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Anglers who crave catching the Florida Keys’ dolphin fish during the eagerly anticipated season can test their skills Friday through Sunday, July 8-9, at the inaugural Caloosa Cove Dolphin Tournament in Islamorada.
The family-friendly angling challenge is designed as a one-day event to raise funds for the Alligator Lighthouse Restoration Project. The Save Alligator Lighthouse group, which recently acquired ownership of the aging beacon that stands approximately 4 miles offshore of Islamorada, is committed to restoring, preserving and maintaining it. To accomplish the task, fundraising efforts are under way to amass $5 million by 2026.
Tournament events kick off at 4 p.m. Friday, July 8, with a preregistration gathering featuring raffle drawings and a silent auction, followed by a 6:30 p.m. rules meeting at Caloosa Cove Marina & Resort, the tournament headquarters, located at mile marker 73.5.
Adult and junior anglers (under age 16) are to fish Saturday, July 9, from lines-in at 7 a.m. until the final weigh-in at 5 p.m. Cocktails and fish stories are to be served up from 3 to 6 p.m., followed by awards and dinner.
Prizes await the top three adult anglers who catch the largest dolphin fish, as well as the top junior and lady anglers. Awards also are to be presented for the largest blackfin tuna and wahoo.
Entry fees are $175 per adult and $75 per junior angler if paid on or before July 5. After July 5, the adult entry fee is $225 per person. Nonanglers can purchase social tickets for $35 apiece. Tournament information: caloosacovemarina.com