ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship triple-crown series is to open with the 59th Islamorada Sailfish Tournament set for Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 1-4. The tournament is 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. 1.
All-release fishing is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. 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 Fun Fish. Additional entry fees are elective and are not required to enter the tournament, according to organizers.
A few spaces are available with entry fees $750 for the first angler fishing aboard a vessel and $650 for each additional angler. The junior angler (under age 16) entry fee is $350.
Two subsequent fishing events in the Gold Cup Series include the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 17-18, 2023, and the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament set for Jan. 20-22, 2023, when the series culminates and an overall Gold Cup Series champion is crowned.
Registration: islamoradasailfishtournament.com/ or Dianne Harbaugh at 305-522-4868
A sailfish leaps while hooked up to an angler's line off Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Photo: Andy Newman