Florida Keys Gold Cup Series Continues with IFC Sailfish Tournament

ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Second in the three-pronged Gold Cup Sailfish Championship series currently underway in the Florida Keys is the Islamorada Fishing Club’s Captains Cup Sailfish Tournament. Space remains available to join the exclusive field of elite anglers who compete in the all-release challenge set for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 17-18, 2023.

Participants vie for a notable cash payout and the chance to tally points to earn the coveted Gold Cup Series Champion status.

According to organizers, the IFC tournament’s cash payout equates to $1,000 per boat, so if the maximum field of 25 boats is met, the winner-take-all prize is to reach $25,000.

Up to three anglers are allowed per boat, and the boat team that accumulates the most release points first is judged the winner. Each released sailfish is worth 100 points.

The event gets underway Tuesday with a kick-off party, rules meeting and dinner at the club’s headquarters at the Islamorada Yacht Basin adjacent to the Lorelei Restaurant & Bar.

Wednesday’s angling action starts with lines-in at 8 a.m. and continues until lines-out at 4 p.m.

Activities Wednesday evening include an open-to-the-public awards celebration and buffet dinner at the club. Entry to the social event is included for the anglers, captain and mate on participating boat teams. Additional social tickets can be purchased for $85.

Entry forms are available online at theislamoradafishingclub.com. Through Jan. 4, 2023, the early entry registration fee is $2,500 per team of two and $300 for a third angler. After Jan. 4, fees increase to $2,800 and $350, respectively.

Established in 1950, the Islamorada Fishing Club embraces core values of conservation, recreational fishing and strong family and community bonds among avid fishermen.

The 2022-23 Gold Cup series, whose foundation also is rooted in conservation and sportsmanship, began with December’s Islamorada Sailfish Tournament. Last in the series is the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 20-22, 2023.

Upon its conclusion, the overall Gold Cup Series individual and team champions are to be crowned. The individual high-point angler is to receive a championship ring.

Information and registration: theislamoradafishingclub.com, ditournaments@aol.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

A sailfish leaps while hooked up to an angler's line off Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Photo: Andy Newman

This article was updated on January 17, 2023 at 9:28 AM