Inaugural Spanish Fly Shark Tournament to Offer Two Divisions April 5-7

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Anglers targeting bull sharks can compete in either inshore or offshore divisions during the inaugural Spanish Fly Shark Tournament set for Friday through Sunday, April 5-7.

The all-release tournament is organized by the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation and honors the late Florida Keys charter captain and “Spanish Fly” television personality. As well as providing a competitive challenge for participating teams, event goals include collecting data on shark populations in Florida waters. 

Events are headquartered at the Key West Yacht Club, 2315 N. Roosevelt Blvd. Participation is limited to 25 teams in the offshore division and 25 in the inshore division. 

The boat teams in each division that release the most bull sharks during the tournament’s two fishing days are to receive mahogany trophies crafted by master artist David Wirth. Teams also can buy into optional entry categories to be eligible for cash awards. 

Bull sharks are the only species to be scored and no handling of any shark is permitted. 

The tournament kicks off with a final registration, reception and mandatory captains meeting beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Key West Yacht Club gazebo. During the captains meeting, each boat owner or operator must present a valid NOAA Fisheries’ Highly Migratory Species permit with a shark endorsement. 

Fishing is slated for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with boundaries encompassing all Florida Keys waters except designated swim areas. Catches must be logged and uploaded using the Fishing Chaos app no later than 6:30 p.m. each day to qualify for prizes. 

Sunday’s angling action is to be followed by an awards dinner at the Key West Yacht Club.

Entry fees are $475 per team online until March 29 or $500 per team at the final registration. Teams may include up to four anglers and a captain, and captains are permitted to fish. 

Tournament proceeds benefit the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation. Established following Wejebe’s untimely death in a 2012 plane crash, the foundation carries on his passion for conservation, education and making fishing dreams come true. 

Tournament information and registration: 

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This article was updated on April 5, 2024 at 10:30 AM