Florida Keys Fishing

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel


2010 FLORIDA KEYS FISHING TOURNAMENTS

Jan. 7-10: Sailbone Offshore  Backcountry. Islamorada. Three days of fishing in the backcountry and offshore have anglers competing for both sailfish and bonefish. Contact Sharon Mahoney Ellenwood at (305) 664-2012 or (305) 393-6174, or e-mail [email protected].

Jan 10-11: Bartender's Sailfish Open. Islamorada. An all-release sailfish tournament, this challenge offers awards to winning bars and bartenders. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at (305) 852-2102, e-mail [email protected], visit www.islamoradasailfishtournament.com or write to P.O. Box 462, Islamorada FL 33036.

Jan 12-14: Islamorada SailFly Championship. In this all-release boat team tournament with no more than two anglers per boat allowed, captains, mates or anglers can tease, but only the registered anglers can cast, hook and play the fish. Tournament rules will be IGFA format. Contact Denise Scoble or Sandy Moret at (305) 664-5423, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 603, Islamorada FL 33036.

Jan. 15-17: Key Largo Sailfish Challenge. Key Largo. Anglers battle sailfish during the peak of the season. The tournament also features raffles, drawings and cash prizes. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at (305) 852-9337 or e-mail [email protected].    

Jan. 21-23: Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. In this all-release tournament, anglers fish for the mighty sailfish in waters surrounding the region known as the Sportfishing Capital of the World. The tournament is an official event of the World Billfish Series, Southeast Division. Contact Liz Hill at (305) 451-5094, e-mail [email protected], visit www.cheeca.com or write to Cheeca Lodge, P.O. Box 527, Islamorada FL 33036.

Jan. 22-24: Key West Harbour King Mackerel Tournament. Key West. Anglers use fast boats to target the voracious king mackerel, also known as kingfish, for cash prizes. Contact Lee Murray at (305) 296-0364, e-mail [email protected] or write to Murray Marine, 5710 U.S. 1, Mile Marker 5, Key West FL 33040.

Jan. 25-26: Captain Al Flutie Over the Hill Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. Anglers ages 50 and over are challenged to catch and release the most sailfish. Contact Bill Kelly at (305) 394-5333 or write to 130 Tequesta St., Tavernier, FL 33070; or contact Gary Ellis at (305) 664-2002, e-mail [email protected], visit www.redbone.org or write to P.O. Box 273, Islamorada FL 33036.

Jan. 27-28: Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. The historic fishing club offers a $30,000 winner-take-all cash prize in this sailfish challenge. The tournament is limited to 30 boats. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at (305) 852-2102 or (305) 664-4725, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.theislamoradafishingclub.com.   

Jan. 29-30: Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association Swamp Guides Ball. Islamorada. This all-release event offers fishing for bonefish, redfish and snook in the shallows of the Florida Keys and the saltwater fringes of the Everglades. Contact Captain Rusty and Terry Albury at (305) 664-5142, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 303, Islamorada FL 33036.

Feb. 4-6: The Gridiron Greats Billfish Bowl. Key Largo. This all-release sailfish tournament is hosted by NFL legends Jimmy Johnson and Mike Ditka to raise money for the nonprofit group Gridiron Greats. The event will be headquartered at Johnson's Big Chill bar and restaurant in Key Largo. Contact tournament director Tammie Gurgiolo at (866) 203-2720 or visit www.billfishbowl.com.

Feb. 8-10: Sailfish Open at Hawks Cay. Marathon. Eighteen teams of professional anglers and amateur enthusiasts will compete in the catch-and-release tournament in the waters around Marathon. Contact Laura Emmole at (305) 395-3474 or (727) 631-0072, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.sailfishproseries.com.

Feb. 12-14: Islamorada Women's Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. This light-tackle challenge has female anglers facing off against the famous tail-dancers for trophies and prizes. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at (305) 852-9337, e-mail [email protected] or write to 124 Tavern Drive, Tavernier FL 33070.

Feb. 16-17: Poor Girls Sailfish Tournament. Key Largo and Islamorada. This popular Keys tournament typically draws more than 200 anglers.  Contact Sharon Mahoney Ellenwood at (305) 664-2012 or e-mail [email protected].

Feb. 26-27: Backcountry Fly Championship. Islamorada. This new fly-fishing competition is to target snook and redfish in a region of the Keys that is famous for them. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

March 5-6: Backbone Lures "Fish 'Til You Lose It." Islamorada. Anglers compete to catch the finned denizens of the flats and backcountry, fishing with one lure or one fly until they lose it. Contact Paul Tejera by e-mailing [email protected] or visit www.backbonelures.com.

March 5-7:  Captain Leon Shell Memorial Billfish Tournament. Key Colony Beach. Anglers pursue sailfish in honor of the late lure maker who made the Middle Florida Keys his home. The tournament benefits Hospice of the Florida Keys. Contact Terry Fisher at (305) 289-1310, e-mail [email protected], visit www.leonshelltournament.com or write to P.O. Box 510910, Key Colony Beach FL 33051-0910.

March 11-14: Florida Keys Survivor. Islamorada. In this backcountry elimination draw tournament, the winner is the sole survivor. Contact Sharon Mahoney Ellenwood at (305) 664-2012 or (305) 393-6174, or e-mail [email protected].

March 12-14: Key West Fishing Tournament Kick-Off. Key West  Lower Keys. Targeting multiple species, this annual challenge starts a season-long tournament that awards certificates for outstanding catches and prizes in a host of categories. Contact Doris Harris at (305) 295-6601, e-mail [email protected], visit www.keywestfishingtournament.com or write to P.O. Box 2154, Key West, FL 33045.

March 13 - Nov. 30: Key West Fishing Tournament, Inc. Key West  Lower Keys. This popular 8.5-month-long competition targets more than 40 species of fish. Contact Doris Harris at (305) 295-6601 or (800) 970-9056, e-mail [email protected], visit www.keywestfishingtournament.com or write to P.O. Box 2154, Key West, FL 33045.

April 7-9: Islamorada All-Tackle Spring Bonefish Tournament. Islamorada. Anglers compete to catch the gray ghost of the flats in the legendary shallows surrounding Islamorada. This all-release tournament features trophies and prizes. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

April 11: 7 Mile Marina Marathon Sharkathon. Marathon. Take a bite out of Marathon as anglers match skills in catching multiple shark species during this one-day, man-versus-shark release tournament. Contact Dan Rudacille (305) 395-0546.

April 13-17: World Sailfish Championship. Key West. With a guaranteed top prize of $100,000, the prestigious sailfish challenge draws top teams and benefits the Don Shula Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, Camp Boggy Creek for youngsters with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, and other national and local charities. Contact Mike Weinhofer (305) 395-3474 or   (727) 631-0072, e-mail [email protected], visit www.worldsailfish.com or write 2120 Range Road, Clearwater FL 33765.

April 16-18: Redbone @ Large Hawks Cay Sunrise/Sunset Tarpon Celebrity Tournament. Marathon. The event is one of approximately 30 Redbone celebrity tournaments that are held each year, with all proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Contact Gary Ellis at (305) 664-2002, e-mail [email protected], visit www.redbone.org or write to P.O. Box 273, Islamorada FL 33036.

May 2-5: Tarponian Tournament. Marathon. Anglers target tarpon and vie for prizes in this high-energy event. Contact David Breznicky at (215) 542-1492, e-mail [email protected] or write to 118 W Butler Ave., Ambler PA 19002.

May 6-8: Marathon International Tarpon Tournament. Marathon. This all-release event is one of the longest-running tournaments targeting the mighty silver king. Contact Donna Vankirk at (305) 289-2248, e-mail [email protected] or write to 3740 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050.

May 7-8: Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament. Marathon. Dolphin fish are the target in this angling challenge to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Contact Michael Kiraly at (305) 676-3019,     e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 500067, Marathon FL 33050.

May 14-16: Coconuts Dolphin Tournament. Key Largo. One of the largest-drawing tournaments in South Florida, this challenge named for a Key Largo restaurant pits anglers against dolphin fish. Contact Charles Mountain at (561) 741-1124, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 2648, Key Largo FL 33037.

May 15-20: Faro Blanco Invitational Tarpon Tournament. Marathon. Anglers tangle with silver kings in an event named for a famous Marathon resort. The tournament is a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House charities' summer camp program. Contact Robert Traa at (609) 645-1840, ext. 115, e-mail [email protected] or write 776 West Black Horse Pike, Pleasantville NJ 08232.

May 17-19: Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament. Islamorada. This prestigious fly tournament for large tarpon benefits college scholarships for Keys students. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

May 22-23: 34th Annual Ladies Tarpon Tournament. Marathon. Women compete in this all-release tournament to catch tarpon in one of the longest-running tournaments in the Keys. Contact Donna Vankirk at (305) 289-2248, e-mail [email protected] or write to 3740 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050.   

May 29: Yamaha Dolphin Masters Invitational. Key West. Experienced offshore captains are to lead the chase for the colorful and acrobatic dolphin fish and a $15,000 first prize. Contact John Stuempfig at (305) 304-7674, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 2418, Key West FL 33045.

June 2-3: Islamorada Fishing Club Captain's Cup Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. Anglers compete for a winner-take-all $25,000 jackpot for catching dolphin fish. Contact Theresa Reineman at (305) 664-4735, e-mail [email protected], visit www.theislamoradafishingclub.com or write to P.O. Box 22, Islamorada FL 33036.

June 4-6: Islamorada Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. Hosted by the Islamorada Charterboat Association, this second annual event is headquartered at Whale Harbor Marina, with $15,000 in prize money and an unlimited number of anglers. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at (305) 852-2102 or e-mail [email protected].

June 7-11: Don Hawley Tarpon Tournament. Islamorada. The world's top fly-rod anglers pursue the mighty silver kings in one of the most storied tournaments in the Keys. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

June 11-13: Big Pine  Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament. Big Pine Key. Anglers compete to catch dolphin fish, one of the most popular species in the Keys. The tournament features more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. Contact the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce at (305) 872-2411 or (800) 872-3722, e-mail [email protected], visit www.lowerkeyschamber.com or write to P.O. Box 430511, Big Pine Key FL 33043.

June 15-17: Women's Fly Series - Tarpon. Islamorada. This invitational fly tournament for tarpon, open to men and women, benefits children's charities. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, visit www.womensflyseries.com, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

June 18-19: Island Grill Blue Water Dolphin Tournament. Islamorada. The event incorporates a one-day dolphin tournament, with an optional Father/Son Fun Fish on Father's Day weekend, to benefit Baptist Hospital's Children's Cancer Center. Contact Jack McCormick at (305) 664-8400, e-mail [email protected], visit www.keysislandgrill.com or write to 85501 Overseas Highway, Islamorada FL 33036.

June 19-21: Father's Day Dolphin Derby. Marathon. Anglers are to celebrate Father's Day by catching one of the most beautiful, best-tasting and fastest-growing fish in the sea to benefit the Marathon Youth Club. Contact Jack Carlson at (305) 289-0199 or write to 11499 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050

June 21-25: Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament. Islamorada. Fly rodders compete to catch and release giant tarpon. Winners and their guides get their names engraved on the Gold Cup perpetual trophy. Tournament proceeds benefit children's charities in the Keys. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada, FL 33036.

June 25-27: Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby. Key West. Anglers compete to catch dolphin fish, a plentiful summertime treat off the Keys. The derby raises money for college scholarships. Contact John Stuempfig at (305) 304-7674, e-mail [email protected]  or write to P.O. Box 2418, Key West FL 33045.

June 25-27: Burdines Waterfront Dolphin  Blackfin Fun Fishing Tournament. Marathon. This event sponsored by a popular local restaurant targets two of the finest-tasting fish in the Keys. Contact Brenda Duff at (305) 743-5317, e-mail [email protected] or write to 1200 Oceanview Ave., Marathon FL 33050.

July 3: Conch Republic Ladies' Dolphin Tournament. Key West. This competition is for women only, although male captains and mates are allowed. Contact John Stuempfig at (305) 304-7674, e-mail [email protected]  or write P.O. Box 2418, Key West FL 33045.

July 9-11: Hawks Cay Mahi Fly (Redbone @ Large Series). Marathon. Professionalism, camaraderie and competition characterize this event that benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at (305) 852-9337, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 432, Islamorada FL 33036.

July 13-15: Florida Keys Outfitters IGFA Inshore World Championship. Islamorada. Contact Denise Scoble or Sandy Moret at (305) 664-5423, email [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 603, Islamorada FL 33036

July 21-23: Del Brown Permit Tournament. Key West. Anglers fly-fish on the flats for the powerful, speedy permit. The tournament honors the late angling pioneer Del Brown, who caught and released more than 500 permit off the Keys. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at         (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

July 21-24: Drambuie Key West Marlin Tournament. Key West. Anglers pursue the mightiest of the offshore species in the same waters plied by novelist Ernest Hemingway. The catch-and-release tournament, held in conjunction with Key West's annual Hemingway Days celebration, offers more than $50,000 in guaranteed prize money. Contact Scott Greene at (305) 292-2710, visit www.keywestmarlin.com or write to P.O. Box 5590, Key West FL 33045.
 
July 25-26: Islamorada Fishing Club RedGhost Stalk. Islamorada. Anglers compete to catch redfish and bonefish, the gray ghost of the flats. Winners qualify for the IGFA Inshore Championship. The tournament is open to anglers ages 11 to 25. Contact Jim and Sherri Trice at (305) 664-3864, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 22, Islamorada, FL 33036.

Aug. 27-29: Islamorada Swordfish Tournament. Islamorada. Anglers compete to catch swordfish, a species that has recovered to healthy populations off the Keys. This modified release tournament benefits the Billfish Foundation. Contact Captain Richard Peeples at       (305) 282-1006, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.miamiswordfishtournament.com.

Sept. 10-12: S.L.A.M. (Southernmost Light-Tackle Anglers Masters) Celebrity Tournament. Key West. In the first of the annual fall Redbone Trilogy events that raise money to fight cystic fibrosis, top anglers and celebrities target tarpon, permit and bonefish with light tackle. Contact Gary Ellis at (305) 664-2002, e-mail [email protected], visit www.redbone.org or write to P.O. Box 273, Islamorada FL 33036.

Sept. 15-17: Islamorada Invitational Fall Fly Bonefish Tournament. Islamorada. Fly anglers are to pursue Islamorada bonefish, some of the largest and smartest in the world, at this all-release tournament. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036

Sept. 16-19: Marathon International Bonefish Tournament. Marathon. Some of the best bonefish anglers anywhere are to stalk the gray ghost of the flats in an area rich with them. This is an all-release spin or fly event. Contact Nancy Ponzoa at (305) 394-7758 or e-mail [email protected], call Laural Keating at (305) 743-6654 or write to P.O. Box 500914, Marathon FL 33050.

Sept. 17-19: Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge. Key Largo. Anglers fish for snook and redfish to benefit a statewide scholarship program. Contact Sue Finney at (305) 451-2467, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 252, Key Largo FL 33037.   

Sept. 25-26: Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Tournament. Key Largo. Up to 100 anglers will be competing for snook, tarpon, redfish, sea trout, snapper, bonefish and black drum against the backdrop of Everglades National Park. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at      (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

Oct. 1-3: Mercury Baybone Celebrity Tournament. Key Largo. The second of three tournaments in the annual Redbone Trilogy, the Baybone targets permit and bonefish to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. Contact Gary Ellis at (305) 664-2002, e-mail [email protected], visit www.redbone.org or write to P.O. Box 273, Islamorada FL 33036.

Oct. 6-8: Women's Fall Fly Classic - Multiple Species. Previously called the Women's World Invitational Fly Championship Bonefish Series, the revamped all-release, fly-only tournament is to have anglers fishing for four different species. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, visit www.womensflyseries.com/index.html, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

Oct. 11-15: Bonefishing World Championship / Islamorada All-Tackle Bonefish Tournament. Islamorada. Some of the best bonefish anglers compete to catch and release the gray ghost of the flats. Proceeds are to be donated to local charities. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at (305) 664-2444, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.

Oct. 15-16: Casting for Cats. Islamorada. This one-day ladies' all-tackle backcountry tournament raises money for local charities. Contact Sharon Mahoney Ellenwood at (305) 664-2012 or     (305) 393-6174, or e-mail [email protected].

Nov. TBA: Ladies, Let's Go Fishing. Islamorada. Female anglers polish their skills and fish in an event sponsored by the fishing education and advocacy group Ladies, Let's Go Fishing! Contact Betty Bauman at (954) 475-9068, e-mail [email protected], visit www.ladiesletsgofishing.com or write to P.O. Box 550429, Fort Lauderdale FL 33355.

Nov. 5-7: Mercury Redbone Celebrity Tournament. Islamorada. Celebrities and other anglers catch bonefish and redfish to raise money for cystic fibrosis research in the final event of the annual Redbone Trilogy. Contact Gary Ellis at (305) 664-2002, e-mail [email protected], visit www.redbone.org or write to P.O. Box 273, Islamorada, FL 33036.

Nov. 27-28: Islamorada Fishing Club Junior Derby. Islamorada. All species count for points in this competition for young anglers, with the most points awarded for bonefish and permit. Contact Jim and Sherri Trice at (305) 664-3864, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 22, Islamorada FL 33036.

Dec. 2-5: Islamorada Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. This competition is the first leg of the triple-crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship Series. The tournament is one of the oldest in the Florida Keys. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at (305) 852-2102, e-mail [email protected], visit www.islamoradasailfishtournament.com or write to P.O. Box 462, Islamorada, FL 33036.

Dec. 8-9: Islamorada Fishing Club Captain's Cup Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. Anglers compete for a winner-take-all $25,000 jackpot for catching and releasing sailfish. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at (305) 852-2102, e-mail fishing@theislamoradafishingclub, visit www.islamoradasailfishtournament.com or write to P.O. Box 22, Islamorada FL 33036.

Dec. 10-12: Captain Don Gurgiolo Sailfish Classic. Islamorada. This all-release tournament offers anglers a chance to pursue sailfish in Captain Don's memory. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at (305) 852-9337, e-mail [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 432, Islamorada FL 33036.

Dec. 17-19: Islamorada Junior Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. Now in its 45th year, the event allows anglers through age 16 to target sailfish. All anglers are to receive trophies. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at (305) 852-9337, e-mail [email protected] or write to 124 Tavern Drive, Tavernier FL 33070.



Intersex Bass

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

Widespread Occurrence of Intersex Bass Found in U.S. Rivers

New Fishing in Cuba

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

"The classic sight fishing is always present, as the area has numerous white sand flats, coral bottoms, reefs, etc. The water is ever transparent, which is so valued and expected along the southern coast of Cuba."

Get Paid to Fly Fish

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

"The Rumble is the only fly-fishing tournament to award this much prize money."

That's A Lot of Permit

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Greg Vincent of Grand Bahama Island caught seven permit on fly to win the 2009 Del Brown Invitational Permit Tournament honoring the late angling legend.

Vincent earned the title of grand champion angler fishing with Captain Justin Rea of Sugarloaf Key, Fla. Rea was named the tournament's grand champion guide.

Vincent's permit ranged from 18 inches to 30 inches, with a total of 166.25 inches of fish. The 30-incher was the tournament's largest permit.

Mike Allen of Key West was named the 2009 runner-up grand champion. He caught six permit, for a total of 137.75 inches, while fishing with Captain Will Benson of Key West.

Next in the standings was the team of Scott Crippen of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Captain Geoff Quatraro of Fort Pierce, Fla. The duo captured four permit measuring a total of 75.5 inches.

Crippen was named the tournament's best new angler.

Anglers on 16 boats caught 27 permit in the tournament named for Brown. The internationally acclaimed angler, who died in 2003, caught more than 500 permit during his lifetime.

Reel in a Cure Outfits

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
Pink Rod-Reel Outfit Final.JPG

Susie Hauck Remembered; Ross to Donate $10,000.00 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

New NOAA Online Handbook

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

Coastal handbook helps teachers and community groups create an oral history of the local fishing culture.

GOLD CUP TARPON TOURNAMENT IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

46TH Annual Florida Keys angling face-off is scheduled for June 15 to 19 in Islamorad

Public Lands Bill Clears Final Hurdle

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

Sportsmen celebrate protection of millions of acres of fish, wildlife habitat.

James Prosek Designs Trout Reel

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
New Prosek Reel

Abel/Prosek new Super 3N Rainbow Trout Reel will benefit Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.