The 48th annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, one of the oldest fishing tournaments in the Florida Keys, is set for Thursday through Sunday, December 1-4.
The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is the first leg of the renowned triple-crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship series that also includes the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, set for January 20-22, 2012, and the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament, January 25-26, 2012.
The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is an all-release boat event and the only tournament in the series to offer a junior division for anglers age 16 and younger. The tournament opens with pre-registration at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, in the main dining room of the Whale Harbor Inn, located at mile marker 83.5 oceanside in Islamorada. A kick-off banquet featuring an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet with stone crabs follows, as does a rules meeting.
Fishing is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the final day, Sunday, December 4.
The weigh-in for fun fish closes Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to watch the weigh-in on all three days.
A standings party with cocktails and free hors d’oeuvres is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Wahoo’s Bar and Grill at Whale Harbor. A gala awards banquet is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday at Braza Leña Brazilian Steakhouse, with the awards presentation and raffle drawing at 8 p.m.
Entries are $700 for the first angler and $550 for each additional angler. The junior angler entry fee is $200. An unlimited number of anglers is allowed per vessel.
The Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship is limited to 30 teams of elite sport fishermen. The deadline to register is December 1, 2011, and the entry fee is $1,000 for four anglers. At least one angler must be entered and paid for all three series in the Gold Cup events.