Florida Keys Fishing Tournament Highlights For Summer And Fall 2024

July 4-6: Billy Knowles Memorial Poor Boys Tarpon Fly Tournament. Islamorada. This tarpon-on-fly tournament is open to all anglers. The team with the most releases of tarpon 4 feet and longer wins. Tournament events are held at the Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar in Islamorada. Visit poorboys.info or email poorboystournment@gmail.com.

July 12-13: Key West Association of Realtors Charity Fishing Tournament. Key West. Anglers fish for the largest dolphin fish by weight with prizes awarded for first-, second- and third-place fish, and additional prizes for the largest tuna and wahoo. Tournament activities are based at the Key West Yacht Club and proceeds benefit the KWAR CARES foundation, providing help to many charities in the Florida Keys. Visit kwarfishing.com

July 14-17: Del Brown Invitational Permit Tournament. Sugarloaf Key. Anglers fly fish on the flats in a challenge that honors the late angling pioneer Del Brown, who caught and released more than 500 permit off the Keys. Professionals and guides are allowed to compete as anglers. Visit delbrown.com or call 305-360-6969.

July 17-20: Key West Marlin Tournament. Key West. Anglers can ply the waters once fished by legendary writer Ernest Hemingway while vying for $50,000 in cash prizes. Teams are to earn points for blue marlin, white marlin, spearfish and “fun fish” species. Activities include a nightly celebratory dinner, a silent auction and an awards banquet. For anglers of every skill level, the contest coincides with Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival that celebrates the literary giant’s adventurous spirit. Only 75 entries are available. Visit keywestmarlin.com.

Aug. 12: Bartenders Dolphin Tournament. Layton. This one-day dolphin tournament is open to bartenders and restaurant employees. Kick-off and weigh-in events are to be held at the Florida Boy restaurant at mile marker 68 in Layton. Email ditournaments@aol.com.

Sept. 20-22: Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Championship. Islamorada. Named after the man known affectionately as “Mr. Everglades,” the event is headquartered at the Islander Resort. Anglers target fish only in the boundaries of Everglades National Park, fishing areas that Lucerne favored, and are challenged to catch at least one tarpon, redfish, snook, sea trout, snapper, bonefish and black drum or bass with the goal being to catch all seven species. Awards are given in 22 individual categories at a ceremony hosted at the Islander Resort. Visit hermanlucernememorial.com or email wesley@lockeandkeyproductions.com.

Oct. 4-6: Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge. Key Largo. This annual tournament put on by the Rotary Club of Key Largo offers anglers the opportunity to win coveted trophies for trout, snook and redfish. Fishing is allowed around the clock from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. A popular weekend auction showcase and Sunday evening dinner are open to the public. Proceeds support vocational and educational scholarships for financially challenged Upper Keys students. Visit keylargorotary.org.

Oct. 14-16: Islamorada Fall All-Tackle Bonefish and Permit Championship. Islamorada. Dubbed the “Fall All-Tackle,” the three-day challenge attracts energized newcomers to face seasoned veterans in a competition that has taken place since 1970. One angler per boat pairs with a licensed captain to vie for division winners’ trophies for the three longest bonefish and three longest permit. Email islamoradafallalltackle@gmail.com.

Oct. 16-17: Casting for Cats Backcountry Tournament. Islamorada. This formerly all-female tournament now has a co-ed division and a women’s division. Anglers earn points for catching bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and redfish using bait, artificial lures or fly tackle. Points are also awarded for ladyfish, sharks, jacks and spotted sea trout. The event is a major fundraiser to help control the feral cat population in the Upper Keys. Call Sharon Mahoney Ellenwood at 305-664-2012.

Oct. 18-20: “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” Florida Keys Saltwater Seminar and Fishing Fever Inshore/Offshore Tournament. Islamorada. Female fishing fans can learn or polish angling skills during the award-winning weekend seminar with two days of optional charter fishing and Fishing Fever Fun Tournament. More than 8,000 female graduates have immersed themselves in the lighthearted yet skill-heavy curriculum to learn and hone abilities in offshore, bottom, inshore and fly fishing. Visit ladiesletsgofishing.com or email fish@ladiesletsgofishing.com.

Nov. 1-2: Fall Backcountry Fly Championship. Islamorada. Tournament anglers compete to catch the most inches of snook and redfish on fly in a challenge where 1 inch equals 1 point. Awards are to be given to the grand champion, the anglers who catch the largest snook and redfish, and the “King of the Backcountry” series grand champion among others. Visit BFCtournament.com.

Nov. 7-9: Cheeca Lodge & Spa All-American Backcountry Tournament. Islamorada. Anglers compete for prizes and trophies in this annual all-release event targeting snook, redfish, bonefish, tarpon and permit. The tournament was inspired by George H. W. Bush, the 41st U.S. president, and honors war heroes in an esteemed competition held over Veterans Day weekend. Proceeds benefit the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Visit cheeca.com/allamerican.

Nov. 14-16: Sugarloaf Showdown. Sugarloaf Key. Angling teams can vie for victory by targeting bonefish, permit and barracuda during the annual Sugarloaf Showdown in support of the Florida Keys Guides Trust Foundation. The catch-and-release challenge is presented by the Lower Keys Guides Association. For more information and registration, visit sugarloafshowdown.com.

Dec. 6-8: Islamorada Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. The first leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship trifecta is the only tournament in the series to offer a junior division for anglers age 16 and younger. Unlimited anglers are allowed per boat. Visit islamoradasailfishtournament.com or email ditournaments@aol.com.

Dec. 13-15: Islamorada Junior Sailfish Tournament. Islamorada. The Florida Keys’ oldest sailfish tournament for kids age 16 and under celebrates its 60th year. Contact fishnbully@msn.com or call 305-240-9337.

Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS

Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing

Florida Keys fishing tournaments: fla-keys.com/calendar/fishing

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