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2011 Islamorada Fishing Tournaments

Islamorada is known throughout the world for its fishing. The list below will provide you with a comprehensive list of 2011 Fishing Tournaments in Islamorada. Whether or not you are looking to fish in an offshore fishing tournament or a backcountry fishing tournament, you will be sure to find a fishing tournament that will fit your need.

January 7 - 9 - Key Largo Sailfish Challenge, Key Largo Florida.

The annual challenge pits anglers against sails at the height of the sailfish season. The event follows a boat-tournament format and prizes await the first-, second- and third-place teams. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at 305-240-9337 or e-mail

January 11 - 13 - The Islamorada SailFly, Islamorada Florida.

In this fly-fishing, all-release boat team tournament, captains, mates or anglers can tease, but only the registered anglers can cast, hook and play the fish. Tournament rules are IGFA format. The invitational challenge is limited to 20 boats. Contact Sandy Moret at 305-664-5423 or e-mail

January 20 - 22 - Cheeca Lodge Presidential, Islamorada Florida.

Now in its 21st year, the tourney is a facet of the World Billfish Series and the second leg of the three-tournament Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship. Over two days of light-tackle sailfishing anglers use 12-pound line to wrestle the high flyers. Contact Liz Hill at 305-451-5094 or e-mail

January 21 - 23 - Key West Harbour King Mackerel Tournament, Key West Florida.

The angler who weighs in the heaviest mackerel, also known as kingfish, is to go home with $10,000. The second- and third-place finishers receive $5,000 and $4,000, respectively, and cash prizes are to be awarded through 10th place. Award amounts are based on having a field of 100 boats. Contact Lee Murray at 305-296-0364 or e-mail

January 24 - 25 - Al Flutie Over the Hill Rip-Off Sailfish Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

After more than 20 years, this event is still known to many anglers as "almost too much fun for old guys to handle." Locally called the Flutie, the all-release tournament limits entry to anglers age 50 and over. Contact Gordon Ross at 305-852-3282, ext. 25, or e-mail

January 24 - 25 - IFC Sailfish Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

Presented by the Islamorada Fishing Club, this final leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Series offers up to a $30,000 winner-take-all cash prize. The field is limited to 30 boats, so register early. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at 305-664-4735 or visit

February 4 - 6 - Islamorada Women's Sailfish Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

In this light-tackle challenge, awards await the grand champion team (boat), first runner-up and second runner-up team, captain and mate. Others recognize the high-point angler, outstanding catch, largest tuna, dolphin and kingfish, most tagged sailfish and hard luck. Proceeds help Voices for Florida Keys Children. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at 305-240-9337 or e-mail

February 10 - 12 - The Sailfish Open. Marathon, Islamorada Florida.

An official leg of the Sailfish Pro Series, the three-day tournament includes VIP parties, highly competitive fishing, world-class entertainment and gourmet food. Overall cash payouts have been as high as $250,000. Contact Mike Weinhofer at 305-395-3474 or visit

February 24 - 26 - Backcountry Fly Championship, Islamorada Florida.

Tournament anglers are to compete to catch the most inches of snook and redfish on fly in a competition where one inch equals one point. Awards are to be given for grand champion, runner-up to grand champion, and largest snook, redfish and tarpon. The field is limited to 30 boats. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

March 4 - 6 - Captain Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament, Marathon Florida.

Two full days of sailfishing culminate in a $30,000 cash purse. The winning boat team is to receive a grand prize of $25,000 cash, with first and second runners-up also taking home cash prizes. Trophies are awarded to the top teams and individual sailfish anglers. Proceeds benefit Hospice of the Florida Keys. Contact Terry Fisher at 305-289-1310, e-mail or visit

March 10 - 13 - Florida Keys Survivor, Islamorada Florida.

Fun and hilarity ensue during this three-day backcountry elimination draw tournament where the winner is the sole survivor. Random draw, two-person teams compete against one another for redfish, snook, bonefish and tarpon. Contact Sharon Mahoney-Ellenwood at 305-393-6174 or e-mail

March 11 - 13 - Key West Fishing Tournament Kickoff, Key West Florida.

Fifteen target species and $5,000 in cash prizes highlight this fun-filled event. Target species include dolphin, kingfish, cobia, blackfin tuna, mackerel, mutton snapper, wahoo, mangrove snapper, grunt, tarpon, permit, bonefish, barracuda, marlin and sailfish. The tournament features a junior division for anglers under age 15. Entries also are eligible for the Key West Fishing Tournament. Contact Doris Harris at 305-295-6601 or visit

March 11 - Nov. 30 - Key West Fishing Tournament, Key West Florida.

More than 40 species of fish are targeted over the course of 8.5 months, with divisions for men, women, junior anglers (ages 10 to 14) and Pee Wees (under 10 years old). In a March kick-off tournament, anglers target 15 different species, and $5,000 in cash prizes is split between the top anglers. Contact Doris Harris at 305-295-6601 or visit

April 5 - 8 - Bokor Spring All-Tackle Bonefish Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

The prestigious "All-Tackle" championship is to go to the high-point angler who catches at least one bonefish in all four tackle divisions and one or more weight fish in at least two divisions. This demanding challenge, limited to 25 invited anglers, features general, fly and spin-casting divisions. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

April 12 - 16 - World Sailfish Championship, Key West Florida.

With a guaranteed first 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. Previous tournaments' overall cash payout has topped $1 million. Contact Mike Weinhofer at 305-395-3474 or Laura Emmole at 727-631-0072, or visit

April 15 - 17 - Redbone Large Sunrise/Sunset Tarpon Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

One of approximately 30 fundraisers held each year whose proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the tournament is a qualifying event for the Florida Keys Outfitters IGFA Inshore World Championship. Contact Gary or Susan Ellis at 305-664-2002, e-mail or, or visit

April 28 - May 1 - Marathon Offshore Bull and Cow Dolphin Tournament, Marathon Florida.

A $10,000 first prize awaits the angler with the largest bull and cow combined, as well as prizes awarded to anglers catching the largest dolphin, wahoo, tuna and tripletail, grouper and snapper. Contact Byron Goss or Jack Carlson at 305-289-0199, or visit

May 1 - 4 - Tarponian Tournament, Marathon Florida.

This high-energy, three-evening tournament mandates that teams fish with a different captain each day. Teams also rotate among the three major bridge channels in Marathon, so any potential "hot spots" are shared among all anglers. Call David Breznicky at 215-542-1492 or e-mail

May 5 - 7 - Marathon International Tarpon Tournament, Marathon Florida.

Anglers from around the world fish this all-release event for individuals and two-angler teams. Trophy awards are given to anglers for the most tarpon released, most fish other than tarpon released, most total fish released (including tarpon) and first- and second-place captain. Call Sue Moore at 305-289-2248 or e-mail

May 13 - 14 - Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament, Marathon Florida.

Several cash prizes are awarded to anglers in this one-day tournament. Top cash prize for the heaviest fish is $5,000, with prizes also presented to second- through fifth-place finishers. The total cash purse is expected to exceed $15,000. Event benefits Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys. Call Lili Huergo at 305-743-9828 or visit

May 20 - 22 - Coconuts Dolphin Tournament, Key Largo Florida.

A "truckload" of cash and prizes topping $50,000 attract anglers to one of South Florida's largest-drawing tournaments. The angler who lands a fish exceeding 63.9 pounds, the current state record, wins a two-year lease on a 2011 Honda Ridgeline RT pickup truck valued at more than $10,000. Call Charles Mountain at 561-512-4455 or e-mail

May 20 - 22 - Florida Keys Triple Slam Fishing Tournament, Big Pine Key Florida.

This inshore, offshore and spearfishing competition is one of the newest tournaments in the Keys. Nearly $17,000 in cash prizes is awarded, along with a special prize for the lady angler who catches the largest dolphin. Call Terry Thomas at 305-872-7679 or visit

May 21 - 22 - Ladies Tarpon Tournament, Marathon Florida.

The best-of-the-best lady anglers come to compete in this two-night all-release challenge, one of the Florida Keys' longest-running tournaments. The highly charged challenge offers good-ribbing fun but stiff competition. Call Sue Moore at 305-289-2248 or e-mail

May 23 - 25 - Outback Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

Special flies, accurate casts and a bit of luck are the recipe for winning this prestigious challenge, using only a tournament-furnished tippet not greater than 20-pound test. Eligible tarpon must measure at least 48 inches long to earn release points, and weigh at least 70 pounds for weight points. Call Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

May 28 - Yamaha Dolphin Masters Invitational, Key West Florida.

In this challenge headquartered at Key West's Historic Seaport, more than $13,000 awaits the angler scoring the highest total combined weight of three dolphin catches. Many additional prizes await other top anglers, and there is no limit on the number of participating boats. Call John Stuempfig at 305-304-7674 or e-mail

June 3 - 5 - Islamorada Dolphin Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

Hosted by the Islamorada Charterboat Association, this annual event is headquartered at Whale Harbor Marina with $15,000 in prize money. Competition is open to all anglers and there is no limit on the number of anglers that can participate. Call Dianne Harbaugh at 305-852-2102 or e-mail

June 5 - 10 - Don Hawley Tarpon Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

The world's top fly-rod anglers endure a five-day test of will and muscle, fishing Keys waters using fly tackle and either a 12- or 16-pound tippet. Named for the late fly fisherman and conservationist Don Hawley, the tournament benefits the Don Hawley Foundation, assisting professional fishing guides and supporting backcountry fishery conservation programs. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

June 10 - 12 - Big Pine & Lower Keys Dolphin Tourney, Big Pine Key Florida.

More than $40,000 in cash and prizes includes a guaranteed $10,000 cash to the angler in the open division who catches the heaviest dolphin. In the youth division, anglers age 15 and under can win rods, reels and trophies. Prizes also are presented for the heaviest wahoo and tuna. Contact Carole Stevens at 305-872-2411 or e-mail

June 17 - 18 - Island Grill Charity Dolphin Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

This family event benefits Baptist Hospital's Children's Cancer Center. Awards include a $5,000 grand prize for the best three dolphin caught and a Mercedes GLK SUV for the angler that breaks the state record for dolphin. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at 305-852-2102 or e-mail

June 19 - 24 - Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

This prestigious tournament, whose founders include baseball great and avid fly-fisherman Ted Williams, pits 25 fly-rod anglers against the tenacious silver king for four straight days of fishing. Experienced tournament anglers and novices are welcome to compete. Tournament proceeds benefit children's charities in the Keys. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

June 24 - 26 - Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby, Key West Florida.

More than $30,000 in cash, prizes and trophies is up for grabs. The Edward Jones 50-Pound Challenge, a voluntary-entry competition, awards the first participant who reaches the dock with a dolphin weighing 50 pounds an additional cash prize. Participating anglers can enter one qualifying fish on each of the tournament's two fishing days. Call John Stuempfig at 305-304-7674 or e-mail

June 25 - 26 - Dolphin & Blackfin Tuna Fun Fishing Tournament, Marathon Florida.

Top prizes of $700, $350 and $200 await individual adult anglers who catch the tournament's three heaviest dolphin, with additional cash awards for the heaviest blackfin tuna and wahoo. Headquartered at Burdine's Waterfront, the challenge is open to adult and junior anglers. Contact Brenda Duff at 305-743-5317 or e-mail

July 2 - Conch Republic Ladies Dolphin Championship, Key West Florida.

Although male captains and mates are allowed, it's the ladies who compete for a $3,000 cash prize slated for the angler that catches the heaviest dolphin. Second- and third-place anglers are to receive $1,500 and $500, respectively. Contact John Stuempfig at 305-304-7674 or e-mail

July 6 - 8 - Florida Keys Outfitters IGFA Inshore World Championship, Islamorada Florida.

Tournament winners from around the world compete for one of the most prized trophies in angling. The two-day tournament features inshore fishing for permit, tarpon, bonefish, redfish and snook. Fly and light-tackle competitive styles are highlighted, with up to 20 anglers allowed in each division. Awards await the Inshore Light Tackle World Champion and the Inshore Fly Fishing World Champion. Contact Sandy Moret at 305-664-5423 or visit

July 17 - 20 - Del Brown Permit Tournament, Key West Florida.

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 well. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

July 20 - 23 - Key West Marlin Tournament, Key West Florida.

Anglers ply the waters once fished by novelist Ernest Hemingway, vying for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes. Held in conjunction with Key West's annual Hemingway Days, the event awards $25,000 to the first-place team. Teams can enter one fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per day to add to their point total. Contact Jane Greene at 305-292-2710 or visit

July 22 - 24 - Dolphin Flashover, Marathon Florida.

In addition to dolphin, prizes are awarded for the tournament's largest tuna and wahoo. Proceeds are to benefit the Professional Firefighters of Monroe County and the International Association of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation. Contact Andrea Sutherland at 305-942-7223.

September 9 - 11 - Robert James S.L.A.M. Celebrity Tournament, Key West Florida.

In the first of three tournaments in the annual Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series, also called The Trilogy, anglers target tarpon, permit and bonefish to achieve the coveted "flats grand slam." The event raises funds for the fight against cystic fibrosis. Contact Susan or Gary Ellis at 305-664-2002, e-mail or visit

September 13 - 16 - Islamorada Invitational Fall Fly Bonefish Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

Also referred to as the "Fall Fly," this prestigious three-day test of skill and stealth challenges anglers to accrue points for both weight and release fish. The field is limited to 25 participants. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

October 7 - 9 - Baybone Celebrity Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

The second of three tournaments in the annual Redbone Trilogy, the Baybone targets permit and bonefish to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. Among the celebrities who have fished recent Baybone tournaments is legendary angler Stu Apte. Contact Susan or Gary Ellis at 305-664-2002, e-mail or visit

October 9 - 12 - Islamorada All-Tackle Bonefish World Championship, Islamorada Florida.

Only 25 competitors are accepted to participate, with one angler and a licensed captain per boat. The three-day challenge is said to separate great bonefish anglers from the wannabes. Contact Charlotte Ambrogio at 305-942-0428 or e-mail

October 15 - 16 - Casting for Cats Ladies Backcountry Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

In this fundraiser to help control the Upper Keys' feral cat population, female anglers earn points for catching bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and redfish using bait, artificial lures or fly tackle. Points also are awarded for ladyfish, sharks, jacks and spotted sea trout (also known as speckled trout). Contact Sharon Mahoney-Ellenwood at 305-393-6174 or visit

October 21 - 23 - Publix Mad Dog Mandich Fishing Classic, Islamorada Florida.

A top boat prize of $5,000 cash is awarded for the greatest cumulative weight of the tournament's target species. The second-place team earns $1,000, and other prizes include the Caribee 15k Kingfish Hook-up challenge awarding $15,000 to the first registered angler to weigh in a kingfish of more than 50.10 pounds. The challenge is limited to the first 200 entrants. Contact Leah at 305-667-0399, e-mail or visit

November 4 - 6 - Redbone Celebrity Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

Celebrities join other anglers to catch bonefish and redfish to raise money for cystic fibrosis research in the final event of the annual Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series. Contact Susan or Gary Ellis at 305-664-2002, e-mail or visit

November TBA - Islamorada Fishing Club Junior Derby, Islamorada Florida.

All species count for points in this competition, with bonefish and permit scoring highest. Among many prizes, grand championships are to be awarded in super small fry (up to age 6), small fry (ages 7-10) and junior (ages 11-16) guided and unguided divisions. Entrants are allowed to fish from boats or land, so kids can fish from popular Keys fishing bridges or shorelines. Contact Jim Trice or Sherri Trice at 305-664-3864 or e-mail

December 1 - 4 - Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

The first leg of the triple-crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship Series is characterized by high-flying sail action, conservation and sportsmanship. It's also the only tournament in the Gold Cup series to offer a junior division for anglers age 16 and younger. Unlimited anglers are allowed per vessel. Contact Dianne Harbaugh at 305-852-2102 or 305-664-4725, e-mail or visit

December TBA - Don Gurgiolo Sailfish Classic, Islamorada Florida.

Part of the acclaimed Redbone at Large series of tournaments, this all-release challenge offers anglers a chance to pursue sailfish in Captain Don's memory. Tournament winners qualify for the 2012 International Game Fish Association Offshore Championship to be held in Islamorada. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at 305-240-9337 or e-mail

December TBA - Islamorada Junior Sailfish Tournament, Islamorada Florida.

Teen recreation in the Florida Keys often involves learning to tie a bimini or getting ballyhoo-rigging lessons from experienced local captains and mates. One weekend each year, anglers age 16 and younger can put such lessons to use by competing in the Islamorada Junior Sailfish Tournament. Contact Tammie Gurgiolo at 305-240-9337 or e-mail

December 22, 2010

Backcountry Fish Report


Anchoring up
We have just about gone full circle for the year --The tarpon are not gone but have thinned way down and the first good cold fronts will send the remainder back into the gulf of Mexico for the winter- patch fishing still good when weather permits.....

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December 22, 2010

Offshore Fish Report


Premier sailfishing months!!!
We have sailfish tournaments almost every week. If you are interseted in fishing one or all of the tournaments, check out our link for the tournament schedules. Book one of our seasoned, competitive, tournament proven captains for chance win big........

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