The new event has a weight/release format to promote responsible use of the Florida Keys’ resources and maintenance of healthy fisheries.
Teams of up to six anglers per boat, either professionally guided or unguided, are to pursue sailfish, barracuda, dolphin, cobia, wahoo, tuna, mackerel, hogfish and snapper.
Teams are scored on five releases of each of the eligible species per day. One fish of each eligible species may be weighed per team per day and the largest weight fish is to win that species.
Winners in adult, teen (age 13-19) and junior (age 12 and under) divisions are to be awarded for the most releases on a daily and overall basis.
The boat event opens with a captains meeting and kickoff at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at the Lorelei Cabana Bar & Marina, mile marker (MM) 82 bayside.
Fishing is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1. An awards ceremony follows Sunday’s fishing.
Boats are eligible to depart between Garden Cove Marina at MM 106 and the east end of the Seven Mile Bridge, and teams must fish along the ocean side of U.S. Highway 1. All score sheets must be turned in at Lorelei Cabana Bar & Marina.
Entry fees received after Feb. 14 are $500 for a four-person boat. Additional adult anglers must pay $150 each, and additional junior or teen anglers are $125 each. Until Feb. 14 anglers can save $50 off the boat entry fee and $25 off the additional angler fee.
To register: www.islamoradaclassic.com