The tournament is held in conjunction with Key West’s July 16-21 Hemingway Days celebration. Ernest Hemingway, an avid sport fisherman, lived and wrote in Key West during the 1930s and fought countless marlin in area waters.
Teams that accumulate the most points for blue marlin, white marlin and spearfish during the tournament’s three fishing days are to split $40,000 cash, including $25,000 for the first-place finishers. All billfish must be released except potentially record-setting blue marlin that exceed 600 pounds.
Teams also can earn points by entering one fun fish (dolphin fish, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per boat per day.
Boats in the marlin division also can enter the fun fish division to compete for an additional $10,000. Cash prizes are to be presented for the three heaviest dolphin, wahoo and tuna (yellowfin, blackfin and skipjack). Minimum weight for these species is 15 pounds.
Final registration is scheduled at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at the tournament tent at Stock Island Marina Village, 7005 Shrimp Road. A captains meeting, auction and raffle are to follow.
Fishing is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 18 and 19, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Weigh-ins are 4-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 3-5 p.m. Saturday at Stock Island Marina Village.
Tournament social events include cocktail gatherings, an island-style pig roast and a fish fry. Saturday night’s awards banquet and silent auction are scheduled at the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina at 245 Front St.
Marlin division boat entry fees, allowing two anglers to fish, are $1,800 per boat by June 15 and $2,100 after that date. There is no maximum number of anglers per boat, but additional anglers must pay $200 apiece. Entry in the fun fish division is an additional $450 per boat.
Tournament information and registration: KeyWestMarlin.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lower-keys or 1-800-872-3722
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing
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