Florida Keys Gold Cup Series to Conclude With Cheeca Presidential Sailfish Tournament
The final leg of the three-event Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship Series, the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, is scheduled Friday through Sunday, Jan. 19-21, 2024, in Islamorada.
Kickoff for “The Presidential” is set for Friday, Jan. 19, at Cheeca Lodge, mile marker 82, and includes a welcome cocktail party, angler registration, rules meeting and beach banquet.
Saturday and Sunday, anglers test their light-tackle skills with 20-pound or less line to wrestle the high-flying acrobatic sailfish, known for tail-walking the waves. Only circle hooks can be used.
Fishing is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Sunday evening, trophies are to be awarded to the tournament’s top competitors including grand champion team, second- and third-place team, champion male angler, champion lady angler, champion junior angler, outstanding captain, outstanding mate and most tagged fish awards.
Based on the results of The Presidential, combined with the results of the two previous Florida Keys Gold Cup tournaments — the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament and Islamorada Fishing Club Captain’s Cup Sailfish Tournament — the 2024 Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship Series awards are to be presented at the Sunday banquet.
The series high-point angler earns the coveted championship ring. Cash prizes and Gold Cup Series trophies are to be awarded to the overall championship team, second-place team and third-place team.
Up to 25 boats can register for the Cheeca Presidential. Entry fee is $700 for the first angler per boat and $650 for each additional angler, up to six per boat, until Jan. 3, 2024. After Jan. 3, the entry fee for the first angler increases to $800 and each additional angler is $750.
Evening social event tickets for non-anglers are available for purchase. In addition, Cheeca Lodge offers a special Presidential Tournament rate on regular rooms for tournament anglers.
Money raised from the Gold Cup Tournament Series benefits the Islamorada Charter Boat Association.