Now in its 40th year, the prestigious tournament is held in conjunction with Key West’s July 19-24 Hemingway Days celebration. Ernest Hemingway, a passionate angler, 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 those species is 15 pounds.
Final registration is scheduled at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at the tournament tent on the event lawn at the Perry Hotel & Marina, 7005 Shrimp Road on Stock Island. A captains meeting, reception, auction and raffle are to follow.
Fishing is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 21 and 22, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 23. Weigh-ins are 4-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 3-5 p.m. Saturday at the Perry Hotel Marina.
Tournament social events include cocktail gatherings and dinners following Thursday’s and Friday’s fishing. Saturday night’s cocktails, awards banquet and silent auction are to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, 3841 N. Roosevelt Blvd.
Marlin division entry fees are $2,100 per boat, allowing two anglers to fish and including social privileges for the registered anglers, captain and mate. There is no maximum number of anglers per boat, but additional anglers must pay $200 apiece to fish and attend social events. 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 1-800-872-2411
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing
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