24 April 2023

TAVERNIER, Florida Keys — Heralding the start of the much-anticipated Florida Keys dolphin fishing season, the 16th annual Nick Sheahan Dolphin Rodeo is set for Friday through Sunday, May 5-7, in Tavernier. 


The family-friendly angling challenge is named in honor of Nick Sheahan, a beloved Coral Shores High School student who died tragically in a diving accident in 2004.  


The event is intended to both raise awareness of shallow-water blackout and raise money for scholarships awarded to graduating seniors at the Upper Keys’ Coral Shores High School through the Nick Sheahan Scholarship Fund. Since its inception, the tournament’s individual scholarships have totaled $360,000.


Events kick off Friday, May 5, with a dinner, silent auction and rules meeting planned at the tournament’s headquarters inside Tavernier Creek Marina, mile marker 90.8. Non-anglers who wish to attend can purchase tickets for $40 per person.


Adult and junior anglers ages 12 and under are to fish Saturday, May 6, from lines-in at 7:30 a.m. to lines-out at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000, respectively, await the top three adult anglers catching the heaviest dolphin fish. First- through third-place trophies are slated for the top junior anglers, and prizes are to be bestowed for the largest wahoo and tuna as well.


Entry fees are $200 per adult and $75 per junior angler through May 1. Anglers must register online for advance pricing at https://nicksheahan.com/dolphin-rodeo/#register. Walk-up registration, priced at $225 for adults and $100 for junior anglers, is available on May 5 at the rules meeting and dinner.


Tournament information: nicksheahan.com

Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada

Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing

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