The family-friendly angling challenge is named in honor of Nick Sheahan, a beloved Coral Shores High School student who died in a diving accident in 2004.
The event’s mission is to raise awareness of shallow-water blackout and raise money for the Nick Sheahan Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to graduating seniors at the Upper Keys’ Coral Shores High School. Since its inception, the tournament’s scholarships have totaled $315,000.
Events kick off Friday, May 6, at the tournament’s headquarters at Tavernier Creek Marina, mile marker 90.8, and feature a dinner, silent auction, 50/50 and bicycle raffle, and other marine and fishing prizes including a drawing for free fuel. Anglers and nonanglers are welcome. A rules meeting follows. Nonanglers who wish to attend can purchase tickets for $30 per adult; juniors (age 12 and under) are admitted at no charge.
Adult and junior anglers fish Saturday, May 7, 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. An awards ceremony is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
A cash prize of $25,000 is to be awarded to the angler who beats the state dolphin record.
Cash and 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 can be won for the largest wahoo and tuna as well.
Early entry fees are $200 per adult and $75 per junior angler through May 4. Anglers must register online at https://nicksheahan.com/dolphin-rodeo/#register. Walk-up registrations after May 4 are $215 and $100, respectively.
Tournament information: nicksheahan.com
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing
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