ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The three-pronged Gold Cup Sailfish Championship series, a competition that typically attracts the nation’s elite sport fishermen and -women, is underway in the Florida Keys. Yet interested anglers of all experience levels can still join one or both of the remaining tournaments in waters off Islamorada.
The series, whose foundation is rooted in conservation and sportsmanship, kicked off with December’s Islamorada Sailfish Tournament.
Second in the renowned triple-crown sequence is the mid-week Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament set for Jan. 24-25, 2018. New and seasoned anglers compete among a field of up to 30 boats, each vying for an attractive cash payout of up to $30,000 in the IFC event. For information, visit theislamoradafishingclub.com. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Dianne Harbaugh at 305-522-4868.
Last in the Gold Cup series this year is the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 26-28. Anglers put 20-pound line and light-tackle skills to the test during the two-day challenge against the high-flying acrobatic fish, known for tail-walking the waves. Only circle hooks can be used. “The Presidential” typically awards sophisticated sculpture trophies to top anglers who release the most sailfish. For information, visit cheeca.com/experience/fishing. To register, contact Lisa Thornhill at LThornhill@cheeca.com or call 305-517-4512.
At the conclusion of the Cheeca Presidential, the overall Gold Cup Series champion is to be crowned. Point scoring is determined on both a team and an individual basis. The team scoring the highest number of releases first is to be deemed the overall team champions. The single angler scoring the highest number of releases first is to be named the high-point angler and receive the coveted championship ring.
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing