KEY WEST, Fla. — Legendary author Ernest Hemingway fished for “big game” in Key West waters during the 1930s, and contemporary anglers can follow his lead Wednesday through Saturday, July 22-25.
Anglers targeting marlin and other fish are to compete for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes in the Stock Island Marina Village Key West Marlin Tournament, held in conjunction with the island city’s annual Hemingway Days celebration.
The 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 enter one fun fish (tuna, dolphin fish, wahoo or released sailfish) per boat per day for additional points.
Marlin division competitors can pay an additional fee to compete for $10,000 in the fun fish division. Cash prizes await anglers who catch the three heaviest dolphin fish, three heaviest tuna (yellowfin, blackfin and skipjack) and three heaviest wahoo.
The Key West Marlin Tournament is to begin with a 4-6 pm. final registration Wednesday, July 22, at the tournament tent at Stock Island Marina Village, 7005 Shrimp Road. A captains meeting, auction and raffle are to follow.
Fishing is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 23 and 24, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 25. Weigh-ins take place after each day’s fishing at Stock Island Marina Village.
Tournament social events include cocktail gatherings, an island-style pig roast and a fish fry. An awards banquet and silent auction are scheduled Saturday night at the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, 245 Front St
Anglers and their guests are to follow local health directives and take personal responsibility to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
The entry fee is $2,100 per boat for two anglers, a captain and mate to compete in the marlin division and attend social events. There is no maximum number of anglers per boat, but each additional angler must pay $200 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
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing