Key West Fishing Tournaments

Captain Steven Lamp of Dream Catcher Charters with a nice bonefish, one of the main species targeted in our Flats fishing Tournaments.
Captain Steven Lamp with a nice bonefish, a flats fishing targeted species.

There are so many fishing tournaments in Key West throughout the year. And there should be, since we are the fishing capital of the world! Key West has world class fishing, from inshore flats fishing for species like bonefish, permit, and tarpon, to offshore monsters like marlin, kingfish, dolphin, and sailfish. So, if you are like me and enjoy fishing, why not take part in a tournament? Or, you can always go to the weigh ins which are exciting too, and free to enjoy! Check out this list of Fishing Tournaments for the year and start making your fishing plans now!

Key West Fishing Tournaments 2017 Schedule

Jan. 21-22, 2017 

Key West Kingfish Mayhem – Jimmy Wickett 954-605-8284 / Big fish, big money! Come fish for some of the largest kingfish in Florida Keys waters in this new tournament. Fishing headquartered at Stock Island Marina. First prize could earn $15,000 cash, based on a 50-boat field.

February 2-4, 2017

Cuda Bowl – Justin or Loren Rea 305-744-0903 / Shallow water flats anglers and guides are invited to hook-up and fight their barracuda rivals. Event is to be headquartered at Hurricane Hole Marina, Stock Island. Prizes and trophies are to be awarded for top angler and guide in light tackle spin and fly divisions.

March 13-16, 2017

March Merkin Invitational Permit Tournament – 303-888-4546 / A charity flats-and-fly-only tournament with a twist – in addition to catch and release, anglers earn extra points for tagging their caught fish. Held at the Key West Yacht Harbor Marina on Stock Island.

April 7-9, 2017 

Key West Fishing Tournament Kickoff – 305-294-8843 / Traditionally, 15 target species and $5,000 in cash prizes await anglers. Participants vie for cash awards for catching the heaviest dolphin, kingfish, cobia, blackfin tuna, mackerel, mutton snapper, wahoo, mangrove snapper and grunt. In addition, cash awaits boat teams that score the most releases of tarpon, permit, bonefish, barracuda, marlin and sailfish. Awards also are presented each year in the junior division for anglers under age 15.

April 25-30, 2017 

The Final Sail – This four-day challenge is the ‘grand finale’ of the 4-leg Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. Team cash prizes include up to $50,000 for first place and $18,000 and $10,000 to second- and third-place anglers, plus trophies, respectively. Early entry fee is available.

May 19-21, 2017 

Key West Co-Ed Mahi Masters –  Lee 305-296-0364 / In this challenge, cash prizes are awarded to the male and female angler scoring the highest total combined weight of three dolphin catches. There is no limit on the number of participating boats.

June 10, 2017 

Fifth Annual VFW Fishing Tournament – Curly McGinn (305) 304-1182 / Sponsored by the Southernmost VFW Post 3911, this family oriented tournament offers cash prizes for dolphin, wahoo, tuna, snapper and grouper, along with prizes for heaviest fish by a lady angler, heaviest fish by a juvenile angler, pee-wee and active service member. Heaviest Dolphin is worth $2,500. Entry fee $200 per boat By May 19, 2017; $250 per boat after May 19, 2017. All proceeds benefit disabled and veterans in need throughout Monroe County.

July 8-11, 2017 

Del Brown Permit Tournament – Loren Rea 305-360-6969 / Anglers fly-fish on the flats in a challenge that honors the late angling pioneer Del Brown, who caught and released more than 500 permit off the Keys. Professionals and guides are allowed to compete as well.

July 19-22, 2017 

Bacardi Oakheart Key West Marlin Tournament – Tim Greene 305-304-0317 / Anglers ply the waters once fished by novelist Ernest Hemingway, vying for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes. Held in conjunction with Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival, the event awards $25,000 to the first-place team. Teams can enter one fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per day to add to their point total.

September 8-10, 2017 

Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Celebrity Tournament – 305-664-2002 / In the first of three tournaments in the annual Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series, also called The Trilogy, anglers target tarpon, permit and bonefish to achieve the coveted “flats grand slam.” The event raises funds for the fight against cystic fibrosis.