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 2024 Schedule


  • Jan. 11-14: Key West Kingfish Mayhem: Headquartered at Oceans Edge Marina, the open division of this competitive tournament rewards the team with the heaviest kingfish, also known as a king mackerel, with a $10,000 first prize. The pro division is open only to registrants of the elite multi-leg Kingfish Mayhem Pro Series. Email  


  • March 11-14: March Merkin Invitational Permit TournamentThis charity flats-and-fly-only tournament challenges anglers to catch and release silvery permit to vie for elite titles. The event is held at Oceans Edge Resort & Marina in Key West.


  • April 3-6: Key West Viking Challenge: Viking Yachts owners come down yearly for this friendly competition to enjoy the island and the fishing offshore.
  • April 5-7: Spanish Fly Shark Tournament: The most bull sharks caught wins in this new catch-and-release shark tournament that is focused on increasing knowledge about bull sharks in the Florida Keys. This is the only tournament in the Keys with both inshore and offshore divisions.
  • April 11-13: Key West Sailfish TournamentThe inaugural Key West Sailfish Tournament is expected to bring world-class teams for a two-day shootout style event, battling it out for the top of the leaderboard and prize money.


  • May 18, 2024: King of the Reef Tournament presented by Red Rum: Red Rum Presents the Annual King of the Reef Rod & Spear Tournament! 3 Divisions including Rod and Reel, SCUBA and Freedive will each compete and place for the biggest Grouper in each Division. The Largest Grouper out of ALL 3 Divisions is named King of the Reef and Grand Prize Winner of an additional $1000 in Cash! Estimated $5000+ in Cash and Prizes for all divisions! There are also 7 Other Calcuttas and chances to Win Cash & Prizes! Tournament Location at the Docks Restaurant on Stock Island.


  • June 14-16: VFW Fishing Tournament: A family fun tournament, this event awards over $15,000 in total cash and prizes including $5,000 for the heaviest dolphin fish. All proceeds benefit disabled and needy veterans in Monroe County. Email
  • June 20-23: Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby: Tournament information TBA. 
  • June 21-23: Florida Keys PBA Dolphin Tournament: Hosted by volunteers on behalf of the Florida Keys Police Benevolent Association, the tournament targets dolphin fish and is headquartered on Stock Island. Cash prizes await the first- through fourth-place anglers and the top junior, female and PBA member anglers. Proceeds primarily benefit the Autism Society of the Keys and the Love Fund Inc.


  • July 14-17: The Del Brown Permit Tournament: The original permit fly fishing tournament in the Keys and the longest running tournament of it’s kind in the world. The tournament memorializes the late Del Brown who caught 513 permit on a fly rod in his lifetime. The first Del Brown Permit Tournament was in 2001 in Key West. The tournament has been held annually ever since.
  • July 17-20: Key West Marlin Tournament: Featuring $50,000 in cash prizes in the Marlin Division and more in the Fun Fish Division. The tournament, coinciding with the annual Hemingway Days Celebration in Key West, Florida, is a world-class fishing event drawing anglers eager to test the waters on “The Wall.” In addition to spectacular fishing and prizes, the event features nightly festivities, including the infamous Captains dinner, dinners on location and an awards banquet. Entries are limited to the first 75 boats—register now to ensure your spot.